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Supreme court turns down petition seeking presidential form of govt

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial upheld the objections on petition raised by the Registrar Office of the court.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition as non-maintainable, which was seeking the court’s order for the presidential form of government in the country.

“There is no clause in the constitution, which mandates the Supreme court to issue instructions to the prime minister for holding a referendum for the presidential form of government,” the court said.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial upheld the objections on petition raised by the Registrar Office of the court.

Earlier, the Supreme court court heard an appeal against the objections raised by the court’s registrar office.

“It is a political question, how the court could intervene in it,” Justice Mansoor Ali Shah questioned. “If someone has raised question or demanded in the parliament on the presidential form of government,” Justice Shah asked.

“How can a single person demands for changing the parliamentary system of governance,” Justice Muneeb Akhtar asked. “It is prime minister’s discretion to refer the matter for referendum on the issue to the joint sitting of the parliament,” the court observed.

“Still the matter will be decided by the parliament,” Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked.

“The parliament is currently dysfunctional,” petitioner Ahmed Raza Kasuri said. “I am a founder of the 1973’s Constitution,” Kasuri said. “Did you sign for the parliamentary system in the constitution,” Supreme court questioned. “Neither I voted nor signed on the constitution,” Kasuri replied. “Then you could not claim to be a founder of the constitution,” Justice Akhtar said.

A three-member bench comprising Justice Umar Atta Bandial, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Muneeb Akhtar heard petitions.

Four petitioners — Sahibzada Ahmed Raza Khan Kasuri, Dr Sadiq Ali, Tahir Aziz Khan and Hafeez-ur-Rehman Chaudhry — had filed identical constitutional petitions under Article 184(3) of the Constitution in the Supreme Court for presidential form of government in the country.

They prayed the Supreme court, being the custodian of the rights of people and the Constitution, may direct the prime minister of Pakistan to hold a referendum under Article 48(6) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in order to ascertain and determine the will of the people of Pakistan.

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