Court allows President’s plea to surrender constitutional immunity under Article 248

Court allows President’s plea to surrender constitutional immunity under Article 248

ISLAMABAD, March 9 (APP): An Anti-Terrorism Court on Wednesday accepted President Dr Arif Alvi’s plea for waiver of constitutional immunity provided to him as head of the state under Article 248 of the Constitution in the pending case. 

Earlier, the president had appeared in the court on March 4 in an unprecedented manner in the history of the country, pleading to surrender his constitutional immunity. The president along with his cousel Dr Babar Awan had further requested the court to decide the case on merit.

The president had moved two separate applications; one for waiving of protection provided to him under Article 248 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 and the other related to Section 265-K CrPC. 

The Judge of the learned court after going through the pleas, noted in his order that President Dr Arif Alvi voluntarily appeared before the Court without issuance of any process and opted to waive protection provided to him under the clause (2) of the Article 248 of the Constitution.

“No criminal proceedings could be instituted or continued against the President in Office during his term of Office,” the judge observed while quoting the constitutional provision.

Court allows President’s plea to surrender constitutional immunity under Article 248
President Alvi-Court

The court further said that the case was registered prior to entering of Dr Arif Alvi to the office of president whereas the proceedings were also held in abeyance against the appellant by the predecessor judge on 20-07-2018.

The judge in his order mentioned the reasons for acceptance of the plea and said as the petitioner had appeared before him to voluntarily waive the constitutional protection and the prosecutor had not opposed the application, “Therefore, the application for waiver of protection provided under Article 248 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 is allowed and the proceedings against petitioner are resumed.”

During Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) sit-in in 2014, the Islamabad police had invoked the Anti-Terrorism Act against PTI leaders including Dr Arif Alvi, for allegedly inciting party workers to attack the PTV building and Parliament House in the previous PML-N government.