Hearing underway Pakistan Supreme Court, decision on embattled PM Imran Khan's fate likely
Islamabad, Apr 4: Pakistan's Supreme Court will hear on Monday the dismissal of a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan by the deputy speaker and the subsequent dissolution of Parliament by the President on the advice of the embattled premier, a day after taking a suo motu cognizance of the current political situation in the country.
President Arif Alvi had dissolved the National Assembly (NA) on the advice of Prime Minister Khan, minutes after Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri rejected a no-confidence motion against the premier, who had effectively lost the majority in the 342-member lower house of Parliament.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, after taking a suo motu cognizance of the current political situation in the country, said that all orders and actions initiated by the prime minister and the president regarding the dissolution of the National Assembly will be subject to the court's order as he adjourned for one day the hearing of the high-profile case.
A three-member bench held the initial hearing despite the weekend and issued notices to all the respondents, including President Alvi and Deputy Speaker of the NA Suri.
The Supreme Court ordered all parties not to take any "unconstitutional" measures and adjourned the hearing until Monday.
Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the ruling given in the National Assembly by the deputy speaker for the dismissal of the no-trust motion against Prime Minister Khan was "final" and could not be challenged in any court of law.
Talking to the media outside the Supreme Court, the close aide of Khan said that the NA deputy speaker's ruling came after completion of the constitutional process over the no-trust motion.
Earlier, the Opposition had demanded the top court to intervene and Shehbaz Sharif, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, announced his party's decision to challenge the dissolution of the NA.
Ahsan Bhoon, President, Supreme Court Bar, said that the action of the prime minister and deputy speaker was against the constitution and "they should be prosecuted for treason under Article 6 of the constitution.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) also filed a petition asking the court to declare the ruling of the deputy speaker as unconstitutional along with the dissolution of the parliament.
The crisis erupted after Suri rejected the no-confidence motion, providing Prime Minister Khan to send an advice to the president of the country to dissolve Parliament, which he could not do until any outcome of the no-confidence vote.
Leading constitutional lawyer Salman Akram Raja said that the "entire procure by the deputy speaker and the advice by the premier to dissolve the assembly was unconstitutional".
Raja said the illegality of the ruling would also make the advice as illegal as the prime minister cannot give advice to the assembly after a no-confidence motion was presented in the parliament against him.