ISLAMABAD: The orders of the Constitution are above the National Assembly Rules,” Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial stated this today during the hearing on the joint Opposition’s case over the “unconstitutional” act of the National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri by disallowing the vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Bandial and comprising Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Aijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam, and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel resumed hearing this afternoon.
During the hearing, CJP Bandial also directed NA speaker’s counsel Naeem Bokhari to present the minutes of the crucial NA session held on March 31 to debate on the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
At the outset of the hearing, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani walked to the rostrum to present his arguments.
“This is a civilian coup. A stance was created through an alleged cable which is based on malafide intent,” the Senator said, adding that the no-confidence motion against the prime minister was tabled on March 28 but the NA session was adjourned.
He maintained that Suri gave the ruling without putting the documents before the parliament on Sunday.
He argued that Rule 28 says the deputy speaker cannot give a ruling even if he has the authority.
“Deputy speaker’s ruling is illegal […] no-trust motion cannot be rejected without voting on it,” Rabbani said.
He further stated that the deputy speaker’s ruling doesn’t have constitutional security under Article 69.
“Voting is mandatory within the given duration as per the Constitution”.
PPP’s counsel said that the no-trust motion cannot be rejected under the Constitution.
“It can be dismissed only when if those who submitted it take it back and the speaker can reject it only after voting is held on it.”
Rabbani went on to say that President Arif Alvi didn’t need to file the reference seeking interpretation on Article 63A. Instead, he should have advised the prime minister to go for voting on the motion filed against him.
Rabbani requested the court to seek the minutes of the National Security Committee meeting and the cable.