PAKISTAN: Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former prime minister, has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the apex court’s April 7 decision on the then-National Assembly speaker’s ruling on the crucial vote of no-confidence.
The Supreme Court struck down then-National Assembly Speaker Qasim Suri’s controversial move to dismiss a no-confidence motion against Mr. Khan, dealing a major blow to the cricketer-turned-politician.
Mr. Suri, a member of Mr. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, dismissed the no-confidence motion against the ex-prime minister on April 3, claiming that it was linked to a “foreign conspiracy” to destabilize the government and thus unconstitutional. Minutes later, on the advice of Mr. Khan, who had effectively lost the majority, President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly.
According to the Express Tribune, Mr. Khan argued in his review petition on Thursday that Article 248 of the Constitution prohibited any other institution from interfering in the affairs of Parliament and that Mr. Suri’s decision to reject the no-confidence motion was in accordance with Article 5.
The review petition, filed by Imtiaz Siddiqui and Chaudhry Faisal Hussain, stated that Article 248 did not make the applicant answerable in court for exercising any constitutional powers. According to the report, it contended that the bench erred in appreciating the provisions of Articles 66, 67, and 69.
“The Supreme Court erred in failing to recognise the mandate of the Constitution, which ensures that Parliament, as well as its members/officers, the President, and the Prime Minister, are not answerable in the exercise of their functions and discretionary powers before any Court,” the petition said.
Furthermore, under the Constitution, their performance of constitutional obligations could not be called into question before any court.
Mr. Khan’s Arguement –
“The entire jurisdiction exercised by the Apex Court’s Honourable Bench is in violation of Article 175 of the Constitution,” the petition claimed.
In his petition, Mr. Khan argued that the Supreme Court order, in the absence of any detailed reasons, was not a judicial determination under Article 184(3) read with Article 189 of the Constitution.
Mr. Khan stated that the then-deputy speaker’s ruling was intended to enforce Article 5 of the Constitution and had nothing to do with the petitioner, who was the country’s chief executive at the time.
In fact, the speaker had certified that there was no no-confidence motion pending against the petitioner, so he recommended that the National Assembly be dissolved.
The Supreme Court’s Honourable Bench erred in failing to recognize that the actions of the house, i.e. the Parliament, are sovereign, independent, and not subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court or any other Court under the Constitution,” according to the petition.
“That the procedures for a no-confidence motion, the election of a new prime minister, has been elaborately provided in the Constitution…therefore, the honorable apex court is not entitled to micro-manage the affairs of parliament,” it claimed, asking for the apex court’s April 7 order to be recalled and sepetition
A party who has been wronged has the right to file a review petition, but the supreme court is unlikely to reverse its decision at this stage unless there are some major flaws.
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(MARCH – APRIL 2022)