NA speaker says opp leader appointment immune to court inquiry

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Tuesday raised objections over the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) proceedings probing into the nomination of Raja Riaz as opposition leader in the lower house stating the Constitution categorically bars judicial interference in parliamentary matters

Dissenting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Raja Riaz Ahmed had become the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly (NA) in May last year after the speaker approved the appointment using the powers conferred on him under Rule 39 of the Rules of Procedure of the NA, 2007

Read Uproar in Senate over CJP’s remarks The appointment had come after PTI leaders had tendered en masse resignation in protest following Imran Khan's ouster from office

In August, a petition was filed with the LHC by Munir Ahmed through Advocate Azhar Siddique contending that the appointment of Raja Riaz had been "a sheer violation of Rule 39, 43 and other clauses of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007 (the Rules)"

He had argued that all resignations recently presented in the NA were not accepted and the ECP has not de-notified the former ruling party's lawmakers

The high court had sought replies from the concerned quarters on the matter in December

As the proceedings commenced today, the NA speaker's reply was read in court

In his response, Ashraf said that the country's supreme law "contains a clear constitutional prohibition and the jurisprudence evolved so far on the referred Article unambiguously holds that the courts should not inquire into the proceedings of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and the term “proceedings” has always been interpreted and construed strictly”

“The proceedings conducted in connection with the declaration of the leader of the opposition are indeed internal proceedings of the parliament and are immune from challenge in the courts,” he maintained

Read More IHC fixes NAB plea against Shaukat Tarin, Pervez Ashraf for April 4 Raising eight objections over the petition as well as the court’s proceedings, the speaker implored the court that “no illegality was committed during the process and no procedural error whatsoever has been pointed out in the petition

” "The petition is replete with assumptions and opinions," he said adding that the person seeking relief must be the aggrieved party and "so the petition present in hands is liable to be dismissed"

Ashraf further raised the issue of territorial jurisdiction, pointing out that the lower house is situated in Islamabad and that none of its activities are undertaken within the territory of the LHC where the petition was currently under view

Meanwhile, the federal lawyer sought time to submit a response before the court

Subsequently, the court directed the federal government and other concerned parties to submit their responses while adjourning the hearing until February 28

Date:15-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link