The resolution rejecting the decision made by a three-member bench of the Supreme Court in the Punjab elections delay case was passed by the National Assembly on Thursday.
The apex court had quashed the decision made by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to delay the elections in the province from April 30 to October 8, ruling it to be unconstitutional, without lawful authority or jurisdiction, void ab-initio, and of no legal effect on April 4.
Yesterday, during a cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister referred to the decision as a “mockery of the Constitution and law” and stated that it cannot be enforced.
Today, the same sentiment was echoed in the National Assembly, which not only passed a resolution against the April 4 ruling of the Supreme Court but also urged the Prime Minister not to comply with it.
The National Assembly’s decision rejects the Supreme Court’s ruling. The apex court had invalidated the ECP’s decision and declared it null and void on constitutional grounds.
The Prime Minister had also expressed his disagreement with the ruling during a cabinet meeting, referring to it as a mockery of the Constitution and the law. The National Assembly, therefore, passed a resolution against the decision and urged the Prime Minister not to abide by it.
During a session in the house, Balochistan Awami Party legislator Khalid Magsi moved the resolution and read it out on the floor of the house.
Magsi stated that the resolution rejects the decision made by the three-member bench and binds the Prime Minister and the cabinet not to implement the unconstitutional and unlawful decision.
Magsi’s statement regarding the resolution was read out loud and clear in the house for everyone to hear. He specifically mentioned that the resolution rejects the minority decision made by the three-member bench and strictly advises the Prime Minister and the cabinet to refrain from executing the unconstitutional and unlawful decision.
During a National Assembly session, lawmakers referred to an earlier resolution passed on March 28. The previous resolution demanded the implementation of the majority decision made by four Supreme Court judges and urged the top court to refrain from intervening in the country’s political and administrative affairs.
The current resolution expressed disappointment that the previous resolution had not been accepted, as the stance of all political parties except one was ignored.
The current resolution rejected the minority decision made by the three-member bench and declared that the decision of the majority bench is in force in accordance with the Constitution and law.
The resolution also endorsed the verdict issued by the Justice Qazi Faez Isa-led bench regarding the postponement of cases filed under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution until amendments were made to Supreme Court Rules 1980 regarding the CJP’s discretionary powers to form benches.
However, the resolution expressed deep concern over the SC registrar’s circular disregarding the order and viewed the move to stop the implementation of the decision through an executive circular as unacceptable.
Furthermore, the resolution commented on the larger SC bench’s decision to override Justice Isa’s order, expressing reservations over the fixing of this matter before a controversial bench for hearing in haste and issuing an immediate ruling in it within a few minutes.
The resolution stated that such an act was against the traditions and precedents of the Supreme Court and was therefore unacceptable.
Before the resolution was brought, lawmakers took turns criticizing the Supreme Court and PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
Mazari Stated In NA’s Session
PPP MNA and Federal Minister for Benazir Income Support Programme, Shazia Marri, stated that the House honors the courts but they should also understand the trichotomy of power.
She emphasized that every institution needs to be paid a certain amount of respect and that the Constitution defines the role of all institutions in the country.
Marri stressed that the Constitution must be upheld and not the ego of one person. She further added that there must be a separation between the executive and the judiciary, and both institutions should not interfere in each other’s matters.
Additionally, she referred to a film while describing Imran as the “Manchurian candidate,” insinuating that he would do anything to gain power, even if it meant resorting to extreme measures such as advocating for the use of an atom bomb to annihilate Pakistan.
Furthermore, she expressed her disdain for Imran Khan by referring to him as a “narcissist,” indicating that he was overly preoccupied with his own self-importance.
PM Shahbaz say govt to accept decision of full bench
During a ceremony inaugurating a new lawyers’ complex in Islamabad, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif spoke about the ongoing debate regarding the delay of elections.
He emphasized that the government would ultimately accept the decision made by the full bench, but also noted that the top court and judges must adhere to the same rules they make for others.
PM Shehbaz explained that the elections delay case had initially been heard by a nine-member bench, but was later reduced to a three-member bench after judges recused themselves.
He expressed concern about the conflicting “4-3 and 3-2” verdicts that had resulted from the case, and wondered whether the demand for a full court to hear the case would have prevented disputes about the outcome.
As a “layman,” the prime minister sought to convey to the lawyers in attendance that no political party could evade elections, as doing so would spell the end of their political future.
He also criticized the dismissal of verdicts issued by the Justice Isa-led bench regarding the postponement of cases filed under Article 184 (3), and expressed disappointment that political parties’ pleas to be included in the elections case had been ignored.
PM Shehbaz called on all stakeholders to consider the greater good of Pakistan and future generations, rather than engaging in personal fights that could lead the country to a point of no return.
In contrast, PTI Chairman Imran Khan accused the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government of seeking any means possible to avoid elections.
He cited the introduction of an unconstitutional bill on SC and a NA resolution against the judiciary as evidence of their intentions. Imran also claimed that the government had scheduled a meeting of the National Security Committee to use security as a pretext for postponing the elections, which he argued would not only pit the armed forces against the judiciary, but also against the nation.