Pakistan National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, in her reply to the Supreme Court, has contended that she has absolute power to decide the matter regarding the disqualification or qualification of any lawmaker after the passage of the 18th Amendment.
"The 18th Amendment is very important and clearly gives the power to the speaker or as the case may be to the chairman, that they can reject the reference if they come to the conclusion that no question of disqualification of a member from being a member has arisen," the Daily Times quoted Mirza as saying in her statement.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, is hearing petitions against the speaker's ruling regarding disqualification of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in the contempt of court case.
Defending her May 24 ruling on the issue of Gilani's conviction in the contempt of court case, Mirza said her ruling on any matter could not be challenged in the court and the power of the speaker was not parallel or under the apex court.
"The powers vested in the speaker are not parallel or equivalent to the Supreme Court hence any decision/ruling given by the speaker is not tantamount to interference or setting aside any verdict of the apex court, especially when the ruling is the result of an independent exercise of powers vested in the speaker by the constitution without having been influenced by extraneous circumstances," she said.
She raised objections on the pleas of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif and other petitioners, saying that no fundamental right of the petitioners was infringed due to her ruling, therefore all the petitions should be rejected.
"The office of the speaker demands the highest respect for other organs of the state and functionaries of the government," she maintained.
Mirza said she did not transgress the powers of the judiciary, but travelled on the constitutional track.
"The charge framed by the honourable court nowhere evinced that Mr Yusuf Raza Gilani ridiculed or defamed the Supreme Court," she added.