Tuesday July 26, 2022

SC Reserves Verdict On Deputy Speaker Ruling On CM Punjab Election

Lahore: Supreme Court Of Pakistan on Tuesday reserved the verdict on deputy speaker Punjab Assembly (PA) ruling on CM Punjab election held on July 22.

The SC three-member bench will announce the verdict at 5:45 pm.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial comprising Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Aijaz Ul Ahsan resumed the hearing today of the Speaker PA Pervez Elahi petition challenging Deputy Speaker PA Dost Mazari ruling on Chief Minister Punjab Election.

Yesterday, the SC rejected the government and coalition partners, CM Punjab’s petition seeking the formation of a full court for hearing the case of the Punjab chief minister’s election.

During course of the hearing, Chief Justice Umart Atta Bandial remarked that the formation of a full court for the case tantamount to unnecessary delay in the case and if a full court would have established then the matter goes out to current year September.

The honourable CJ observed that we were not apprised on which law we make a full court adding that it is the matter of the Chief Executive of the province and we can’t delay in the verdict

Qadir told the bench that his client had told him to not be a part of the proceedings as a country-wide boycott of the judiciary is being observed.

Qadir told the SC that he would challenge the apex court’s decision relating to the full court — wherein the top court decided to not form a full bench to hear the case.

Following Qadir, PPP lawyer Farooq H Naek came to the rostrum and informed the CJP that he would not be part of the proceedings.

At this, the CJ told him that he “is not a party in the case”.

Then the CJ called Pervez Elahi counsel Ali Zafar on Rostrum.

The top court sought assistance on the matter relating to directions by the party head or a parliamentary party.

“Assist the court over the legal questions or we will set ourselves aside from the bench,” CJP Bandial told Barrister Ali Zafar, the counsel of Elahi.

“People sitting on my right side have unanimously decided to boycott the proceedings of the court,” he said, adding that thankfully, they have enough grace to sit in court to hear the proceedings.

Giving his arguments in the case, Zafar said that the petitions against the 21st Amendment were dismissed by a ratio of 13:4 in a full court.

However, many judges gave different reasons for dismissing the petitions, he added.

Zafar told the court that the constitution mentions that the parliamentary party will give directions to the lawmakers about voting.

At this, the CJP questioned whether the party head and parliamentary party were two separate entities.

Additional Attorney-General (AAG) Amir Rehman then came to the rostrum and said he wanted to present a few suggestions before the court.

“Has the federal government decided to separate itself from the coalition government?” the CJP asked.

The AAG told the top judge that he will assist the court under Article 27.

At this, the CJP extended an open invitation to assist the court to reach a fair and just decision in the high-profile case.

The court then went on a break for an hour and said that the hearing will resume at 2:30pm.

After the hearing resumed, the former advocate-general of Punjab, Ahmed Owais, came to the rostrum.

“I want to inform the Supreme Court of a few things. For three months, the matter of the chief minister is under discussion. Let me tell the court that Q-league members were aware whom they had to vote for,” Owais said.

He urged the court to review the events that took place not only during the election but also before it.

Moving on, Zafar, while referring to the verdict in former PTI lawmaker Ayesha Gulalai’s case, said that the court had set the procedure for the directions of the party head.

At this, Justice Ahsan remarked that the court, in that case, had delivered its verdict against Zafar’s client.

The lawyer said that the verdict, in that case, was against his client but in accordance with the Constitution.

“Is it written in the Ayesha Gulalai case that who will give directions?” asked the CJP.

It is declared in the case that the party head or a person nominated by them can file a disqualification reference, replied the lawyer.

The CJP then said that the authority is transferred through the party head and there is no doubt that the head’s office plays an important role, but at the same time, the parliamentary party gives directions for voting.

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