The government hailed the Supreme Court’s detailed judgment on Thursday, setting aside former National Assembly deputy speaker Qasim Khan Suri’s ruling during the no-trust move against former premier Imran Khan.
In the verdict, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial stated that “Suri had breached his constitutional duty by dismissing the no-confidence motion.”
Dawn reported that Bandial said, “the April 3 ruling failed to qualify for the protection of the internal proceedings of parliament under Article 69(1) as it was not the outcome of a vote in the national assembly; instead, it was a unilateral decision.” The law states: “The validity of any proceedings in Majlis-i-Shoora (Parliament) shall not be called in question on the ground of any irregularity of procedure.”
“Justice Bandial also observed that the controversial action by the deputy speaker triggered a chain of events, the most concerning aspect of which was that it allowed the then PM to claim the constitutionally repugnant outcome of avoiding the no-trust motion without a vote by the assembly.”
Following the apex court’s detailed verdict, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said in a tweet that the judgment had exposed the “lies and propaganda” of the PTI chief and his government.
Honourable Supreme Court's detailed judgement on Vote of No Confidence exposes the lies & propaganda indulged in by Imran Khan & Co. Utterly shameful how IK tried to undermine the Constitution & manufactured the lie of "regime change". The judgement is a must read for everyone.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) July 14, 2022
“Utterly shameful how Imran Khan tried to undermine the Constitution and manufactured the lie of regime change.” He said the judgment was a “must read” for everyone.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar said, “the court had proven once again that it would always uphold the Constitution and protect the people’s mandate.”
During a presser along with PM’s Adviser on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira in Islamabad, he said that “the SC has declared that the deputy speaker’s ruling was unconstitutional and undemocratic, and based on ill-intention.”
Tarar claimed that the verdict was the “final nail in the coffin” of Imran Khan’s foreign conspiracy narrative, adding that the cipher, used by Suri to dismiss the no-trust vote, was neither shown to the court nor was it discussed in parliament.
Read More: Consequences of Regime change and Imran Khan’s ouster
For his part, Kaira said that “everything that happened on April 3 was a conspiracy against the institutions and the Constitution of Pakistan.”
“We have said this time and again, Imran Khan is a fascist man whose party is bent on spreading hatred and polarisation in the country.”
He claimed that Imran Khan “only wanted to work with people who agreed with what he said while all those who disagreed were termed a traitor.”
On the other hand, a former federal minister and PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the SC had given good decisions in the past, but the judgement on Suri’s ruling is “full of contradictions.”
During a press conference in Lahore, he demanded an investigation into the cipher and said that after an “elected assembly” was instituted, the judgment would be presented and eventually quashed.
He said the current Parliament was “occupied,” adding that it lacked representation from “Pakistan’s biggest political party.”
“But when an elected assembly comes, and the PTI comes [to power] with a two-thirds majority, we will get this judgment quashed by the assembly. This judgment will be presented in parliament, and it will be decided whether Article 6 (which pertains to treason) applies to a violation of Article 69,” the party leader said.
He called on the judges to practice caution and respect the mandate of “Pakistan’s biggest political power” and to let “political decisions be taken in the political arena.”
Read More: Proud of my ruling on No Confidence Motion: Qasim Suri
He further said the military establishment had been making “political decisions.” “Unfortunately, this is Pakistan’s history,” he said, adding that this, however, cannot continue after such a big media revolution.
Fawad Chaudhry also criticised the timing of the judgment, stating that by-polls in Punjab were only two days away. “You held it for four months, could have held it for two more days. But it’s up to you.”
With input from Dawn