The PML-N on Saturday filed a miscellaneous plea in the Islamabad High Court for an early hearing of its petition challenging the promulgation of eight ordinances issued by President Arif Alvi.
In the petition filed by PML-N MNA Mohsin Ranjha though his counsel Umer Gillani, the court was informed that the matter was pending in the court for 10 months and the government had promulgated 14 more ordinances during this period.
The petitioner contended that the government was continuing to bypass parliament as the scope of Article 89 of the Constitution needed to be interpreted for clarity.
The PML-N leader had filed the original petition in November last year.
The petition requested IHC to declare that the president’s power to promulgate ordinances can be used to bring about such legislation only when the government needs to respond to an emergency situation such as war, famine, epidemic or rebellion which has put the life, liberty or property of the people of Pakistan at stake.
It further pleaded that such powers can be used in case of an emergency after the prorogation of the last session of Parliament or when waiting for the commencement of the next session of either house of Parliament would cause irreparable loss of life, liberty or property to the people of Pakistan.
Ranjha’s counsel Umer Gilani requested the IHC to declare the impugned ordinances illegal, unconstitutional being ultra vires Article 89 of the Constitution and having been promulgated in a mala fide manner.
“The obvious reason why the federal government rushed with these ordinances is because it did not want to meaningfully engage with the opposition in the Parliament,” he maintained.
“This represents a completely unconstitutional and authoritarian approach to government is against the spirit of our federal, democratic constitution and which cannot be defended.”
In January this year, the court gave the law ministry two weeks’ time to submit a response to the petition.
IHC CJ Athar Minallah asked the amicus curiae to submit a written reply on the circumstances that led the Imran Khan-led government to bypass parliament by promulgating the ordinances.
HE observed that the federal government was violating the rule of law and remarked that the high court would uphold the supremacy of parliament.