Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Tuesday said the three-member Supreme Court bench’s decision on the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker’s ruling on the chief minister election would “push the country and the nation towards further chaos, anarchy and polarization”.
“A decision was given on Monday, which, in anticipation, made the today’s verdict controversial. Most of the people, including civil society, legal fraternity, representatives of the bar associations and legal experts did not accept the decision on rejection of the plea about formation of full-court bench for interpretation of a constitutional issue,” she said while addressing a news conference.
Flanked by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Malik Ahmad Khan and Atta Tarar, she claimed that the decision on the interpretation of Constitution would have been otherwise, if the full-court bench was formed.
The minister said the ouster of Hamza Shehbaz from power would not affect the PML-N as Punjab’s mandate belonged to Nawaz Sharif and would remain so in future. “The PML-N has no doubt in this regard.”
“A person, who does not have the mandate, will now rule Punjab,” she said, claiming that more than half of the citizenry did not accept the decision.
Marriyum said all the political parties demanded the full-court as it was the matter of the supremacy of Constitution and parliament.
“In opinion of some [people], there would be no justice done by the three-member bench,” she said, adding the rejection of the full-court bench’s plea already showed “lack of confidence over the 3-member bench”.
“Lack of confidence was also expressed in the Supreme Court when our lawyers boycotted the [case] proceedings, which manifested that the decision would not be accepted by the people and parties to the case as it cannot happen that a person, who was once imposed on the country in 2018 after failure of the RTS, will again rule over Punjab,” the minister maintained.
She said it was the matter of the supremacy of Constitution and parliament, and two letters. The votes of 25 members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf were not counted during the Punjab’s CM election as PTI chief Imran Khan had barred them from voting for Hamza Shehbaz by writing a letter as the party head. While during the run-off elections, Chaudhry Shujaat’s letter as the party chief containing directives for the 10 members of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) whose votes were not counted following the deputy speaker’s ruling, which, the minister claimed, was given in line with the apex court’s decision.
There were different interpretations on the similar letters of Imran Khan and Chaudhry Shujaat, she added.
Marriyum reiterated that the 10 votes of PML-Q were not counted in light of the apex court’s earlier decision. The full-court bench’s formation was demanded after it was being anticipated that the letter of Chaudhry Shujaat, which was similar in the case of Imran Khan, would not be acceptable, she claimed.
Citing the Panama Papers case decision against the three times prime minister Nawaz Sharif, she said, “The seeds of economic destruction, hunger, poverty, unemployment, violence and mayhem were sown in the country after that day.”
Today’s decision, she claimed, would have same sort of affects on the country such as more “chaos” and “anarchy”.
“The formation of full-court over interpretation of this case was our demand and will remain so.”
The minister said another chapter for the struggle of the independence of judiciary, which once pursued by Nawaz Sharif in the past, had been opened. “The struggle for the supremacy of Constitution and parliament, and a free judiciary ha been started again.”
The people’s mandate, stolen in 2018, would be returned to them again, she added.
To a query, the minister said all the political parties’ were not demanding to replace the judges, rather it was for the full court bench’s constitution. “It is our constitutional right to demand a full-court bench over the matter.”
There were no similarities in the two decisions given by the court in the matters related to the letters written by Imran Khan and Chaudhry Shujaat to the members of parliament of their respective parties, she claimed.
The minister said the PML-N was a party which had faced worst kind of political victimization during Imran Khan’s government.
She said there was only one narrative of the PML-N, which was followed by Nawaz Sharif.
The Constitution had defined the domains of all the institutions, she said while responding to another query.
Marriyum said the progress and development of country depended upon the rule of law and the supremacy of Constitution.