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Should PML-Q votes be counted in Punjab CM elections? What do legal experts say?


Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Dost Muhammad Mazari rejected 10 votes of (Q) League, after which Hamza Shehbaz of PML-N was elected Chief Minister of Punjab.

What did Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain write in the letter?

Yesterday, the process of voting in the Punjab Assembly was about to start, and the echo of Chaudhry Shujaat’s letter on the media created a storm in the media. He gave a message to his members not to vote for Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s candidate.

Later, after this letter of Chaudhry Shujaat, the tweet of Chaudhry Pervez Elahi also came out. He said that Article 63 is very clear, Chaudhry Shujaat has no importance, instructions can be given only by the parliamentary leader in the Parliament, who is currently Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. Of course, you have to go to court, but the final decision will be constitutional.

Deputy Speaker’s decision after reading the letter

Referring to the letter, the Deputy Speaker referred to the Supreme Court judgment delivered on a presidential reference on the interpretation of Article 63A, which held that the vote of a dissenting member would not count.

It should be noted that on the basis of the same decision of the Supreme Court, 25 members of Tehreek-e-Insaf were de-seated and as a result of by-elections on the vacant seats, Tehreek-e-Insaf emerged as a successful party.

What does Article 63A of the Constitution say?

According to Article 63A of the Constitution, a Member of Parliament can be disqualified on the ground of defection. A Member of Parliament can be disqualified if he votes against the instructions issued by his parliamentary party for the election of Prime Minister or Chief Minister.

Article 63A of the Constitution states that in this regard, the party leader has to declare in writing that the concerned member of the assembly has defected, however, before filing the reference, the party leader will give an opportunity to the defected member to explain. If the party leader is not satisfied with the explanation, then the party leader will send the declaration to the Speaker and the Speaker will send the declaration to the Chief Election Commissioner.

What is the Supreme Court’s opinion about Article 63A?

Last month, on a presidential reference for the interpretation of Article 63A of the Constitution of Pakistan, the Supreme Court in a three-to-two majority judgment said that the vote of defecting members will not be counted and Parliament can legislate for the period of their disqualification.

It should be remembered that this reference related to the deviant members of political parties was heard by a five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court, in which Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Jamal and Khan Mandukhel was included.

The members of the bench, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Mian Khel and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel disagreed with the three members of the bench and wrote in their minority judgment that Article 63 A of the Constitution is a complete code in itself that prohibits the ‘defection’ of a member of Parliament i.e. describes comprehensive procedures for defection and subsequent action.

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court had written in its judgment that in its opinion, ‘further interpretation of Article 63A of the Constitution would be an attempt to rewrite the Constitution or read something into it and thereby affect other provisions of the Constitution. will be, which the President has not even asked through this reference. Therefore, it is not our mandate to do so.

What are the opinions of legal experts?

According to legal experts, the Supreme Court had said in its decision that if someone votes against the instructions of the party leader, that member will not only be de-seated but also his vote will not be counted.

According to the experts, it will be decided by the ‘parliamentary party’ as per the words written in the constitution, who the members should vote for and who they should not vote for. If the decision of the Election Commission is seen and is made as a basis, then the words of Chaudhry Shujaat will be considered as the final decision.

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