December 1, 2022

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Dissident lawmakers cannot cast vote against party directives: SC

The Supreme Court has declared that a dissident member of the parliament cannot cast vote against party directives.

A five-member bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, on Tuesday completed proceedings on a presidential reference seeking interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution, relating to the disqualification of lawmakers over defection.

The apex court in its majority decision ruled that a dissident lawmaker’s vote cannot be counted. However, the court sent back the question to the President seeking disqualification of dissident members for life. The Court observed that it is the right time for the parliament to go for legislation regarding the time period of disqualification of a dissident lawmaker.

Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel dissented with the majority decision.