Court has no power to change the political system: SC

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has declared the petitions for the introduction of presidential system in the country inadmissible and clarified that the court has no power in the constitution to order a change in the political system.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umrata Bandial heard the appeal against the objections of the Registrar’s Office on the pleas of Ahmad Raza Kasuri to introduce the presidential system.

Justice Omar Ata Bandial remarked that the court has to see whether the petitioners are relevant in this case and whether they have anything concrete to say about basic human rights.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial, who presided over the bench, further remarked that the court should also look into why there were powerful political parties in the country and why the petitioner had this need in their presence.

To this, Ahmad Raza Kasuri said, “If politicians do not think of the interest and welfare of the country, should I also remain silent?”

The petitioner further said that the only living person among those who drafted the Constitution of Pakistan is presently in the country.

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Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked that under Article 46 of the Constitution, the Prime Minister puts the matter before a joint sitting of Parliament for a referendum.

He questioned whether the issue had even come before the Prime Minister or Parliament, whether only a single individual was needed to introduce a presidential system.

To which Ahmad Raza Kasuri said that he was not an individual but an institution.

Addressing Ahmad Raza Kasuri, Justice Muneeb Akhtar said, “Back when the constitution was being drafted and you were a Member of Parliament, why did you not oppose the parliamentary system of government?”

Ahmad Raza Kasuri said, “I had opposed the constitution document, but Justice Muneeb Akhtar had said that then how am I counting myself among those who frame the constitution.”

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said that this was a political matter, and not the concern of court.

Ahmad Raza Kasuri said that they had seen the country being signed in 1971, to which Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said that the court should not be involved in irrelevant matters.

The court upheld the objections of the Registrar’s Office and declared the petitions against the presidential system inadmissible.

The Supreme Court has made it clear that the basis of the Constitution is the parliamentary system. In the Constitution, the court has no power to order a change in the political system, it has stated.

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