Friday, September 22, 2023

The government is considering filing a review of the Supreme Court’s order on Article 63-A

The government is considering filing a review of the Supreme Court’s order on Article 63-A.

ISLAMABAD ( The government plans to approach the Supreme Court for a review of its decision on the interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution, it emerged on Sunday.

The government’s plan to file a revision is doubly interesting as the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had already filed a similar petition against the order.

However, the government is suspicious of the intentions of SCBA’s current president Abid Shahid Zuberi, whose political leanings were “against the current ruling coalition.” Dawn reported on Sunday, citing sources.

The SCBA, which is headed by Mr Zuberi, sees the management as having an opportunity to withdraw the revision request altogether. In that case, the source said, the government would lose the opportunity to present its case and convince the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision.

On 23 June 2022, SCBA submitted a review petition through senior counsel Mansoor Usman Awan.

Now that Mr. Awan has assumed the post of Attorney General of Pakistan, he is unable to present SCBA’s position whenever the issue is discussed. However, if directed, he can support the court.

Since Mr Zuberi was overheard in a conversation posted on social media in February, tensions have apparently risen between him and the federal government.

In the conversation, former Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi was allegedly asking Mr. Zuberi to settle his former colleague’s case before a specific judge of the Supreme Court.

Article 63-A outlines the procedure for disqualifying a legislator who votes against the party line in the Assembly during the election of the Prime Minister or Chief Minister, the vote of confidence or no-confidence and the budget.

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In May 2022, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled on a presidential reference to interpret the article, saying that the votes of dissenting legislators would not be counted.

This decision was instrumental in packing the Hamza Shehbaz-led caretaker government in Punjab, which was formed with the support of 25 anti-PTI legislators who voted in favor of the PMLN leader.

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