Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that the lawmakers are bound to follow the policy of the political party they are affiliated with, adding that the real question was how long a dissident MNA could be disqualified for.
A five-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail heard the presidential reference which sought an interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution which deals with the disqualification of the parliamentarians over defection.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial said it is insulting for lawmakers if they are not allowed to cast their vote as the process regarding Article 63-A is very clear, adding that Article 63(A) is a “discipline of the emerging political system.”
The CJP also observed that not counting a vote that has been cast during the no-trust proceedings against the prime minister would be “contemptuous”, adding that the real question was how long a dissident MNA could be disqualified for.
Notices for the hearing were issued to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s lawyer Ali Zafar, PPP’s lawyer Farooq H Naek, PML-N’s lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s lawyer Kamran Murtaza, as well as the advocate general for Sindh, Islamabad inspector general of police, interior secretary and president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), among others.
Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan had submitted the reference seeking the SC’s opinion on Article 63-A of the Constitution on March 21.