Justice Minallah's dissenting note rejects SC's suo motu on elections by 4-3

Justice Minallah's dissenting note rejects SC's suo motu on elections by 4-3


Petitioners’ behaviour was not a convincing reason to invoke Article 184 (3)

 ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Supreme Court judge Justice Athar Minallah on Friday remarked in his dissenting note that the apex court’s suo motu notice on Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) elections stood rejected by 4-3.

He remarked that there were three basic reasons to reject the notice. “The bench which heard the case was obligated to follow the basic principles enshrined in Article 184 (3), the court should handle political cases with great care to preserve its dignity, and it should also take the petitioner’s code of conduct and intentions into consideration,” he remarked.

The petitioners’ behaviour was not a solid reason to invoke Article 184 (3), he remarked.

Justice Minallah wrote that taking the suo motu notice was akin to promoting undemocratic values and strategies adding that past verdicts could not be revoked but an attempt could be registered to restore public confidence in the judiciary. “A controversy, political in nature, had given rise to debate on deciding dates for elections”, he remarked. SC had been dragged for the third time in a row, he remarked, to controversial political matters.

The judge penned that he agreed with Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Ahmad Khan Mandokhail adding that the court had been the centre of resolving controversial political matters. “It was decided on Feb 27 that I would not become a part of the bench”, he wrote further. He neither distanced himself from the bench, he remarked, nor had mentioned any reason to do so in his earlier dissenting note.

He further wrote that he gave his opinion without any hesitation and he had recommended forming a full court bench to hear the case. “Full court bench will have helped restore public confidence in the judiciary”, he remarked.

He wrote when politicians moved the court instead of taking the matter to suitable forums, they either won or lost, but the court always lost. All the institutions should put their egos aside and fulfill their constitutional roles, he remarked.

The justice went on to write that the top court did not learn any lesson from the past adding that the country was on the verge of a political and constitutional crisis. “It is the time for all stakeholders to take a step back and introspect”, he remarked.

Earlier, Justice Minallah had distanced himself, along with Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, and Justice Jamal Ahmad Khan Mandokhail, from hearing the suo motu case regarding elections in Punjab and KP.