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Tuesday April 23, 2024

Speaker’s powers not unlimited: Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan

The way the voting is held is an internal matter of the National Assembly, says AG

By News Desk
March 24, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan said on Wednesday the powers of the National Assembly Speaker were not unlimited. The Speaker would have to hold voting on the no-trust resolution in seven days once moved in the assembly.

The AG was speaking in the Geo News Capital Talk programme hosted by Hamid Mir.

When the host asked the AG if he saw a constitutional crisis if the Speaker failed to conduct voting, the AG did not agree.

He said voting would take place as it could not be withheld for an indefinite period. “The way the voting is held is an internal matter of the House”, the AG observed. He, however, said there was no chance of voting on the day the no-confidence motion is moved.

The AG said the opinion of the Supreme Court would certainly have an effect, but the process of no-trust motion would not stop. “We did not seek stay to stop the proceedings of the House”, he said.

In another TV programme a day earlier, the AG said that the vote of dissident should be allowed to be cast their under Article 95 of the constitution regardless of the consequences. He concurred with the anchor that in plain view, such a vote should be counted.

“And the ground that such a vote is barred under Article 63A may not be sufficient, but it has to be debated,” the AG added.

The AG explained that if the framers of the constitution had envisaged that a ruling party member could not vote on a no-confidence motion, they would have provided so in the Article 85. 

The anchor had asked him that since the since the co-confidence motion had been provided in the constitution, it logical that it would emanate from the ruling party enjoying majority. Otherwise, the question of no-trust motion does not arise at all, the anchor had maintained.