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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Refrain from long speeches; court tells PTI counsel

Referring to the alleged horse-trading, Babar Awan questioned the court's silence regarding what had occurred in Sindh house and Lahore Avari Express. He added, "No one said a word about article 63A."

As the Supreme Court hearing resumed on Wednesday, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, said that the apex court would try to conclude the suo moto case today. On the events of 03 April, the dismissal of the no-trust motion in the National Assembly, and the subsequent dissolution of the assembly, the Supreme Court of Pakistan took a suo moto notice. Shortly after the court took the suo moto notice, the Chief Justice said that all decisions carried out after the dismissal of the vote of no confidence would be subject to the court’s inquiry.

At the outset of today’s hearing, the courtroom was packed with journalists and politicians alike. Representing PTI, lawyer Babar Awan took the rostrum during the court’s hearing. The PTI lawyer pointed out that many political parties which were members of the parliaments had not been made respondents. He added that Mutahida Qaumi Movement Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), Jamaat-i-Islam (JI), Balochistan Awami Party, and Rah-i-Haq, all of which were members of the parliament had not been made respondents.

Read More: Pakistan’s top court to hear arguments on constitutional crisis

Referring to the alleged horse-trading, Babar Awan questioned the court’s silence regarding what had occurred in Sindh house and Lahore Avari Express. He added, “No one said a word about article 63A.” The Supreme Court, which took a suo moto notice of the 03 April National Assembly proceedings, had turned a blind eye to the alleged horse-trading fiasco ahead of the vote on the no-confidence motion.

During the hearing, Justice Bandial questioned the PTI lawyer about whether the speaker could issue a ruling on an issue that was not stated in the session’s agenda. He further asked whether the speaker could “issue a ruling without facts” and requested the counsel to defend his case with solid evidence. The Chief Justice noted that the ruling was based on accusations, and nothing of the sort had been proven as of yet. The court further inquired, “where are the minutes of the meeting.” Justice Jamal added that “there is no doubt that one must be loyal to the state” but questioned, “what action could be taken against someone who was disloyal to it.” The court also requested the PTI counsel to refrain from giving long-winded speeches.

Read More: MNA’s allowed to vote: Supreme Court Bar

Prior to this, the court listened to the arguments presented by the opposition’s lawyers on Tuesday. After the session, the court ensured that it would not interfere in the matter of state and foreign policy. During the court session on Tuesday, PPP counsel Raza Rabbani argued that it was the opposition’s constitutional right to present a resolution of no-confidence against a sitting Prime Minister, further adding that once the resolution had been submitted, only the Prime Minister’s resignation could stop the motion. The counsel described the recent prorogation and dissolution of the national assembly as a “civilian coup in hybrid system”.

The opposition’s lawyer also requested the court to summon the diplomatic cable -foreign funded conspiracy letter– and the minutes of the National Security Council meeting before it. “The court should strike down the speaker’s ruling and restore the National Assembly,” he added. Following the dissolution of the National Assembly and dismissal of the no-trust motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial took notice of the prevailing situation and ordered a suo moto notice.

Read More: Didn’t receive any letter from President Alvi on interim PM: Shehbaz Sharif

Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial said that “any orders and actions that Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi regarding the dissolution of the National Assembly shall be subject to the order of this court.” A five-member bench took up the matter, and the case is currently under review. The Chief Justice has ensured both parties that the court would issue a “reasonable order.”