What does the reference to the Supreme Court on Article 63(A) say?

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A Pakistani lawyer (R) uses his mobile phone in front of the Supreme Court building in Islamabad on November 28, 2019. — AFP/File
A Pakistani lawyer (R) uses his mobile phone in front of the Supreme Court building in Islamabad on November 28, 2019. — AFP/File 

The government has submitted a presidential reference before the Supreme Court on Monday (today). In the reference, the ruling party aims to get the Court’s direction on how to interpret Article 63(A) of the Constitution.

Here are key highlights from the reference, obtained exclusively by Geo News:

  • The document calls defections from a political party a “morally reprehensible and destructive act which shakes the confidence of the public in the democratic process.”
  • It presents the Court with two interpretations of Article 63(A):
  1. That the defected lawmaker be only de-seated, with no further restriction or curbs from seeking election.
  2. Such members are disqualified for life under Article 62(1)(f) and “will never be able to pollute democratic streams,” the reference adds.
  • The ruling party argues that the second option will be a “robust and purpose-oriented interpretation of Articles 62 and 63(A)” which “would advance a highly desirable constitutional goal by shutting the doors of parliament for habitual turncoats.”
  • The reference also asks the Court if the vote of a member, who engages in the “constitutionally prohibited and morally reprehensible act of defection” should be counted?
  • The reference further inquiries from the Court what other steps can be undertaken, within the existing constitutional and legal framework to curb, to “deter and eradicate the cancerous practice of defection, floor crossing and vote-buying?”



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