Presidential reference: SC hears Mian Raza Rabbani’s arguments on
open ballot for Senate polls

ISLAMABAD, (MANEND NEWS):The Supreme Court of Pakistan has
conducted the hearing of the presidential reference seeking advice
from the top court on holding Senate elections through an open ballot
on Friday.
A five-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice
Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata
Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Yahya Khan Afridi heard the
arguments from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on the presidential
reference regarding the open vote in Senate elections.
During the hearing, CJP Justice Gulzar Ahmed questioned the
submission of instructions to voters in Senate polls by the Election
Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The lawyer representing ECP informed
the top court that copies of the instructions issued to voters have been
PPP counsel Senator Mian Raza Rabbani initiated the arguments and
said he has appeared in the court in his personal capacity alongside
representing the political party. CJP Gulzar Ahmed remarked that
Rabbani is serving as a Senate member since 1994.
The counsel said that the federal government is trying to creating an
impression as the case was about the jurisdiction of 3/184. The
establishment of Senate aims to give equal representation to the
provinces, said Raza Rabbani, adding that in a parliamentary system,
running businesses in both Houses are not possible.

The National Assembly (NA) represents the nation, where, Senate is
the representative of federal units and it will be unnatural for having
no difference of opinion in both Houses, said Mian Raza Rabbani.
“It is not necessary for a ruling party to gain majority a province while
the proportion of Senate seats can also be changed after the coalition
of opposition. I will give a detailed stance on the point pertains to the
proportional representation.”
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that proportional representation [in
Senate] have been mentioned in Article 51 and 59. The alliance of
political parties will not affect the proportional representation,
whereas, the coalition should be made in public if any political party is
willing to do it.
Mian Raza Rabbani argued that proportional representation will be
made on reserved seats in accordance with the party list, whereas,
Article 59 defines the proportional representation in the Senate
through an open vote. Moreover, the proportional representation of
political parties being described by the court was about the ideal
condition, but the political matters would never remain ideal, he
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the proportional representation of
each political party should be made in the Upper House.
Mian Raza Rabbani argued that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and
Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) are coalition partners in Punjab
and the ruling party has also awarded the Senate seat to its partner.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial maintained that political parties are adjusting
their seats with the coalition parties in other provinces as well.
Later, the top court adjourned the hearing of the presidential reference
on the open ballot in Senate polls till Monday. The hearing will be
resumed at 12:00 noon on Monday where the PPP counsel Mian Raza
Rabbani will give arguments regarding Article 226.
Earlier, the PPP had filed an application in the apex court through
Nayyar Hussain Bukhari to become a party in the presidential
reference, praying to answer the reference in negative.

The federal government had filed the presidential reference on
December 23 in court, had sought the opinion of Supreme Court on
holding the upcoming elections for the Senate through the open ballot.

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