ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Wednesday said that the provincial assemblies have the powers to legislate and it was the court’s responsibility to evaluate that the laws were made in accordance with the Constitution.
Heading a three-member bench which is hearing a constitutional petition moved by Zameer Hussain Ghumro over the Sindh Peoples Local Government Act, the Chief Justice drew attention of the petitioner’s counsel towards the challenge thrown to legislation saying that the issue brought before the court pertained to the Act and not the Ordinance.
The counsel argued that the Act was ultra vires to the Constitution and should be declared as void.
To a bench’s query of a precedent where the court had declared similar legislation as unconstitutional, the counsel referred to annulled National Reconciliation Ordinance, which was declared as non-est by the apex Court during 2009.
The Chief Justice told him that a two-month timeframe was granted for undoing the piece of unlawful legislation and when it was not approved by the Parliament, ultimately discarding it, the court then declared it as void.
The Chief Justice told the counsel that the court was not concerned with what was going inside an assembly.
The Additional Prosecutor General Sindh also apprised the court that Sindh Advocate General Abdul Fatah Malik could not turn up since he was appearing before a bench in Karachi Registry Branch in law and order case.
The bench adjourned further hearing till February 12.