The million dollar question in the present scenario is that what will be fate of the decisions taken by Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani between 26 and June 19.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has clarified that the premier stood disqualified since April 26, the day the court convicted him on contempt charges.
Legal fraternity is divided on the validity of the all such decisions and the status of Gilani until a new prime minister is elected.
The Article 94 of the Constitution reads, “The president may ask the prime minister to continue to hold office until his successor enters upon the office of prime minister”.
Senior lawyer and former law minister Khalid Ranjha believes that the above mentioned Article clarifies that the head of state could issues a simple order asking the premier to continue until the house elects a new leader of the House.
However, Senator SM Zafar of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was not agreed with this definition. In his view, the above mention clause is applied when a prime minister resigns from his post or when a no-trust motion is passed against him/her.
He noted, “In the present case, Gilani was ousted through a court order. This clause does not apply on him and he cannot continue any longer”.
The finance bill is the greatest concern amongst the uncertainty arising over the validity of the premier and his cabinet’s acts between April 26 and June 19.
Famous lawyer Salman Akram Raja while talking to the media said that the parliament was powered to validate all such actions through a retrospective aspect, adding that some of the non-controversial steps taken by the former premier would be deemed as past.
He, however, said that any decision could be challenged in the court on the grounds that it was taken by Prime Minister Gilani who was not eligible to do so.
Senator SM Zafar was of the opinion that Defecto Doctrine was applied in such situations. Under the said doctrine, all decisions and actions are considered valid until new leader of the House decided to annual them.
Another legal expert Khalid Anwar was of the opinion that the government should file a review petition on the grounds that a three-member bench couldn’t surpass the decision of the seven-member bench.