It is insulting not to count the votes cast on the no-confidence motion Chief Justice - 10bmnews

It is insulting not to count the votes cast on the no-confidence motion Chief Justice

Pakistan’s Chief Justice Omar Ata Bandial has said that not counting the votes cast by a member of the National Assembly against the Prime Minister in connection with the no-confidence motion could be an insult.
It is insulting not to count the votes cast on the no-confidence motion Chief Justice
A five-member bench comprising presidential reference held a hearing on Thursday. (Photo) 


Pakistan’s Chief Justice Omar Ata Bandial has said that not counting the votes cast by a member of the National Assembly against the Prime Minister in connection with the no-confidence motion could be an insult.

However, he added that the question of how long a deviant member of the National Assembly could remain ineligible was also important.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan made these remarks during the hearing of the Presidential Reference seeking the opinion of the Supreme Court on Article 63A of the Constitution.

A five-member bench comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Mian Khel, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel heard the presidential reference on Thursday.

During the hearing, PTI lawyer Ali Zafar, PPP lawyer Farooq H Naik, PML-N lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) lawyer Kamran Murtaza besides Sindh and Islamabad were present in the courtroom. Inspector-General of Police, Federal Secretary Home, and President of Supreme Court Bar Association were present.

During the hearing in the Supreme Court, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel questioned whether the MNA’s vote could be counted in the proceedings before it was de-seated.

He remarked that there was no mention of not counting votes in the 18th Amendment.

On this, Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan said that the members elected for the assembly are bound by party discipline.

Chief Justice Omar Ata Bandial on one occasion said that the spirit of Article 63A cannot be ignored.

He said that it was not the job of the court to fill the vacancies, such issues should be resolved in Parliament instead of through reference.

Chief Justice Omar Ata Bandial said that the court has to look into Article 55 regarding quorum and voting in the National Assembly.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar, a member of the bench, said that the purpose of Article 63A was to prevent deviation from party policies.

He said that the collective opinion of the party goes beyond the individual opinion. The collective opinion is important for the stability of democracy.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar said that one of the interpretations of 63A is that the votes of deviant members of the National Assembly should not be counted.

He added that the constitution empowered the parliamentary party, not the party chief.

Meanwhile, Justice Alam said that no one can be forced to vote.

Justice Mandokhel, however, recalled that members of the Balochistan Assembly had moved a no-confidence motion against their own party’s government.

On which the Attorney General of Pakistan said that both the opposition groups were from Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

He further added that joining hands with the opposition is not a matter of conscience. If (contradictory MNA) is so conscientious, he can resign.

Justice Mandokhel further questioned if any MNA would resign saying that the Member of Assembly has voted in addition to the party.

Meanwhile, the Chief Justice asked how long an MNA can be disqualified and when did this process start?

He also asked the Attorney General to discuss why Parliament could not decide every issue on its own.

In response, the attorney general said, If every MNA works on its own, the system will not work.

Justice Munir Alam said that Article 63A Four is very clear and revocation of a party member would be tantamount to disqualification.

The attorney general argued that clarifying 63A4 was the real issue.

Anyone who deviates and violates the constitution cannot be praised he said. We cannot read what is not written in the constitution. Article 62 (1) (f) states that an MNA must be honest and truthful.

Earlier in the hearing, the Chief Justice directed the provinces to submit their replies with reference to the presidential reference, saying that it would be “easy” to take action once the written reply was entered.

Earlier in the hearing, Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan said that political parties were based on a party system and the court had observed in the past to prevent deviation from party policy.

He said that the court decision had clearly stated that Pakistan would not have been formed if the Muslim League had not functioned as a party, and even if the successful members of the Muslim League had participated in the elections as independents, Pakistan would not have come into being. ۔

He said that Articles 17 and 18 of the Constitution give the right to vote to the common man

However, he also said that he wanted to differentiate between the votes of ordinary citizens and members of the Assembly. On which Justice Ijaz-ul-Hassan said that this matter has also come up in the Senate Election Reference.

The Attorney General said that the rules for voting for ordinary citizens and members of the Assembly are different.

He said that the government members present in the Sindh House in Islamabad had hinted to use the vote in favor of the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

However, he also said that he wanted to differentiate between the votes of ordinary citizens and members of the Assembly. On which Justice Ijaz-ul-Hassan said that this matter has also come up in the Senate Election Reference.

The Attorney General said that the rules for voting for ordinary citizens and members of the Assembly are different.

He said that the government members present in the Sindh House in Islamabad had hinted to use the vote in favor of the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Referring to the 1992 judgment, he said that the Supreme Court had said that if the conscience was troubling then resign.

On this, Chief Justice Omar Ata Bandial said that a lot has happened in the country since 1992.

Attorney General Khalid Javed said that a lot has happened but loyalties have not changed in this way.

