Top Court bars state institutions from taking ‘extra-constitutional’ steps

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Adjourns hearing on ‘constitutional crisis’ till today; Notice issued to AGP over NA speaker’s ruling

The Supreme Court on Sunday barred all state institutions from taking any ‘extra-constitutional’ steps in the wake of the dismissal of the no-confidence vote in the National Assembly against Prime Minister Imran Khan and the subsequent approval of the president to dissolve the assembly at the advice of the premier.

A three judge bench of the apex court led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar heard the matter.

CJP Bandial observed that public order must be maintained and no state functionary shall take any ‘extra-constitutional’ step in the prevailing political situation.

The top court, after issuing notices to the Attorney General Pakistan and others on the matter, adjourned the hearing till Monday (tomorrow). The apex court also directed the AGP to determine the constitutionality of NA speaker’s ruling.

Earlier, CJP Bandial arrived at the apex court, which was especially opened on a Sunday in light of the day’s unusual turn of events. The leaders of the joint opposition as well as PTI’s ministers also arrived at the SC. The opposition has dismissed the ruling party’s actions as unconstitutional.

The petition filed by the opposition maintained that it is “most respectfully prayed that the act of the Deputy Speaker by proroguing the Session of Parliament on the vote of No Confidence Motion may be held to be in violation of fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan and against Article 66, 95, 17(2) and other enabling provisions and this act and all consequences thereafter may be set aside by declaring the same illegal, ultra vires to the Constitution and consequently the Speaker/ Deputy Speaker National Assembly may be directed to conduct the vote count on No Confidence Motion of the members present in the National Assembly on the floor of the house and declared the result of the No Confidence Motion.

“It is further prayed that the respondents may be directed not to interfere with the vote count and smooth voting on the resolution of No Confidence of the Prime Minister as per the Agenda today.

“It is also prayed that the Respondents and other delinquent persons involved in abrogating and subverting the Constitution may also very graciously be tried with and dealt strictly with in accordance with the law.

“Any other direction or relief which this Honorable Court deems fit and proper in the vindication of grievance aforesaid.”

 

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