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Country’s progress linked to stability of government: CJ Bandial

Hearing of presidential reference that seeks interpretation on Article 63(A) adjourned till Monday

Supreme Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said on Wednesday said that the country required a stable government in order to progress.

His remarks came as the Supreme Court heard a presidential reference on Article 63(A) of the Constitution of Pakistan.

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The larger bench of the apex court, consisting of the CJP, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Aijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam, and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel heard the reference.

At the hearing today, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s lawyer Azhar Siddiq resumed his arguments. He argued Article 63(A)’s purpose was to limit members of political parties from defecting. He added that a constitutional amendment was also made for this purpose.

Siddiq contended that PTI dissidents had violated the party policy on April 16 when they voted for Hamza Shehbaz in the election of Punjab chief minister.

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Justice Alam remarked that some of the PML-Q members were on one side, while some were on the other and the party head was silent. “Don’t know which side are the members of a party from Balochistan on,” he added.

The judge said that the SC would look into the case of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s declaration when it receives it.

Meanwhile, CJ Bandial remarked that matters would have been clear if the National Assembly had debated on it. However, no debate was held on the issue after the leave was granted, he added.

Advocate Siddiq maintained that the matter of defection had been persistent since 1960.

At this, CJ Bandial reprimanded him, saying that his statement was not correct as Article 63(A) was included in the constitution via a democratic amendment.

“The court believes that defection is a serious mistake but disqualifying someone for life is a very strict punishment,” the chief justice remarked.

The hearing of the reference was adjourned till Monday.

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