Resignation honourable way out for dissident lawmakers, observes SC judge – Pakistan

“The honorable exit for dissidents is to resign and go home,” Justice Munib Akhtar, a five-member judge hearing a presidential recommendation seeking the SC’s interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution, said Friday. “.

He responded to PML-N advisor Makhdoom Ali Khan’s claim that disloyalty to a political party is not the same as disloyalty to the state.

At a hearing earlier this week, Judge Akhtar compared the breakout of parliamentary democracy to the devastation that cancer does to the human body.

The SC’s five-member tribunal, which will hear the President’s comments related to the disqualification of a member of the National Assembly for defection, is chaired by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial of Pakistan Supreme Court and is composed of Justices Akhtar, Ijazul Ahsan, Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Jamal. Khan Mandokyle.

When the hearings resumed today, PTI attorney Ali Zafar went on to argue, saying that the purpose of Section 63-A is to end the horse trade.

“To violate 63-A is to violate the Constitution,” he said. “The votes cast by dissident members will not be counted according to the relevant provisions.

“There is a court decision on the role and importance of parties. Independents and vote holders of political parties become party members. [of the National Assembly] And group 63-A has to do with members of the latter.”

When Justice Asan asked if it meant Zafar was not counting votes under Article 63-A, the lawyer replied that he was saying the same thing in light of judicial interpretation.

The judge saw that counting the votes and opposing it was a separate matter, and asked if the votes of lawmakers would not be counted even without the direction of the party leader.

Zafar replied that the party leader would first issue guidelines for voting, and then a declaration on dissidents.

Justice Mandokhail then repeated Justice Asan’s question about the counting of the ballots when the party leader was not directed, saying that if the ballot was not counted, the provision would not go into effect because the provision would only take effect after the vote was completed. observed to mean has been cast.

He said that under Article 63-A, dissidents could vote, but they would lose their seats later.

Meanwhile, Judge Miankhel added that party leaders can only make declarations after the vote is over, and that party leaders can inform the chairman while the voting is in progress.

Judge Mandokhail pointed out that after the vote, party leaders will first issue a notice of call and seek answers from dissidents.

Justice Mandokyle added, “The party leader may close the show after he is satisfied with the response received.”

Justice Asan asked whether the decision on defection was made by the floor leader or the Speaker of the National Assembly, and what the procedure was.

The parliamentary parties have a constitution and the majority make decisions, Zafar responded.

‘Why can’t the party fight cancer?’

Justice Mandokhail asked why political parties are unable to deal with the “cancer” of North Korean defectors on their own. “If there is a problem with the party, it must be dealt with.”

Addressing PTI’s attorneys, he said that the views of most parties differed from those of PTI. “Do you expect us to leave the majority to agree with you? Only one party opposes dissidents.”

Zafar replied that the Supreme Court had the right to interpret the Constitution.

Presidential References

Ahead of the ouster, the PTI government said, “It has submitted presidential references to the Supreme Court for the interpretation of Article 63(a) on the legal status of party members to exercise their legitimate voting rights when they explicitly engage in horse trade and change their loyalty.” in return for money.”

Presidential nominations were made under section 186 of the Advisory Jurisdiction of the Commission.

In the bibliography, President Arif Alvi also asked whether lawmakers “who engaged in constitutionally prohibited and morally reprehensible acts of defection” could assert their right to vote and their right to an equal share, or whether such Excludes “polluted” votes.

He also asked the court to explain in detail whether a member of the North Korean defector sentenced to life in prison. Unless the horse trade is eliminated, Alvi warned, “true democratic politics will forever remain as far-off dreams and ambitions that remain unfulfilled.”

“Due to the weak interpretation of Article 63-A that does not entail long-term disqualification, such members perpetuate this cancer by first supporting themselves and continuing to be offered to the highest bidder in the next round.”

The reference was submitted when the then opposition party asserted the support of several dissident PTI lawmakers ahead of a vote on a resolution of no confidence in then Prime Minister Imran Khan. In the end, the opposition did not need the votes of dissident lawmakers to sack Khan by bringing the support of allied parties to the government.

However, the dissident’s role was important in electing opposition candidate Hamza Shehbaz as Punjab’s prime minister with 197 votes, including 24 PTI dissidents.

Article 63-A

According to Article 63-A of the Constitution, those who vote or abstain from the House of Representatives against the direction of their party in relation to the National Assembly elections may be disqualified on the ground of defection. Prime Minister or Prime Minister, or Ballot of Confidence or Ballot of No Confidence, or Monetary Measures or Constitutional (Amendment) Measures”.

The article states that the party leader must declare in writing that the MNA has departed, but must “give the party member an opportunity to explain why it cannot make such a declaration” before making the declaration. .

After giving the party members a chance to explain why, the party leader will forward the proclamation to the chairman, who will forward it to the Supreme Election Commission (CEC). The CEC then has 30 days to confirm the declaration. If confirmed by the CEC, the member “will lose the House of Representatives and the seat becomes vacant”.

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