SCBA files review petition against apex court’s verdict on Article 63-A

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has filed a review petition against the verdict on Article 63-A of the constitution.

In the petition, petitioner Anis Muhammad Shahzad has made the federation and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as respondents maintaining that the apex court’s interpretation was not according to the letter and spirit, and the spirit of parliamentary democracy as under the constitution.

The Supreme Court’s five-member larger bench on May 17 had given a split 3-2 decision on a presidential reference for interpretation of Article 63-A, in which majority of judges had declared not to count the votes of defected lawmakers.

In the recent petition, it has been maintained that paragraphs one to three of court’s verdict were not in accordance with letter and spirit of constitution as well as parliamentary democracy. The petition has also stated that at the time of constitution’s commencement, disregarding the defective votes was first incorporated in terms of Article 96.

The Supreme Court had said in its verdict that the provisions needed to be read and applied in isolation and described the defections as “cancer afflicting the body politic”.

After the decision of the Supreme Court, ECP had de-seated 25 dissident PTI MPAs from Punjab Assembly for voting in favor of Hamza Shehbaz during Punjab CM’s election.