Following the announcement of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan that his party will file a petition against the NA speaker’s ruling in Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s contempt verdict, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has decided to follow suit.
Not to be outdone by political upstart PTI, PML-N will file a petition to the Supreme Court through party MNA Khawaja Muhammad Asif, according to an official handout.
Asif made Prime Minister Gilani and the Law ministry secretary respondents in the petition.
The main points of the petition stated that the National Assembly Speaker’s ruling was tantamount to subverting the principles of democracy, equality, and the independence of the judiciary. It justifies this by stating that the speaker’s ruling “seeks to sit in judgment upon the verdict of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan”.
The petition questions whether the speaker’s ruling under Article 63 (2) of the Constitution could defeat the judgment of a seven member bench of the SC which had attained finality and whether this ruling “can flagrantly disregard the rights of all citizens”.
In addition, the petition points out that it must be determined if the speaker’s ruling was in direct contravention to the doctrine of separation of powers.
It adds that Dr Fehmida’s decision was a “complete violation of the Constitution” and demands urgent redress under Article 184 (3). The petition further argues that the fundamental right to life, guaranteed by the Constitution, is defined not merely by a physical state but the right to a fulfilling life, including the right to live in a society where the decisions of the SC are enforced.
The PML-N petition, according to the handout, questions whether the right of a fair trial also mandates a corresponding duty to abide by the verdict of a fair trial, which cannot be violated by the NA speaker.
It argues that the ruling cannot be protected under Article 69 of the Constitution “by any legal stretch of imagination”.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2012.
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