Islamabad, Pakistan: Once again it has been testified that former Prime Minister Imran Khan is habitual in presenting half-truths to the public and most of the time a falsehood is portrayed as truth.
Imran Khan had been telling the public that his party presented cypher to Supreme Court and the court must take action against those who according to Khan hatched a conspiracy against his government and the state. However, the detailed decision released by Supreme Court confirmed that cypher had never been shared with Supreme Court.
The detailed judgment is a huge blow to Imran Khan’s narrative of a foreign conspiracy. This decision takes out complete air from the PTI’s balloon. It simply blows away the conspiracy theory and lies PTI is selling in the country. The judgment says that Constitution was overruled by deputy speaker Qasim Suri. This is the time that Qasim Suri must be tried under Article 6 for abrogating the Constitution.
The SC judgment stated that the controversial action by the deputy speaker triggered a chain of events, the most concerning aspect of which was that it allowed the then PM to claim the constitutionally repugnant outcome of avoiding the no-trust motion without a vote by the assembly.
Commenting upon cypher used by Qasim Suri to dismiss the motion against Imran Khan, the SC observed that the text of the cypher was not shown to the apex court, though its contents were partially disclosed in the detailed reasons issued in support of the deputy speaker’s ruling.
The detailed reasons in addition to the cabinet decision of April 2 acknowledged the need for an inquiry to establish the alleged collusion between the opposition and a foreign state.
“Such an inquiry into facts can, in the first place, be carried out either by a commission constituted by the federal government under the 2017 Act or by a specialized commission constituted under an Act of parliament or an ordinance,” Justice Bandial observed.
Justice Mazahar Alam Khan Miankhel, who retired on July 13, in his additional note observed that constitution was violated by the President (Dr. Arif Alvi), then PM (Imran Khan) the then speaker (Asad Qaisar), the then deputy speaker (Qasim Suri), and the then law minister (Fawad Ch).
“Whether these acts attract Article 6 of the Constitution (high treason) is also left open to be determined by the parliamentarians to ponder should they leave open the doors for such unconstitutional acts or take suitable measures to stop such like a mess in future,”.
The SC also observed that the former deputy speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Suri established the case to dismiss the no-trust resolution against former prime minister Imran Khan only on presumption and had nothing concrete and tangible and his decision was “jurisdictional excess” taken without any lawful authority.
A detailed judgment was written by Chief Justice of Pakistan (JCP) Umar Ata Bandial said neither the deputy speaker’s ruling nor his detailed reasons claim that the cypher (cipher) shows any member of the opposition parties (named or unnamed) to have interacted with a foreign state to bring the resolution of no-confidence (RNC) in order to oust the PM and his government. It may be mentioned that on April 3, CJP Bandial took suo motu notice of the then NA’s deputy speaker Qasim Khan Suri’s decision to dismiss the no-trust while citing Article 5 of the Constitution. Short judgment was released on April 7 while the detailed decision was released on July 13.
In its detailed judgment on Wednesday, the apex court said the deputy speaker’s contention about a regime change conspiracy by a foreign country lacked verification from the respondents.
The detailed decision indicates that in the absence of cogent, reliable, and relevant evidence showing the RNC to be contrary to Article 5 on account of being a product of collusion between its movers and the representatives of a foreign state, the SC cannot accept the respondents’ defence that the alleged contravention of Article 95 of the Constitution by the deputy speaker was protected from judicial scrutiny on the claim of national security.
The detailed judgment said that the deputy speaker dismissed the vote of no confidence on the basis of the singular statement of allegations made by the law minister. The SC observed the deputy speaker had violated his substantive obligation to take a vote on the resolution of no-confidence as directed by Article 95(2) of the Constitution, adding that neither the Constitution nor the NA procedure rules empowered the speaker or the deputy speaker to dismiss no-trust resolution for being inadmissible or non-maintainable.
The SC confirmed that a vote of no confidence cannot be avoided by the speaker or deputy speaker once it is tabled in the House.
The SC observed:
“The ruling was not the outcome of a vote in the NA. Instead, it was a unilateral decision taken by the deputy speaker at the behest of the law minister. In so doing, the deputy speaker not only disregarded the provisions of Article 95 of the Constitution but also ruled on Article 5 which was a matter outside his cognizance and jurisdiction. This is apart from condemning unheard the members of the opposition parties against whom serious allegations of disloyalty to the state and disobedience of the Constitution were leveled by the law minister.”
The detailed statement of SC has also snubbed the mantra of PTI of calling people thieves or traitors because SC judgment categorically indicates that the objection which rests on moral grounds fails to take into account that the law, including Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 and the Elections Act, 2017 allow persons accused of criminal offenses to contest for and hold elected office. It is only upon the conviction of persons accused of such offenses that they stand disqualified from contesting an election to a public office.