ISLAMABAD, Mar 24 :The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday dismissed a petition of senator Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani challenging the results of chairman senate elections while declaring it non-maintainable.
The order said that the court expected the elected representative and political leadership to resolve their disputes without dragging the court.
Earlier, during the hearing Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked ‘Parliamentary proceedings had constitutional exemptions and asked the petitioner lawyer ‘how could the court go beyond it’?
The court reserved its decision on maintainability of the petition after listening arguments by Gilani’s lawyer and later dismissed the case.
Chief Justice further observed that the Parliament to address the big issues of the country so how come it was unable to solve its own matters.
Should the courts interfere into Parliamentary affairs, he questioned. The chief justice remarked that the court used to take care of supremacy of the Parliament.
Gilani’s lawyer Farooq H. Naek pleaded that the chairman’s election was not part of Parliamentary proceeding, adding that the voters were told by the presiding officer to mark stamp anywhere within the box.
He said that the presiding officer had rejected seven votes of Yousaf Raza Gilani on the basis of stamps in box of candidate’s name on ballot papers.
The chief justice asked that whether Yousaf Raza Gilani had majority in the upper house to this the lawyer answered in ‘yes’. At this, the court said that then Gilani could remove the chairman senate with his majority and asked whether there was any alternate forum under the law for petitioner.
Naek said that the petitioner had no any alternate forum, only the court could decide the matter pertaining to votes rejections.
To another query, Farooq H. Naek said that the presiding officer was appointed by President of Pakistan and chairman senate had no role in it.
There was no procedure to explain the way of stamping ballot papers, he said. The lawyer said that the decision of presiding officer could be challenged before court, adding that they had just challenged the electoral process.
He, however, said that chairman senate could be removed only through the ‘ vote of no confidence’.
The petitioner’s counsel said that the scenario in deputy chairman senate election was different.
No parliamentary committee had powers to remove chairman senate, he said while responding to bench’s question.
The petitioner’s lawyer pleaded before the bench that the senate elections were held on March 12, in which Sadiq Sanjrani had been declared as chairman senate after rejecting the seven votes of his client by the presiding officer.
To a query by the bench, the lawyer said that the elections were conducted under Article 60 of the Constitution.
He read out the said article before the bench on its instructions and argued that Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah from GDA was appointed as presiding officer.
To a question by the court, Farooq H. Naek said that no one was the part of election process from Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). He further said that it was not mentioned in the rules that ‘how the vote would be marked’.
The court, subsequently, dismissed the case.