Islamabad: A larger bench of five judges of the apex court resumed hearing on Monday into the Suo-Motu notice by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial of the current political and constitutional crises raised following the ruling out decision of the no-trust motion by Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Qasim Suri and the subsequent dissolution of the national assembly by President of Pakistan on the advice of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Following Sunday’s developments, CJP had taken Suo-Motu notice of the situation and formed a three-member bench headed by CJP Bandial, comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, to take up the matter.
However, later, the Supreme Court formed a five-member larger bench headed by the CJP and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel.
At the outset of today’s hearing, CJP Umar Ata Bandial said, “We want to listen to the complainants first. He stated that if anybody wants to give a statement, he can submit it.
At this PTI counsel, Babar Awan approached the rostrum and apprised the bench that the attorney general had assured the court that no lawmaker will be barred from entering the assembly.
“PM Imran Khan has allowed me to apprise the court that we are ready to hold elections in the country,” he said.
At this, the CJP stopped him from issuing political statements.
From the opposition’s side, Farooq H. Naek requested the apex court to form a full court to hear the case.
Responding to this, CJP said, “If there is a lack of confidence in any of the judges, the bench will rise.”
CJP Umar Ata Bandial said that one full court bench caused a backlog of one million cases and asked the reason to do so.
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.”
more to follow…