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Pakistan Supreme Court reinstates National Assembly, rejects decision to disallowing no-confidence vote

The decision was a big blow to Prime Minister Khan’s alleged theory of “foreign conspiracy” to oust his government, giving a further boost to his opponents who have been accusing the government of unconstitutional actions

Apr 07, 2022
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Pakistan Supreme Court reinstates National Assembly, rejects decision to disallowing no-confidence vote

Asserting the independence of the judiciary;  a five-judge bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously scrapped the National Assembly’s decision  of rejecting the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan without a vote and termed it “contrary to the Constitution”. The court also restored the National Assembly, terming the president's decision to dissolve the house as  “illegal”. 

Ending weeks of political confusion, the court in its landmark judgment also ordered the National Assembly to hold the voting on the no-confidence motion on Saturday.   

“The deputy speaker gave a ruling on April 3. Leave was granted on the no-confiden motion on March 28. The ruling of the speaker is declared unconstitutional,” Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial was quoted as saying by Dawn. 

The decision was a big blow to Prime Minister Khan’s alleged theory of “foreign conspiracy” to oust his government, giving a further boost to his opponents who have been accusing the government of unconstitutional actions. 

The historic judgment, announced by a five-member bench headed by Pakistan Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, also stated the advice of the prime minister, recommending the dissolution of the house, was contrary to Constitution, and “of no legal effect.” 

Although the apex court acknowledged the argument placed by Khan’s counsel, Imtiaz Siddiqui, that the scrutiny of parliamentary proceedings, under Article  69, was beyond the mandate of the judiciary, the Chief Justice said what happened in the National Assembly was “unprecedented.”

“Democracy is the best revenge,” Bilawal Bhutto, the leader of the opposition PPP, reacted to the order in a tweet. Mariyam Nawaz Shariff, vice president of the PML-N, called it a victory of the supremacy of the Consitution. 

On Sunday last week, the deputy speaker of the National Assembly had rejected the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Khan by the opposition parties, who were reportedly commanding enough votes to oust him, accusing them of being disloyal to the country and “conspiring” with “foreign powers.” The court termed the decision "erroneous."

With it, Khan's plan of going in for elections within 90 days seems to have ended. 

(SAM)

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