The Pakistan Supreme Court citing Indian apex court verdicts while disqualifying Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has evoked mixed reactions from the legal fraternity here.
While experts noted that it was normal for courts across the world to refer to judgments of foreign courts, they differed on the relevance of the reference made to the Indian apex court’s verdicts of 2007— one in the case of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly and the other on the Haryana Assembly, both relating to disqualification of legislators by the Speaker.
Some senior lawyers and constitutional experts noted that the Supreme Court verdicts referred to by the Pakistan court related to disqualification of MPs in connection with anti-defection and not contempt.
However, some others opined that the relevance of the judgments is to be decided by the Pakistan court.
The two judgments of the Indian court cited by the Pakistan court has “nothing to do with the situation in Pakistan,” according to senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan. Under the Indian anti-defection law, the court could only question the Speaker’s decision to disqualify an elected member and could not disqualify him/her on its own. On the contrary, under Article 63 of the Pakistan’s Constitution, the EC decides the question of disqualification.
However, former Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap felt that “the Supreme Court is supreme in the matter of Constitution” in both India and Pakistan.