The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday will resume the hearing on the dismissal of a no-confidence vote against embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan and the dissolution of Parliament by the president on his advice.
President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly (NA) on Sunday on the advice of Prime Minister Khan, minutes after Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri rejected a no-confidence motion against the premier, who had effectively lost the majority in the 342-member lower house of Parliament.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that all orders and actions initiated by the prime minister and the president regarding the dissolution of the National Assembly will be subject to the court’s order.
On Monday and Tuesday, a larger bench of the apex court – comprising Chief Justice Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail – took up the matter after Deputy Speaker Suri rejected the move to dislodge the prime minister by declaring the no-trust motion unmaintainable due to its link with a so-called foreign conspiracy.
President Alvi, the Supreme Court Bar Association and all political parties have been made respondents in the case.
Lawyers from the government and the Opposition presented their arguments regarding the ruling by the deputy speaker.
During the arguments, Chief Justice Bandial said that even if the Speaker of the National Assembly cites Article 5 of the Constitution, the no-confidence motion cannot be rejected.
If Khan gets a favourable ruling, elections will take place within 90 days. If the court rules against the deputy speaker, Parliament will reconvene and hold the no-confidence vote against Khan, experts said.
Chief Justice Bandial on Monday said the court would issue a ”reasonable order” on the issue that has led to political and constitutional crisis in the country. During the proceedings, Justice Ahsan noted that there were violations in the proceedings of the no-trust resolution.
Justice Bandial observed that a debate before voting on the no-confidence motion had been clearly mentioned in the law but didn’t take place.
The decision of the court would etermine the legality of the presidential order to dissolve the National Assembly.
However, the Opposition parties rejected both the ruling of the deputy speaker and the dissolution of parliament, and not only challenged it in court but also fought tooth and nail outside the Supreme Court.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shehbaz Sharif at a press conference accused Prime Minister Khan of violating the Constitution and imposing a civil-martial law in the country.