Pak SC declares Deputy Speaker ruling unconstitutional; Khan to face no-trust vote on Saturday
Islamabad, Apr 7: In a major setback to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, the country's Supreme Court on Thursday set aside the rejection of the no-confidence motion moved by the Opposition against his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in the National Assembly.
A bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared the Deputy Speaker's ruling on the no-confidence vote unconstitutional in a unanimous judgment, Samaa TV reported as per news agency ANI. The court set aside the ruling and the steps taken after it including the dissolution of the National Assembly, the report said.
According to Geo News, Pakistan Supreme Court said the Prime Minister was bound by Constitution and "therefore, he could not advise the president to dissolve assemblies".
The court also set aside subsequent steps including the dissolution of the National Assembly and fixed 10 am on April 9 as the date for the no-confidence vote, the local media reported.
The court ordered the speaker of the lower house to call the session of the national assembly on April 9 at 10 am (local time) to organise a no-confidence vote. It ordered the election of the new prime minister if the no-confidence motion succeeded. The bench comprising Justices Ijazul Ahsan, Mohammad Ali Mazhar Miankhel, Munib Akhtar and Jamal Khan Mandokhel also restored Prime Minister Khan, Federal Ministers, Ministers of State, Advisers, etc to their respective offices as on April 3.
Reacting to the court verdict, Law Minister Fawad Chaudhry said there're "loopholes" in the Supreme Court judgement. He said "we" need to start the freedom struggle all over again from March 23, 1940, Samaa News reported.
National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri on Sunday ruled that the no-confidence motion was linked with the "foreign conspiracy" to topple the government and hence was not maintainable. Minutes later, President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly on the advice of Prime Minister Khan.
The prevailing crisis began to unfold after the opposition submitted a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister on March 8. The voting was scheduled to be held on April 3 but the deputy speaker rejected the motion, saying it was part of a "conspiracy" to topple an elected government.