PESHAWAR: The petitioner begged the High Court of Peshawar to prohibit the chairman of the Senate from presiding over the Upper House of Parliament before the final settlement of his pending petition against the vote of no confidence against the chairman and the vice chairman last year.
In a pending petition, Shahid Orakzai filed an appeal with the high court seeking to call the last year’s illegal vote on the no-confidence resolutions against the chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate and to allow a fresh vote on those resolutions.
He argued that, for the time being, the Chairman of the Senate does not possess the confidence of the majority of the Assembly.
The complainant claimed that the motion of no confidence against him could not pass, but at the same time, the votes of the Senate majority were not voted on.
The undeniable reality, he said, was that a total of 64 members verbally backed the chairman’s ‘no trust’ motion.
The complainant argued that the fact that the presiding officer, Senator Mohammad Ali Saif, voted for his unlawful and illegitimate vote in favour of the presiding officer was identified and that the vote could not be counted at all.
Plea about last year’s vote of no trust against him pending
He argued that the real votes cast in favour of the chairman amounted to just 49.
The complainant urged the court to promptly address this motion and grant a stop order by restraining the chairman from presiding over the Senate until his written petition was determined.
In the key petition, the complainant alleged that the presiding officer, Senator Mohammad Ali Saif, had played a political role in voting on certain resolutions in the past year.
He asked the High Court to disqualify Mohammad Ali Saif as a member of the Senate because, under Article 63(1)(F) of the Constitution, he was not Sadiq and Amén.
The court was also ordered to revoke Senator Saif’s membership and to bar him from entering the Upper House of Parliament hearings.
He argued that the Constitution was explicit that the person presiding a House “shall not vote except in the case of equality of votes” to ensure full neutrality. He, however, said that when the polling on the resolutions took place on Aug 1, 2019, such a condition did not occur.
The plaintiff contended that the presiding officer instead cast the ballots like all electors on the floor.
Shahid Orakzai argued that Mohammad Ali Saif, the presiding officer, had violated the neutrality stressed by Article 55 of the Constitution.
He asked the tribunal to order a fresh vote in the Senate against its chairman and vice chairman on motions of no confidence.
Mr. Orakzai argued that Senator Saif had, in sharp breach of Article 55 of the Constitution, cast two ballots against the chairman and vice chairman on resolutions tabled.
The High Court was informed that Senator Saif had escorted Sadiq Sanjarani to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat on the very next polling day.