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Articles 63A, 95: SCBA, JUIF and PMLN submit responses in SC

By News Desk
March 25, 2022
Articles 63A, 95: SCBA, JUIF and PMLN submit responses in SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), JUIF and PMLN submitted their responses in the apex court regarding their positions on Article 63A and Article 95.

The SCBA said voting is an individual right of an MNA instead of a political party's collective right under Article 95. It declared the MNAs' right to vote for the no-confidence motion against the prime minister to be an individual capacity in its response over the presidential reference for the interpretation on Article 63A of the Constitution Pakistan.

"Every MNA is independent in using their right to vote and there is no disqualification over voting against party policy in Article 63A." "No MNA can be restrained from voting under Article 63A and every vote cast under Article 95 is counted," SCBA said, adding that the public runs the government system through their elected representatives. The JUI-F also submitted its reply over the reference, declaring Article 63A "undemocratic". "Disqualification on voting against party policy would further weaken the already fragile democracy."

JUIF said that the article in question obliges the MNAs — who got elected as independent candidates — to follow a political party if they join it after winning. "The reference seems to imply that the prime minister, president and NA speaker have always been Sadiq and Amin (honest and trustworthy) and will always remain so." Moreover, the JUI-F said that "it is not necessary that the opinion on the reference is given before polling for the vote of no confidence as the matter will eventually end up in the apex court if a disqualification case is filed against an MNA." It said that SC's opinion before the voting would make the forum of the Election Commission of Pakistan ineffective. The response further stated said that PTI is being run by "selected officials" since there hasn't been party election in a while. "The selected officials cannot direct the MNAs to vote or not to vote under Article63A," JUIF's reply said. It said that the National Assembly speaker cannot be given the authority to discard the MNAs' votes therefore the court should refrain from ending the supremacy of the Parliament.

The PMLN said in its response submitted in the SC that Article 63A and Article 95 are clear and every lawmaker has the right to vote. The party seconded JUIF's argument that the vote of every MNA will be counted and that filing of the presidential reference is a premature and unnecessary move. Moreover, the response documented by PMLN's lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan, said that the apex court "has the authority to interpret the Constitution but not to amend it."