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Imran to face no-trust vote: What happened in Pak Supreme Court through the day as it ruled landmark judgement

Pakistan Supreme Court ordered to reinstate the National Assembly and summon its session on Saturday to hold voting on a no-trust motion moved against Imran Khan. A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, also included Justices Munib Akhtar, Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Ijazul Ahsan and Mazhar Alam Khan, announced the verdict, which was reserved earlier in the day.

Shashwat Bhandari Written by: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: April 07, 2022 23:14 IST
People walks past the Supreme Court where a petition
Image Source : PTI

People walks past the Supreme Court where a petition hearing to dissolve parliament by country's Prime Minister took place in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Highlights

  • Pakistan Supreme Court has ruled that Imran Khan will have to face no-confidence vote on Saturday
  • Supreme Court termed Pakistan's President and Deputy Speaker moves as unconstitutional
  • LoP Shehbaz Sharif, other opposition leaders welcomed SC's verdict

Pakistan Supreme Court on Thursday in a landmark judgement ruled it against caretaker Prime Minister Imran Khan and said he will have to face no-confidence vote on April 9. Pronouncing the order, Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that the National Assembly Deputy Speakers ruling to dismiss the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan and the subsequent dissolution of the Lower House by the President on the PMs advice were contrary to the Constitution and the law of the land. The court ordered to reinstate the National Assembly and summon its session on Saturday to hold voting on a no-trust motion moved against Imran Khan. A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, also included Justices Munib Akhtar, Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Ijazul Ahsan and Mazhar Alam Khan, announced the verdict, which was reserved earlier in the day. 

What happened all day long as Pakistan Supreme Court delivered landmark judgement

  • A 5-member SC bench headed by CJP Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail unanimously voted 5-0 against Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri and President's move.
  • Deputy Speaker's ruling was "contrary to the Constitution and the law and of no legal effect, and the same are hereby set aside".
  • The court also said President Dr Arif Alvi's decision to dissolve the National Assembly was also "contrary to the Constitution and the law and of no legal effect". The apex court noted that the prime minister could not have advised the president to dissolve the assembly as he continues to remain under the bar imposed under clause (1) of Article 58 of the Constitution.
  • Pakistan Supreme Court has restored Imran Khan as Prime Minister and his cabinet in their position. 
  • According to Supreme Court, National Assembly session will reconvene on Saturday April 9 at 10:30 am and no-confidence motion will take place. 
  • The session cannot be prorogued with the completion of no-trust vote. 
  • This order will have no impact on Artilce 63 case proceedings 
  • Soon, after the SC order, Leader of Opposition (LoP) Shehbaz Sharif said that the court had definitely fulfilled the people's expectations. 
  • Before the order was announced, security was beefed up at the Supreme Court premises showing riot police deployed outside  the apex court. 
  • The Supreme Court also summoned Pakistan Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja who arrived with a battery of lawyers. 
  • Media, lawyers, politicians including PML-N's Shehbaz Sharif and PPP's Bilawal Bhutto Zardari were present at the court. 
  • During the hearing, CJP Bandial said that they will have to look at national interest. 
  • During the course of hearing, CJP gave Shehbaz Sharif a chance to speak who said that court should restore the National Assembly and let the no-confidence motion take place. 
  • "In our history, the law has been broken several times. This situation was created because blunders [of the past] weren't identified and rectified. For the sake of God and Pakistan, the court should restore the parliament," Shehbaz requested. "Let us vote for the no-confidence motion."
  • Justice Mandokhail observed that the opposition wanted to conduct elections from day one, inquiring what the issue was now.
  • However, SC asked the opposition that it always demanded new elections so why aren't they were agreeing today?
  • Shehbaz said that the joint opposition would, together, make electoral amendments to ensure transparent elections. 
  • Amid this, Attorney General of Pakistan said that the people of Pakistan wanted a premier (Prime Minister) elected by them and not the assembly.
  • "Would those who overthrew Imran Khan spare Shehbaz Sharif?" he asked.
  • AGP Khan went on to say that if the opposition's election demand was being fulfilled, they should let that happen.
  • PML-N lawyer, however, alleged that the AGP's concluding remarks sounded like a threat.
  • During the arugments, AGP Khan also told court that he would not be able to give details of the recent meeting of the National Security Committee in an open courtroom.
  • AGP contended that prime minister was the biggest stakeholder and does not need to give reasons for dissolving the assembly. 
  • AGP added that no-trust vote was not the fundamental right of a lawmaker.
  • Between the arguments, Justice Mandokhail asked which law state that the Speaker had the power to dismiss the no-confidence motion.
  • Justice Mandokhail pointed out that voting on the no-confidence motion is a constitutional requirement.
  • AGP Khan — who was the last to give his arguments — began by informing the court that he would not be able to give details of the recent meeting of the National Security Committee in an open courtroom. He asserted that the court could issue an order without questioning anyone's loyalty.
  • The Court also asked whether the formation of federal government of the federal govenrnment was an "internal matter" of Parliament.
  • Interim Prime Minister Imran Khan's lawyer Imtiaz Siddiqui pointed out that the judiciary had not interfered in parliamentary proceedings in the past and argued National Assembly proceedings lie beyong judiciary's jurisdiction.
  • Justice Akhtar noted that verdicts referenced concerned observations made by the courts. "The court is not bound by the observations given in the verdicts," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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