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Govt to move SC for interpretation of Article 63 (A): Fawad

Article relates to disqualification of lawmakers on grounds of defection; Will file reference under Article 186
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry addresses a press conference on November 2, 2021 in Islamabad. PID/File
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry addresses a press conference on November 2, 2021 in Islamabad. PID/File

The government has decided to file a reference in the Supreme Court for interpretation of Article 63 (A), which relates to disqualification of lawmakers on grounds of defection, as dissident parliamentarians from the ruling party take ‘refuge’ in the Sindh House in Islamabad.

The decision was shared by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in a series of tweets on Friday.

“The government will seek the SC’s opinion on the legality of party members, who are openly involved in horse-trading and changing their loyalties in return for money,” he said.

Moreover, the information minister said the government would seek opinion on whether the members, who change their allegiances for economic benefits, would be disqualified for life or would be allowed to run for re-election. “The Supreme Court will be asked to hear this reference on a daily basis and decide.”

Fawad’s tweet comes as the government scrambles to ensure its numbers on the day of the no-trust vote, which is expected to be held on March 28, after at least 24 dissident leaders of the part were found taking “refuge” in the Sindh House Islamabad on Thursday.

The government has already tasked party leaders to convince the estranged leaders from the Tareen group and former minister Aleem Khan. So far, the efforts have produced no fruitful result. Moreover, the ruling PTI was also looking for options to stop the vote of estranged leaders on the day of the vote.

Article 63 (A)

According to the Constitution of Pakistan, Article 63 (A) pertains to disqualification for membership of Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) on ground of defection, etc.

A parliamentarian can be disqualified on grounds of defection if “he/she votes or abstains from voting in the House contrary to any direction issued by the parliamentary party to which he belongs, in relation to the election of the prime minister or chief minister; or a vote of confidence or a vote of no-confidence; or a money bill or a Constitution (amendment) bill,” it read

The article adds that the party head has to declare in writing that the MNA concerned has defected but before making the declaration, the party head will “provide such member with an opportunity to show cause as to why such declaration may not be made against him”.

Tareen group decides not to support govt

The Tareen group, which is led by estranged leader Jehangir Tareen, has decided not to support the government, Aaj News reported, citing sources. Moreover, Jehangir Tareen refused to talk with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on the telephone.

Tareen declined a call from Ismail, who has been tasked with ending the reservations of Tareen and Aleem, despite a scheduled conversation.

Earlier, the Tareen group leaders after meeting Aleem in a press conference had called for “minus-Buzdar” as demand for headway in talks with the government. However, the PTI and Punjab CM Usman Buzdar refused such suggestions. PM Imran in his public gatherings has vowed to “fight till last breath” against the opposition.

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fawad chaudhry

imran khan

Jahangir Tareen

no confidence motion

Article 63 (A)