Tareen, Legharis may get into trouble if Article 63-A is invoked


The announcement to join the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) by three sitting parliamentarians, Jahangir Khan Tareen, Owais Leghari and Senator Jamal Leghari, may land them in trouble if their respective parties – the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and the PML-Quaid (PML-Q) – opted to invoke Article 63-A (disqualification on defection law) against them.
Under Article 63-A of the constitution, defection would be deemed to have taken place on two grounds: (a) when a member resigns from his political party or joins another parliamentary party; (b) if a members votes or abstains from voting contrary to the directions of his parliamentary party in case of election of the leader of the House, vote of confidence or no-confidence, or a money bill. After the passage of 18th Amendment, Article 63-A can also be invoked if a member votes against party directions in case of the passage of constitutional amendment bill. Talking to Pakistan Today, Senator SM Zafar said the defection clause could be invoked against the Leghari brothers as they had joined another party. “PML-Q Parliamentary Leader in the National Assembly Faisal Saleh Hayat can move a reference against Owais Leghari to the National Assembly speaker, while PML-Q Parliamentary Leader in the Senate Wasim Sajjad can move a reference against Senator Jamal Leghari to the Senate chairman,” he said.
Kunwar Dilshad, former secretary at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), said that after joining the PTI all the three sitting parliamentarians had lost their seats under the constitution. When asked who could move a reference against Tareen as he himself was the parliamentary leader of the PML-F in the National Assembly, Dilshad said, “National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza can send a reference against Tareen to the chief election commissioner.”
Apart from the legal position, sources in the PML-Q and the PML-F said both the parties were unlikely to move disqualification references against their dissident parliamentarians because it might create further divisions in the parties.


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