Tuesday May 17, 2022

Dissidents MPs Vote Can Not Be Counted: SC Announces Verdict On Presidential Reference

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday ruled that the dissident members of the parliament (MPs) cannot cast their votes against their parliamentary party’s directives.

The SC five member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umart Atta Bandial comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, Justice Munib Akhtar, and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail.

The country’s chief justice had formed a five-member larger bench — selecting a judge from each province.

The court, giving its verdict on the presidential reference seeking the interpretation of Article 63(A) of the constitution, said that the article concerned cannot be interpreted alone.

The Supreme Court wrapped up the hearing of reference filed by President Arif Alvi nearly two months back.

In the majority verdict of 3-2, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Munib Akhtar agreed that dissident members’ votes should not be counted, while Justice Jamal Mandokhail and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel disagreed.

The decision comes after the presidential reference, the hearings for which continued for 58 days since its filing on March 21. The SC had reserved the verdict today afternoon after 20 hearings.

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