Justice Ijaz says Parliament makes laws and the SC interprets them

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned hearing on Presidential reference seeking an opinion on open balloting for the upcoming Senate elections till Monday.

A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi heard the reference.

During the course of proceedings, Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan said that he wanted to start his arguments with questions from Justice Yahya Afridi.

Answering a question about not sending the issue to the Parliament, the Attorney General said that the federation had approached the Supreme Court for its opinion.

He said that the the government’s case was to interpret Article 226.

Justice Ijaz said that Parliament made laws and the Supreme Court interpreted them.

The Attorney General said that the Supreme Court had ruled 23 years ago that decisions should be made without distinguishing between political and non-political questions. Every country had a Supreme Court or a Constitutional Court to interpret constitutional matters, he added.

He said that Pakistan’s Supreme Court was the constitutional court. In many countries, including Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and the United States, the Supreme Court interpreted the Constitution in constitutional and political matters, he added.

He said if political matters prevailed over constitutional matters, then the court avoided these matters. The Supreme Court had also interpreted political issues several times, he added.

He said that the Supreme Court had often referred political matters back to Parliament.

The Chief Justice asked the AGP to inform where procedure for holding Senate elections was written in the law?

The AGP replied that the Election Act 2017 contained the responsibilities of the Election Commission and the procedure for holding elections to the National and Provincial Assemblies.

Justice Ijaz asked where was the procedure for Senate elections mentioned in the Election Act 2017?

The Attorney General said that the complete procedure for Senate elections was mentioned in chapter 7 of the Election Act 2017. Section 26 of the Act dealt with Senate elections.

Justice Yahya Afridi said that the section 26 mentioned secret ballot for the election of senators.

The AGP said that Senate elections were held under the law, not under the constitution.