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Hearing regarding dismissal of no-confidence motion adjourned till Tuesday afternoon

Justice Bandial says that the top court will issue a "reasonable order"
Published 04 Apr, 2022 07:36pm
Supreme Court of Pakistan. File photo
Supreme Court of Pakistan. File photo

The Supreme Court (SC) has adjourned the hearing regarding the National Assembly's ruling of rejecting a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi dissolving the lower house till Tuesday.

A five-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial, and comprising Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Jamal Mandokhel and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel heard the case today.

During the hearing, Justice Bandial had said that the top court would issue a "reasonable order" today. The opposition and the government's legal teams were also present at the top court.

As the hearing commenced, Babar Awan appeared before the five-member bench and said that he was representing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). However, the hearing was then adjourned till Tuesday.

On Sunday, the CJP said that all actions initiated by Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Dr Arif Alvi regarding the dissolution of the National Assembly (NA) will be subject to the court's order.

Forming a five-member bench to hear the case, Justice Bandial barred state institutions from taking any 'extra-constitutional' measures amid the prevailing situation following the dismissal of the no-confidence vote in the NA against the prime minister, and the dissolution of the assembly.

The apex court, after issuing notice to the Attorney General Pakistan and others on the matter, adjourned the hearing till Monday (today). The top court also directed the AGP to determine the constitutionality of the NA speaker’s ruling.

Earlier, the CJP called SC judges to his residence for consultation on the situation.

According to the constitution, the prime minister cannot ask for the assembly to be dissolved while he is facing a no-confidence vote.

Farooq H Naek, a lawyer representing petitioners seeking to overturn the assembly dissolution, in today's hearing told the supreme court it wasn't in the "power and ambit" of the deputy speaker to reject the no-confidence motion.

"It was a constitutional irregularity coupled with 'mala fide'," he said, a legal term meaning "bad faith".

The opposition had expected to take power on Sunday after mustering enough votes to oust Khan, but the deputy speaker -- a member of the Imran Khan's party -- refused to allow the motion to proceed because of alleged "foreign interference".

An alliance of usually feuding dynastic parties had plotted for weeks to unravel the tenuous coalition that made Khan premier in 2018, but he claimed they went too far by colluding with the United States for "regime change".

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