Islamabad, Pakistan: PTI has decided to move Supreme Court to seek advice to de-seat dissident members before voting day and also get a Stay Order on voting unless SC decides the case, claim PTI close circles.
The announcement of this option can come on the surface after the next meeting of PTI leaders that Prime Minister Imran Khan has called on Friday.
Circles close to PTI leadership are of the view that PTI has decided to move Supreme Court to seek advice to de-seat dissident members before voting day and Advocate General of Pakistan has been advised by the Prime Minister Imran Khan to move to Supreme Court with a request for a larger bench to explain Article 63-A (b) that deals over floor-crossing.
Now Prime Minister has directed Advocate General to move to Supreme Court to seek an explanation of what the Speaker wants to do. In this situation, the movement will also seek a Stay order on voting till the Supreme Court gives its verdict over the disqualification issue.
Article 63A indicates:
Disqualification on grounds of defection, etc.
(1) If a member of a Parliamentary Party composed of a single political party in a House-
(a) resigns from membership of his political party or joins another Parliamentary Party; or
(b) votes or abstains from voting in the House contrary to any direction issued by the Parliamentary Party to which he belongs, in relations to-
(i) election of the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister; or
(ii) a vote of confidence or a vote of no-confidence; or
(iii) a Money Bill or a Constitution (Amendment) Bill;
he may be declared in writing by the Party Head to have defected from the political party, and the Head of the Parliamentary Party may forward a copy of the declaration to the Presiding Officer, and shall similarly forward a copy thereof to the member concerned:
Provided that before making the declaration, the Party Head shall provide such member with an opportunity to show cause as to why such declaration may not be made against him.
Article 63-A (b) clearly says that first the member shall commit floor crossing and then party Head will take action against her/him and will also serve notice to him/her but PTI wants to use his Speaker to de-seat every member of PTI that would vote in No-Confidence Motion against Prime Minister. In simple words, PTI Speaker wants to penalize the member before he/she breaks the rule.
Meanwhile, PPPP has also directed its legal team to be ready to face such a situation and mitigate this possible move of PTI leadership.
A number of Constitutional experts have expressed in several television channels that Article 63-A of the Constitution of 1973, titled “disqualification on grounds of defection” shows that the Speaker acts only as a post office in the whole process and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) holds the final authority to make a decision on the matter. And ECP has 30 days to decide the matter after receiving a reference from the Speaker. And then, the member will have 30 days to file an appeal before the Supreme Court, which will be required to decide it in 90 days. Moreover, before sending a reference to the Speaker, the party head is also required to issue a show-cause notice to the member to provide him an opportunity to explain his position.