Tuesday, November 29, 2022

‘Defecting lawmakers’ votes will not be counted,’ SC ruled on Article 63 (A)

The Supreme Court has issued its decision regarding the interpretation of Article 63 (A), stating that invalid votes would not be counted in the parliament as a result of the decision.

The decision of the  Supreme Court about the interpretation of Article 63  (A) was recently made public. The case in question was referred to the court by the president.

The verdict was reached with a majority vote of 3-2, however, Justices Jamal Mandokhel and Nazeer Alam were on the side that disagreed with the outcome. According to the Chief Justice, the constant shifting of allegiances inside the parliament undermines the legitimacy of democratic processes.

In the ruling, it was stated that the decision on the permanent exclusion from membership of members who had defected was to be decided by the parliament.

The proceedings of the case were concluded earlier today by a five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and consisting of Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Munib Akhtar, and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail. The bench was given the responsibility of deciding the case.

The case was initially heard by a bench consisting of only two members on March 21, but Chief Justice Bandial later expanded the bench to include additional members.

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According to the Chief Justice, Article 63(A) cannot be construed independently of the other provisions in the Constitution; rather, these other articles must be considered alongside it.

As a result of this ruling, the legitimacy of the Punjab government and Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz has been called into serious question. Shehbaz was elected with the votes of PTI members who had defected from the party.

The decision about the defection of PTI members in the Punjab Assembly, however, will be issued tomorrow by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

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