Islamabad: Chief Justice of Pakistan on Thursday observed that the deputy speaker’s ruling in the session of the national assembly on April 3 was “wrong” and said they would announce the verdict of the Suo-Motu case today at 7:30 pm.
“The real question at hand is what happens next,” CJP said, adding that now the PMLN counsel and the Attorney General would guide the court on how to proceed.
“We have to look at national interest,” he said, adding that the court would issue a verdict today.
In response to the events that unfolded in the capital on Sunday, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial had taken Suo-Motu notice of the situation and formed a five-member bench headed by himself and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel.
Today, the court was expected to hear the arguments of Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan and Naeem Bukhari — the counsel for NA Speaker Asad Qaiser.
However, after all the parties concluded their arguments, CJP Umar Ata Bandial observed that apparently, the ruling of the deputy speaker was wrong.
PPP’s Farooq H. Naek on Monday had requested the apex court to establish a full court for hearing the Suo-Motu notice, which was categorically rejected by the CJP.
During the hearing, Justice Akhtar had questioned the deputy speaker’s constitutional authority to pass such a ruling.
“I don’t think the deputy speaker had the authority to pass such a ruling,” he had said, adding that only the speaker could do so.
Then, during Tuesday’s hearing, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani had presented his arguments.
Referring to the actions of the deputy speaker, Raza Rabbani said that Qasim Suri’s decision was based on ‘dishonesty.’
“Whatever has happened can only be termed as civilian martial law,” Raza Rabbani said.
During yesterday’s hearing, PTI’s lawyer Babar Awan as well as Senator Ali Zafar, representing President Dr Arif Alvi, had argued before the Supreme Court.
Sunday’s Suo-Motu hearing
After a brief hearing on Sunday, a written order was issued which said the court would like to “examine whether such an action (dismissal of the no-trust motion based on Article 5) is protected by the ouster (removal from the court’s jurisdiction) contained in Article 69 of the Constitution.”
Later, the SC restrained state institutions from taking any extra-constitutional steps and directed them to act strictly as per the Constitution, besides asking all political forces of the country to remain peaceful.
Further, Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan said that whatever decision was given by the Supreme Court of Pakistan concerning a ruling by Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri against the no-trust move would be implemented.
Dismissal of No-trust motion
The series of events began escalating after Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Qasim Suri rejected the no-trust motion submitted by the joint opposition, citing it to be “unconstitutional” and contrary to Article 5 of the Consitution of Pakistan.
After the short session of the national assembly which was convened to vote on the no-trust motion and witnessed its rejection instead, Prime Minister Imran Khan held a televised address to the nation.
During the address, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that he had advised President Dr Arif Alvi to dissolve the national assemblies and call early elections.
Prime Minister also congratulated the nation for the no-trust motion being dismissed, saying the deputy speaker had “rejected the attempt of changing the regime [and] the foreign conspiracy”.
Dissolution of NA
Within minutes after PM’s address, the President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi approved the dissolution of the National Assembly.
The news was confirmed in a press release issued by President’s Secretariat.
“President Dr Arif Alvi approved the Prime Minister’s advice to dissolve the National Assembly. The President gave his approval under Articles (1) 58 and (1) 48 of the Constitution,” the press release said.
Later in the evening, the Cabinet Division issued a notification, declaring that Imran Khan ceased to hold the prime minister’s office with immediate effect. “Consequent upon dissolution of the National Assembly by the president of Pakistan, in terms of Article 58(1) read with Article 48(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan… Mr Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi ceases to hold the office of the prime minister of Pakistan, with immediate effect,” it read.
However, later, the president issued a notification allowing him to continue as the prime minister:
“Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi shall continue as Prime Minister till the appointment of caretaker Prime Minister under Article 224 A (4) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”