Pak SC restores assembly; no-trust vote on April 9

In a major blow to Imran Khan, Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a controversial ruling by the deputy speaker on the rejection of a no-confidence motion against him and ordered restoration of the National Assembly, saying the Prime Minister’s move to dissolve Parliament and call early elections was “unconstitutional”.
Pak SC restores assembly; no-trust vote on April 9
Pakistan’s opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif leaves the SC

ISLAMABAD: In a unanimous verdict, a five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial restored the Parliament and declared the advice by Prime Minister Khan to President Arif Alvi to dissolve the national assembly as “unconstitutional.” “The deputy speaker gave a ruling on April 3. Leave was granted on the no-confidence motion on March 28. The ruling of the speaker is declared unconstitutional,” Justice Bandial said.

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.

Security in and around the apex court was beefed up. Riot police forces were deployed outside the court building.

During the hearing, Chief Justice Bandial noted deputy speaker’s ruling is, prima facie, a violation of Article 95. Various lawyers appeared in the court to plead in the complex case. Naeem Bokhari represented deputy speaker Suri, Imtiaz Siddiqui appeared for Prime Minister Khan, Ali Zafar represented President Alvi and Attorney General Khaled Javed Khan represented the government.

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