No one can stop govt from issuing ordinance: SC

ISLAMABAD (APP): Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Monday said that no one could stop the government from issuing ordinance.

He made these remarks while heading a five-member larger bench which resume hearing on Presidential reference seeking SC’s opinion on open balloting for the upcoming Senate elections. Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi were members of the bench.

During the course of proceedings, Advocate Kamran Murtaza counsel for the Jamiat Ulmae Islam (JUI) said that the government issued Elections (Amendment) ordinance 2021 and did not respect the court proceedings over the matter.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that the ordinance was subject to judicial opinion. It seemed that the government issued the ordinance over speculations, he added.

He said no one could stop the government from issuing ordinances and if the court opinion differ from the government’s position, the reference would be abolished.

He said the court would have annulled the Presidential Ordinance on Senate elections if it was not conditional.

The Chief Justice remarked that the petition regarding the ordinance would also be heard along with the presidential reference case.

The court also issued notice to the Attorney General on a petition against the Presidential Ordinance.

Senior politician and lawyer Raza Rabbani argued that the issuance of ordinance had created a strange situation. He said the ordinance stated that it would come into force immediately and if the opinion of the court differ from the government, what would happen to the ordinance?

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that the ordinance also stated that execution would be subject to judicial opinion. He said that the ordinance could be challenged in the high court.

The ordinance would not affect court proceedings, he added.

The court rejected the request to issue notice under 184/3 on the Presidential Ordinance and remarked that the Ordinance would have been declared null and void if it was not conditional.

The Attorney General said that it did not look like the Supreme Court would decide the presidental reference before February 11.

Justice Ijaz said that even under ordinance voting would be secret but the vote could be checked later after filing of application.

The Attorney General said that the Senate election would be held by secret ballot if there was no court opinion.

He said that the opposition had stated in the press conference that the judiciary had been attacked.

Justice Bandial said that he was trying to understand the structure of the constitution.

He said he was trying to find out why the procedure for elections had been kept secret under Article 226.

“We have also seen good politicians in our country and we should not weigh all politicians on the same scale,” he added.

He said that the nation had the example of the 1985 general election as these elections were held on a non-partisan basis, Mohammad Khan Junejo formed the government and money was used ruthlessly.

The Attorney General said that he had already explained that the framers of the constitution included people like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Wali Khan, Mufti Mahmood and Nawabzada Nasrullah.

Justice Bandial said that people like Akbar Khan Bugti were also among the framers of the constitution.

The Attorney General said that the Supreme Court should block the way of those who sell their vote.

Later, hearing of the case was adjourned till Tuesday.