ISLAMABAD    -     The Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan (SCBAP) Thursday filed a review petition in the apex court seeking review of the court’s May 17 decision on the interpretation of Article 63-A. The SCBAP named the federal government and the election commission as parties in the review petition. The petitioner took the stance that the Supreme Court’s interpretation in paragraphs one to three of its order was not in accordance with the letter and spirit, as well as the system of parliamentary democracy, established by the Constitution. It prayed that opinion should be withdrawn by reviewing the paragraph regarding non-counting of votes of dissident members. The opinion of the Supreme Court was tantamount to interfering in the constitution as according to Article 63-A, dissident members would be de-seated only, it added.

On May 17, the apex court declared by a majority verdict of three to two that votes cast by legislators in violation of their party’s stance must not be taken into account while determining the outcome of a motion since Article 63-A of the Constitution was meant to protect the fundamental rights of a parliamentary party, and not those of defectors.