ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has issued a detailed judgment explaining the reasons for its decision to overturn a controversial decision by the Speaker of the National Assembly on April 3 which rejected the motion of no confidence against then Prime Minister Imran Khan .
In the verdict written by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, the Chief Justice said that by rejecting the motion of no confidence against Imran Khan, Mr Suri prima facie breached his constitutional duty. Judge Bandial said the April 3 decision was not eligible for protection of parliament’s internal proceedings under Rule 69(1) because it was “not the result of a vote in the ‘National Assembly, but rather a unilateral decision’.
Justice Bandial observed that the Vice President’s controversial action set off a chain of events, the most concerning aspect of which was that it allowed the then Prime Minister to claim the constitutionally repugnant outcome of avoid the motion of censure without a vote of the assembly.
The court’s top priority was the maintenance of constitutional order which could only be achieved if the assembly was restored, Justice Bandial added.
Judge Bandial says text of cipher not shown in court, contents only ‘partially disclosed’
Figure not shown in court
Justice Bandial, while referring to the cipher used by Mr. Suri to dismiss the petition against Imran Khan, explained that the text of the cipher was not shown to the Supreme Court, although its contents were partially disclosed in the detailed reasons given in support of the vice-president’s decision.
The detailed reasons in addition to the April 2 cabinet decision acknowledged the need for an investigation to establish alleged collusion between the opposition and a foreign state.
“Such an inquiry into the facts may, in the first instance, be conducted either by a commission appointed by the Federal Government under the 2017 Act or by a specialized commission appointed by an Act of Parliament or a order”, observed Judge Bandial.
The PTI’s plea that the supreme court should take suo motu the defense of national security and the alleged violation of sovereignty was unprecedented, the decision explained.
Additionally, opposition members who tabled the notice were allowed to bring the motion against the then prime minister on March 28, crystallizing the constitutional right and obligation of a vote under the 95(2) on the motion.
This right/duty can only be overridden or restricted by a vote on the floor of the assembly, the ruling said, adding, “As the Vice President’s ruling unilaterally denied the right to vote afforded by the constitution , no immunity under section 69(1)( ) attaches to it and it may be reviewed by the court.
Meanwhile, Justice Mazahar Alam Khan Miankhel, who retired on July 13, in his supplementary note observed that the exercise of authority was a sacred trust that was violated by the president and then the prime minister. , the then president, the then vice president and the then law. minister.
“Whether these acts attract Article 6 of the Constitution (high treason) is also left to be determined by parliamentarians to consider whether they leave the doors open to such unconstitutional acts or take appropriate action. to stop such mess in the future,” Justice suggested Miankhel.
The people’s elected representatives were barred from voting on the resolution and for such a flagrant transgression of the Constitution, there must be consequences and the law must take its course, Justice Miankhel added.
“Doctrine of Necessity”
Judge Jamal Khan Mandokhel, in his memorandum, observed that the Vice President’s action was biased, on the grounds that if he were allowed to call new elections, it would amount to giving an authority the right to abuse the extraordinary power of the doctrine of necessity.
This country has already experienced many times misuse of the doctrine of necessity by the hands of unconstitutional forces, which has been legitimized by the supreme court, but it has not achieved the expected results, he added. .
On the contrary, democracy has suffered greatly because of the misuse of the doctrine of necessity, observed Judge Mandokhel. He added that the courts must discourage any action contrary to the constitution and democratic norms.
Posted in Dawn, July 14, 2022