Monday Mar 21, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday filed the reference for the interpretation of Article 63A in the Supreme Court.
The reference was filed by Attorney-General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan on behalf of President Arif Alvi.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Ahsan Bhoon, while talking to the media upon arrival at the apex court, said that the reference is non-maintainable.
"The petition filed on Article 63A is not maintainable," Bhoon said.
He said that the Constitution gives the right to appeal, but first an order has to be issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan and then an appeal can be filed.
"Can a crime be punished before it is committed?" he asked.
He said that a democratically elected speaker of the NA can abide by the law.
"Earlier, it was said that an (army) general ruined the Constitution and then tit was said judges did it, but it is the first time that a speaker in Parliament has sabotaged Article 95."
As a lawyer, he believes that the lawyers community is neutral and wants the supremacy of law, the SCBA president concluded.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Sunday had said in a tweet that the reference was "ready" to be filed in the apex court.
"Hopefully the case will put the bizarre trade of buying loyalties and becoming a turncoat in politics to an end forever and the influence of money in politics would be reduced," Umar wrote.
Meanwhile, former law minister and eminent constitutional expert Aitzaz Ahsan said that Article 63A is applicable to a member who votes against his party policy and that without casting a vote, a member of the assembly could not be disqualified.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has alleged the use of massive money for the purchase of conscience and loyalties of members of his party by the opposition for support to its no-confidence motion. However, the opposition has challenged the government to come up with any such evidence.
The prime minister, during his speech at the Rawalpindi Ring Road ground-breaking ceremony, called on the estranged members of the National Assembly, belonging to the ruling PTI, to return.
“I will give them the benefit of the doubt,” he remarked.
PTI’s Secretary General Asad Umar issued show-cause notices to as many as 13 MNAs of PTI (who had publicly announced plans to vote according to the call of their conscience and denied outright the money factor in this connection).
Earlier, the government had decided to approach the SC for interpretation of Article 63(A) as several PTI lawmakers announced to vote on the no-trust motion, in a violation of the party policy.
The decision was taken during a consultative meeting of the PTI’s political committee held with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair on Friday.
The meeting discussed the legal options available to act against the disgruntled lawmakers and counter the Opposition’s move to dislodge the government of Imran Khan.
A couple of days ago, 24 PTI MNAs had moved to the Sindh House out of fear that the government will take action against them similar to the March 10 raid by the police on the Parliament Lodges.
MNA Raja Riaz, who is a member of the Jahangir Tareen group, had told journalist Hamid Mir that the disgruntled members would vote for the no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan in "accordance with their conscience."