ISLAMABAD - Attorney General for Pakistan told the Full Court of Supreme Court Thursday that there is no difference between constituent and legislative assembly, and the parliament under constitution had the power to amend the constitution.

Attorney General Salman Butt informed that in India the assembly, which had framed the constitution, was dissolved afterward. Similar situation is of Bangladesh. However, in Pakistan the assembly that gave 1973 Constitution continued to work.

The attorney general said in India both the amendment in law or constitution could be done with simple majority i.e. 51 per cent, but in Pakistan 2/3 majority is required for constitutional amendment.

During the proceeding, Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, heading Full Court, indicated to conclude the 18th and 21st amendments proceeding today and asked the AGP to conclude arguments by today by 10:30am. The AGP said federation counsel Khalid Anwar would come back from abroad. The chief justice said that they are concluding the case today. The attorney general in pursuant of the court order submitted a document, which showed that the bills for 21st Constitutional Amendment Act 2015 and the Army Amendment Act 2015 were presented before President the same day (7th January), which he had signed.

The AGP told that the members in Senate and National Assembly debated both the bills. However, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said Senator Raza Rabbani after polling vote in favour of 21st Amendment stated that he had given vote against his conscience.

The attorney general referring the Legal Framework Order (LFO), issued by General Yahya Khan in 1969, argued the basic features of the constitution were given in that document. Upon that Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed inquired from the AGP: "Did he mean for basic structure we see to Yahya Khan." The document (LFO) controls the 1973 constitution, he further asked.

The attorney general contended that under this document the elections in 1971 were held and assemblies formed, adding the LFO is also the basis of 1973 Constitution. He said that the 1962 Constitution was also given by military dictator, and asked; "If the objection is that these documents were given by dictators then where should we go". Justice Sh Azmat told him, go to the people of Pakistan.

The attorney general argued that the court could not strike down constitutional amendment as the parliament under Article 239 can amend the constitution and quoted Sindh High Court Bar Association judgment.

Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa said it was the only judgment wherein constitutional amendment was struck down. He said through Presidential Order 2007 the Emergency was imposed in the country, and Islamabad High Court established. But the Supreme Court had declared the constitutional amendment null and void on the basis that due procedure was not followed.

Justice Khosa said according to Article 63A of Constitution, how the members of parliament would represent their voters or constituencies if they are not independent and their conscience is controlled, as they can't give vote against their party policy or abstain. The court noticed that in fact the members' hands are not tied and they are not slave as there are so many 'ifs' and 'buts' in the article. The hearing is adjourned till today.