The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday issued notices to all political parties which have filed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan and said that the ‘process should be in accordance with the Constitution and the law’.
A special bench of the apex court – comprising Chief Justice (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Muneeb Akhtar – heard the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) petition, seeking direction to all state functionaries to act strictly in accordance with the Constitution and the law in light of the no-trust vote against the premier.
The case was earlier fixed to be heard on Monday (March 21) by CJP Bandial, but was later fixed for ‘immediate hearing’.
SCBA President Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon had filed the petition regarding ‘restraining political parties from holding public meetings in Islamabad before voting on the no-confidence motion’.
The petition prayed on the apex court to direct the National Assembly speaker to carry out the process of no-confidence motion according to the Constitution and further requested the SC to prevent state agencies from arresting or detaining MNAs and to stop public gatherings in the federal capital which prevented the assembly members from reaching the Parliament.
During today’s hearing, the chief justice remarked that though the petition has a political context, however, the apex court has to look at it from the perspective of the Constitution.
“According to the news reports, it seems that the government was also reaching out to the Supreme Court regarding Article 63(A) of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is concerned about law and order. We have not taken a suo-moto notice of it, but are listening to the petition. We have seen an incident which is against the constitutional right to freedom of expression,” the CJP remarked.
The attorney general stated in court that the incident occurred due to the presence of certain government lawmakers at the Sindh House and the people have a right to protest but in a peaceful manner.
Earlier, the apex court’s spokesperson had clarified that no suo-moto was taken for the attack on Sindh House in Islamabad. It directed the Islamabad IG Police to submit a report on action taken over the incident.
The top court adjourned hearing of the case till Monday (March 21).
On Friday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers and workers stormed the Sindh House in Islamabad in protest against the dissident members of the ruling party, who were staying inside the building.
PTI National Assembly members (MNAs), Faheem Khan and Ataullah, along with a group of charged party workers entered the Sindh House, knocking down a gate and shouting slogans and holding Lotas (spouted globulars) in their hands to symbolise turncoats.
The Sindh House came into focus this week, especially after Premier Imran and some of his ministers accused the opposition of indulging in horse-trading ahead of the crucial vote on the no-confidence motion. They said that the Sindh House had become a centre for buying lawmakers.
The disgruntled PTI lawmakers, however, denied the allegation, when they appeared in footages aired by various TV channels on Friday. They said that they were staying in the Sindh House because of security concerns.
The top leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) termed the attack â€œan act of terrorismâ€, with PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari saying: â€œA well-planned attack on Sindh House is tantamount to an attack on Sindh.â€
The PPP chairman questioned how the protesters crossed dozens of police checkpoints and reached the Sindh House in the capitalâ€™s Red Zone. â€œThe Sindh House is Sindhâ€™s identity in the federation. Imran Khan showed his real hatred by invading Sindh,â€ Bilawal said.