Pakistan’s Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday said that a "reasonable order" would be issued on the the legality of the current political situation in the country as the apex court heard the dismissal of a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan and the subsequent dissolution of Parliament by the President on the advice of the embattled premier.
Bandial's remarks came while a larger bench of the Supreme Court – comprising the CJP, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail – took up the matter.
During the hearing, the court rejected a plea by Farooq H Naek, who is representing the Pakistan People Party (PPP) and other Opposition parties, to form a full court bench to hear the matter, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The CJP asked Naek if he had objections to any judge on the five-member bench.
Naek said that he had full confidence in all judges on the bench.
Justice Bandial said forming a full court bench would impede proceedings of other cases.
President Arif Alvi had dissolved the National Assembly (NA) on the advice of Prime Minister Khan, minutes after Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri rejected a no-confidence motion against the premier, who had effectively lost the majority in the 342-member lower house of Parliament.
Chief Justice Bandial, after taking a suo motu cognizance of the current political situation in the country, said on Sunday that all orders and actions initiated by the prime minister and the president regarding the dissolution of the National Assembly will be subject to the court's order.
A three-member bench held the initial hearing despite the weekend and issued notices to all the respondents, including President Alvi and Deputy Speaker of the NA Suri.
The Supreme Court ordered all parties not to take any "unconstitutional" measures and adjourned the hearing until Monday.
Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the ruling given in the National Assembly by the deputy speaker for the dismissal of the no-trust motion against Prime Minister Khan was “final” and could not be challenged in any court of law.
Earlier, the Opposition had demanded the top court to intervene and Shehbaz Sharif, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, announced his party's decision to challenge the dissolution of the NA.
Ahsan Bhoon, President, Supreme Court Bar, said that the action of the prime minister and deputy speaker was against the constitution and “they should be prosecuted for treason under Article 6 of the constitution.
The crisis erupted after Suri rejected the no-confidence motion, providing Prime Minister Khan to send an advice to the president of the country to dissolve Parliament, which he could not do until any outcome of the no-confidence vote.
Leading constitutional lawyer Salman Akram Raja said that the “entire procure by the deputy speaker and the advice by the premier to dissolve the assembly was unconstitutional”.
Raja said the illegality of the ruling would also make the advice as illegal as the prime minister cannot give advice to the assembly after a no-confidence motion was presented in the parliament against him.