Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said on Friday that the government would file a reference in the Supreme Court, asking it to interpret Article 63 (A) of the Constitution, which is related to disqualification of parliamentarians on grounds of defection.
In a series of tweets, Chaudhry said the government would also request the top court to conduct daily hearings on the reference that would be filed under Article 186 of the Constitution, which is related to the advisory jurisdiction of the SC.
“The Supreme Court will be asked about the legal status of the vote of party members when they are clearly involved in horse-trading and change their loyalties in exchange for money,” the minister said.
The development comes a day after several PTI lawmakers, who had been ‘in hiding’ at the Sindh House in Islamabad, revealed themselves — proving that the opposition’s claims of having “won over” members of the ruling coalition were indeed true.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and some cabinet ministers had earlier accused the opposition of indulging in horse-trading ahead of the crucial vote on the no-confidence resolution, disclosing that the capital’s Sindh House had become a centre for buying and purchasing members.
But while government members continued to claim that these dissidents had “sold their souls for money”, a number of TV channels that sent their teams into Sindh House to verify the claims were faced with nearly a dozen PTI members, who claimed that they had developed differences with the Imran Khan-led government and were going to vote in “accordance with their conscience”.
Television footage showed PTI MNAs, including some women lawmakers, lounging around the spacious Sindh House, which is located right opposite the official residence of the chief justice of Pakistan.
In his tweet today, Chaudhry said the Supreme Court would also be asked for advice on whether those who change their party loyalties for financial reasons would be disqualified for life or allowed to contest elections again.