Yousaf Raza Gillani files appeal to get Chairman Senate removed

The appeal received at the Registrar Office of the IHC pleads to declare a single bench’s decision as null and void. The appeal seeks the court to abrogate the presiding officer’s decision of rejecting seven votes polled in favor of the petitioner in the Senate chairman’s election.

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Senator Yousaf Raza Gillani has filed an appeal in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the court’s decision on the election of the Senate chairman. Gillani, a former prime minister of Pakistan, has filed an intra court appeal in the high court against the decision of a single bench over the Senate chairman election.

The appeal received at the Registrar Office of the IHC, pleads to declare single bench’s decision as null and void. The appeal seeks the court to abrogate the presiding officer’s decision of rejecting seven votes polled in favour of the petitioner in the Senate chairman’s election.

Senator Gillani moved the petition through his counsel Farooq H Naek seeking immediate suspension of the decision of the presiding officer. The Presiding Officer, Secretary Senate, Sadiq Sanjrani, and Secretaries of Law, Parliamentary Affairs have been made party in the appeal.

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The IHC had dismissed an early petition by former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani challenging the results of the Senate chairman election, noting that proceedings of the upper house of parliament were immune from the interference of the high court.

Can parliament’s proceedings be challenged in Court?

Senator Mohsin Aziz of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), who was polling agent of Sadiq Sanjrani in the election of Senate chairman, said in a TV program that according to Rules of Procedure & Conduct of Business in Senate 2012, the proceedings of the Senate and National Assembly could not be challenged in the court of law.

He rejected the opposition’s contention that seven votes cast in favor of PDM candidate Yousuf Raza Gilani were illegally rejected and said the opposition members had intentionally wasted their votes. “They wasted their votes either under pressure or any commitment as they were not ready to vote for PDM,” he claimed, adding that these seven voters of the PDM came up openly in favor of the government’s candidate for the slot of deputy chairman.

Former Secretary Election Commissioner Kanwar Dilshad appeared on GEO News and argued that the proceedings in this specific case can be challenged in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. “I think the votes should have not been rejected,” he opined.

According to the latest reports, a plea will be filed with the Islamabad High Court (IHC) today by Farooq H Naek soon after acquiring the documents regarding votes rejection during the Senate chairman slot election. The PDM has stated in its plea that a stamp on the name of the candidate, cannot lead to rejection of the vote. Seven votes cast in Gilani’s favor were deliberately rejected by the Presiding Officer Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah. Gilani will be declared the winner if the rejected votes were counted, the plea say.

Interestingly, the IHC on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by PTI’s Ali Awan challenging the Senate victory of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. “You are a good and respectable public representative, why have you brought such a petition,” IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, adding that “this writ petition is not admissible on this occasion.” “It is not appropriate to bring political issues to the court unnecessarily,” the judge said.

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There is an argument that judicialization of parliamentary affairs likely to leads towards centralization of power which ultimately challenges the supremacy of the parliament. Hence, some commentators believe, the court is unlikely to issue any verdict in this case even if it is approached. Some insiders are also of the view that PPP’s several leaders are not in favor of going to the court for this matter. “It would be better to approach ECP, but not the court for a review of the electoral process,” some PPP leaders reportedly told Bilawal.