He further said that under Article 63A, the members of the National Assembly are bound by the party directives, while in case of election of the Prime Minister and in case of no-confidence, the members are bound to follow the party policy.

On which Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel inquired whether there was any mention of disqualification in Article 63A. On this, Attorney General Khalid Javed said that the heading of Article 63A is related to disqualification.

He said that the procedure for disqualification was clear in the constitution and Articles 62-63-63A of the constitution could not be read separately.

The Attorney General said that the Supreme Court has said in relation to Article 17 (2) that the individual vote has no status, to which the Chief Justice said that understanding your arguments, all this is very important. Article 63A sets out a procedure for deviation, which can have two kinds of consequences, one is constitutional and the other is legal.

Justice Jamal Mandokhel said that if the vote does not belong to the party then the democratic process will collapse. The Attorney General said that the person who wins from any party is the voice of his constituency.

Justice Jamal Mandokhel said that the vote belongs to the Member of Parliament and not to the political party. Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, however, questioned whether members of parliament could cast their votes outside the party line.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked that political parties are like institutions and breach of discipline weakens institutions.

In the event that the partisan division isn’t stuck to, the ideological group will be annihilated.

Khalid Javed Khan said that elections were held on a non-partisan basis in 1985. Muhammad Khan Junejo had to become party president to become the Prime Minister.

The Chief Justice said that the political and legal motives for violating party discipline are different, the political effect is that the member will not get a ticket again while the constitutional point is that he will be disqualified.

Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel said: Aren’t the members of the party (members) accountable to their constituencies? To what extent is party discipline restricted?

Khalid Javed Khan said that if the party is not being listened to then resignation can be done.

Justice Ejaz-ul-Haq said, “When taking the cut, the candidate knows when he cannot vote freely.

On the other hand, the Chief Justice of Pakistan said: “Anyone who jumps into another boat has to wash his hands from the seat.

Justice Jamal Mandokhel asked what could happen if a member left the party on the wrong move of his party.

The attorney general said that if he wanted to leave, he should write two words that he was resigning. They are sinking one boat and sitting on the other. 

Chief Justice of Pakistan said that this means that the consequences of deviation from the party will be borne while Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan said that a new Pandora’s box will be opened for the current government, the current government has a very small majority.

Justice Omar Ata Bandial said that the question is how long the deviant member should be de-seated, while Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan asked: Are you saying that you are disembarking from one boat and sitting in another?

Justice Muneeb Akhtar said: Members have to vote according to the party mandate, members have to follow the party line, full stop, dates it, changing party line is not called good boy bad boy.

Justice Omar Ata Bandial said that Article 63A is a discipline of the emerging political system.

The Attorney General said that the whole political system is based on 63A or Article 95. If 63A or Article 95 is violated then the whole political system will be shaken.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar said that party opinion prevails over individual opinion at the time of voting, the law of deviation has been in existence since day one.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan inquired whether any member has the right to express a verdict against the party. However, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan asked if the government could be overthrown by jumping into another boat.

Justice Ijaz said that most democratic governments are formed by a few votes. Can the first ship being sunk in the second boat?

Justice Muneeb remarked: “If the leaps continue to be made, then normal legislation cannot be enacted.

The attorney general said the issue was not just the 63A sword but the failure of the entire system.

Equity Muneeb said that assuming everybody did as they wished, the ideological group wouldn’t turn into a foundation however a horde.

The Chief Justice inquired whether floor-crossing was allowed in other democratic governments. To which the Attorney General said: In other countries, prices are lower before Christmas. In our country, they double in Ramadan.

Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel said: Do you want to make the party leader the king?

Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel said that there should be an open debate within the party, to which Khalid Javed Khan said that what could be more debated than that they speak in the Sindh House
.
Justice Muneeb Akhtar said that it was clear in 63A that it does not apply to the Speaker or the Chairman. Will the person who is still in the seat have a vote count?

Meetings and sit-ins in Islamabad

The Attorney General told the court that representatives of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazlur Rehman and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had met the district administration of Islamabad in which JUI requested a sit-in on Kashmir Highway.

He said that Kashmir Highway is the main road that leads to the airport, and workers of all parties come to Islamabad only after passing through it.

Justice Ejaz-ul-Hassan said that the purpose of the democratic process is not to affect daily affairs.

On the occasion, JUI lawyer Kamran Murtaza said that his party’s petition contained assurances of abiding by the law and therefore their meeting would be peaceful.

Addressing Kamran Murtaza, the Chief Justice said The government is afraid of you. The Attorney General said that if the JUI remained peaceful, the problem would end.

Meanwhile, on one occasion, Justice Mazhar Jamal Khan Mandokhel expressed regret over the formation of a tiger force by the PTI.

At the same time, he said that JUI members should also take their sticks out of oil

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