On March 12, the ruling PTI-backed candidates grabbed the top slots of the Senate in a “controversial contest” marred by the discovery of “spy cameras” in the polling booths.
The former premier moved the IHC against the rejection of seven votes – cast in his favour – by a presiding officer for the slot of Senate chairman. However, on March 24, IHC dismissed Gilani’s petition, stating that Senate proceedings are immune to judicial interference.
The appeal, filed by Gilani’s counsel, prayed that the single bench of IHC did not take into account complete facts during the proceedings of the case.
The appeal added that illegal activities can be interpreted by the courts whereas it was the job of the court to provide compensation for illegality and in such cases, the court has to check the intention of the voter.
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“The court is requested to accept the intra-court appeal and single bench decision be rejected,” the appeal added.
The IHC had said in its verdict that, “the grievance of the petitioner in the matter in hand exclusively pertains to questioning the validity of proceedings of the upper house of the parliament and thus it is immune from interference by this Court under Article 69 of the Constitution,”
The 13-page order was authored by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who took up Gilani’s plea. A joint candidate of an 11-party opposition alliance – the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – for the position of Senate chairman, Gilani had requested the court to declare the polls void.
Ninety-eight senators had exercised their right to vote, out of which seven votes were rejected. Sanjrani who had received 48 votes as opposed to 42 votes of Gilani was later declared the winner by the presiding officer, Senator Muzaffar Hussain Shah. Gilani had later moved the IHC.
Dismissing the petition, the IHC noted that the parliament is the supreme legislative organ of the state, which represents the people of Pakistan and maintaining its dignity, respect and independence is of paramount importance and constitutional duty of other branches of the state.