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Saturday, July 20, 2024  
13 Muharram 1446  

Judges should dissociate themselves from 4-3 interpretation: Aitezaz

Adds that it is beyond doubt that bench had five members.

Senior lawyer and PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan has said that Supreme Court judges should dissociate themselves from the 4-3 interpretation that the government has maintained in the election delay case.

Speaking in Faisla Aap Ka on Aaj TV on Thursday, Ahsan said that he was afraid that someone might file a reference against the two judges whose names were being used to say that the 3-2 verdict was actually a 4-3 verdict. So the best way to do avoid this was for the judges to dissociate themselves from the interpretation.

The lawyer added that the fact that it was indeed a five member bench that announced the decision is abundantly clear.

“The case went on for two or three days, is there a single person who came out of the courtroom and said there seven judges sitting inside?” Ahsan asked.

He added that even within the judgement, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah had conceded in a footnote that the bench had been reconstituted to five members after after four judges had been left the bench. It was the reconstituted bench that heard the case.

He also said that the fact that the judgement said it was a 3-2 decision should settle the matter of the composition of the bench.

He also said that the 4-3 interpretation could create a dangerous precedent which could lead to ‘proxy decisions’ being made.

“This way a judge could exit a bench and say I’ve left but put my vote on whichever side you prefer,” he said.

When asked that the same thing had happened in the Panama Leaks case, Ahsan replied that there was no conflict over the constitution of the bench in the Panama case.

He also said that if the government was advised by its legal team to stick to the 4-3 interpretation and consequently refuse to act on the order of organising elections, it could lead to trouble for PM Shehbaz Sharif.

In such a scenario, Ahsan said, Shehbaz would face the same thing faced by the last PM who had refused to accept an order from the top court, he would be thrown out like Yousaf Raza Gillani.

The Supreme Court ordered on Wednesday that elections be held within 90 days for KP and PUnjab assemblies. It ordered the KP governor to give a date for the election while asking the president and ECP to give a date for Punjab.

The judgement was a 3-2 decision, with Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Mandokhail disagreeing with the reasoning for the suo motu. The government had said that the decision was actually a 4-3 decision, since Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Yahya Afridi had also raised objections to the suo motu before separating from the bench.

Tyrian case and power vaccums

When asked if the Tyrain White case posed a serious threat of disqualification to Imran Khan, Aitzaz Ahsan said that this could also lead to a dangerous precedent being set.

He said that disqualification on such a matter could leade to misuse by candidates in the next election. Candidates could just file fake cases on their opponents and the child mentioned would get their life put in danger.

He also said that if elections are not organised on time, the caretaker governments would cease to have any authority beyond their consitutionally mandated deadline. This would create a vaccum which is always fille dby ‘other forces’.

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Election commission of Pakistan

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Aitzaz Ahsan