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HomePakistanSC wraps up presidential reference on Article 63(A); verdict today

SC wraps up presidential reference on Article 63(A); verdict today


The Supreme Court Tuesday wrapped up hearing the presidential reference seeking interpretation of Article 63(A) of the constitution and will announce the verdict today evening at 5:30pm.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial had indicated concluding the case on Tuesday at yesterday’s hearing.
“The court wants to make a decision on the case soon,” the top judge had remarked while rejecting Attorney-General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf and PML-N’s request for extension.
A five-member larger bench, headed by CJP Bandial, and comprising Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, concluded hearing the case.
During today’s hearing, despite CJP Bandial’s denial of further extension, PML-N’s lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan submitted a written request for more time for the submission of arguments.
The lawyer maintained that the circumstances have changed now and therefore, he should be allowed more time to take new instructions from the client.
While starting his arguments, AGP Ausaf said that the court is looking into the presidential reference as an advisory authority and he would assist the court in line with the reference and legal questions.
He maintained that article 63(A) is a complete code.
“It has to be seen that if anything else needs to be added to the Article or not, and whether the dissidents’ vote can be counted,” the AGP stated.
The reference
Former PTI-led government had decided to approach the SC for clarity on Article 63(A) as several PTI lawmakers announced to vote on the no-trust motion against then prime minister Imran Khan, in a violation of the party policy.
In the reference, the government sought the apex court’s opinion on two interpretations of Article 63(A) and which one should be adopted and implemented to achieve the constitutional objective of curbing the menace of defections, purification of the electoral process, and democratic accountability.
The reference stated if the constitutional disapproval and prohibition against defection was effectively enforced with deterrence for the future as well, many such members would stand disqualified for life under Article 62(1)(f) and would never be able to pollute democratic streams.

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