Saturday December 04, 2021

Presidential ordinance can be cancelled if not as per Constitution, says Mian Raza Rabbani

October 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Senator Raza Rabbani in his reply in a case against presidential ordinances has said a presidential ordinance can be cancelled if it is promulgated without meeting constitutional requirements.

He submitted his reply to the Islamabad High Court on Saturday in a case against the presidential ordinances. Earlier, the high court had questioned the scope of the president’s authority to promulgate ordinances.

A petition in the IHC had challenged the promulgation of ordinances by the government. A bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had sought a statement on the matter from amicus curiae Raza Rabbani and others to assist the court in the matter. Senator Raza Rabbani, in his 61-page reply, said a presidential ordinance could be cancelled if it is promulgated without meeting constitutional requirements, as it will be against the constitution with no legality.

“In an emergency situation, a presidential ordinance can be promulgated for prompt action,” Rabbani said. “The president can issue an ordinance on the recommendation of the cabinet in an emergency situation,” he said.

“The constitution offers limited powers for promulgation of an ordinance to the president in case the parliament is not in session,” he said and added: “Questions could be raised over a malicious presidential ordinance”. He said an ordinance is unnecessary when a scheduled session of the Senate is not convened. The ordinance is promulgated to bypass the debate in the legislature.

The petition filed in the high court stated that as per Article 89 of the Constitution, the president is only authorized to issue ordinances when the government needs to respond to an emergency situation. According to the petitioner, ordinances can only be issued in an emergency situation and legislation cannot be made through ordinances.