Response sought from political parties in plea against D-Chowk rallies

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The apex court on Saturday heard a petition filed by the Supreme Court Bar Association seeking directions to all state functionaries to act strictly in accordance with the Constitution to allow the smooth execution of no-trust vote proceedings in National Assembly.

The Supreme Court, in its hearing, made all political parties in the National Assembly respondents in the case and sought their response.

A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Munib Akhtar heard the petition.

Taking exception to yesterday’s incident of PTI supporters barging in the Sindh House to confront the ruling party’s dissident lawmakers, the bench criticized activists for taking law into their own hands.

The apex court adjourned the hearing till Monday, March 21.

The SCBA filed a petition stating that all parties must be restrained from acting in any manner detrimental to, and unwarranted by, the Constitution of Pakistan.

The body ringing alarm said both the treasury and opposition benches have “expressed their intentions to gather, and protest at mass scale in the federal capital in the wake of the vote of no-confidence” and there have also been indications “that the gatherings may turn violent”.

“The position taken by the major political parties is likely to contribute to the ensuing chaos,” the petition read. “It is in the spirit of democracy and democratic principles embedded in our Constitution that the party(ies) having the confidence of the majority should be entitled to form the government, therefore, any attempt to undermine the process goes against the very spirit of the Constitution and democracy.”

The SCBA’s warned that the political circumstances are “likely to trigger an anarchic situation, which may not remain within the control of the two sides”, has led the body to request the Supreme Court to ensure that respondents and officials maintain law and order in the Islamabad Capital Territory to prevent any assembly, gathering, and processions, which may result in hindrance or prevention of the members of the National Assembly (MNAs) from reaching the Parliament House and Parliament Lodges.

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