The Supreme Court of Pakistan reserved its verdict on Deputy Speaker’ ruling on CM Punjab re-election held on 22nd July, 2022 in which Hamza Shehbaz was declared victorious. The verdict will be announced this evening. Headed by Umar Ata Bandial (CJP), a three-member bench including Justices Ijazul Ahsan and Munib Akhtar heard the case filed by the PML-Q leader Pervaiz Elahi who contended Hamza Shehbaz in the said election.
In today’s hearing, the counsels of Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari, Irfan Qadir, told the apex court that they were going to file a review petition on court’s decision of not establishing a full bench. He further added that his client had instructed him not to participate in the proceedings. PPP counsel Farooq H. Naek also repeated same lines regarding his client’s viewpoint however both lawyers remained in the courtroom and attended the proceedings.
The ruling coalition had clearly announced yesterday that they were going to boycott the proceedings in protest as the SC had refused to form a full court bench on their request.
No single legal argument was presented in favor of full court bench, Justice Bandial mentioned
During the hearing today, CJ Bandial mentioned that no single legal argument was presented before the court in favor of full bench yesterday. He added that court was adjourned on Farooq Naek’s request who wanted some more time. He asked Mr Naek to stay in the court and watch the proceedings. Justice Bandial added that the whole crisis revolved around a single question that who was authorized of issuing instructions to the party parliamentarians; the party head or the parliamentary head? How could a full-court bench be formed to address this question?, he asked.
The chief justice mentioned that the counsels for all sides were served with proper time to present their arguments. He added that the Punjab was in political crisis and the court wanted to wind up the matter at the earliest whereas the full bench could not be formed until September’s second week.
He then instructed Parvez Elahi’s lawyer, Ali Zafar to provide assistance in the legal matters. Mr Zafar told that the matter was not related to the interpretation of the Article 63-A as it had been interpreted earlier by the court. The case was all about the directions of the party head, he said. He added that the 18th Amendment had clarified about the role of party head that he could take action against the dissident members.
The question was all about mentioning the authority who could instruct the assembly members about casting votes, the court observed
Zafar went on saying that in the judgement regarding the 21st Amendment, then Justice Jawad Khawaja said that Article 63-A coincided with the Constitution as the law stopped the members from voting freely. Ali Zafar said that the parliamentary party and the party leader could not be considered two sides of the same coin and argued that these were “two different things”.
Justice Bandial asked Mr Zafar to assist the court on matter that on whose instruction the vote should be cast? The counsel replied that under the Constitution, parliamentary party was the authority in this regard.
The court reserved the verdict and adjourned the hearing till 5:45 pm today.