ISLAMABAD The incumbent legislators have destroyed the parliamentary image through different clauses, including 175-A, 63-A and 239, of the 18th Constitutional Amendment which are negating the basic structure of the Constitution, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada argued Tuesday before a 17-member larger bench of the Supreme Court. The 17-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is hearing identical petitions against certain clauses of the 18th Amendment. Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday said that the courts accorded temporary validation to martial laws, but others (Parliament) provided every time permanent protection to it and only the institution of judiciary was being singled out. Pirzada said in his arguments that it was a unique characteristic of the 1973 Constitution that it was passed unanimously and no dictator had courage to abrogate it though it was put in abeyance by General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervez Musharraf. He said except a few amendments, the other changes in the Constitution were quite appreciative. Abdul Hafeez Pirzada said that the 18th Amendment had destroyed the parliamentary image of the 1973 Constitution and its Article 239 barred the jurisdiction of the court to examine the laws passed by the Parliament. He said that the Supreme Court had the powers to decide disputes between the Federating Units and the Federation. Justice Saqib Nisar asked Pirzada what was the correlation between the convention and the expressed will of the people. He stated if the constitution was a living document, then the future generation could make changes in it. Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk asked, Can the court strike down an expressed will if it is against the convention? Pirzada replied where was the will of the people when General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency in the country as the then National and Punjab Assemblies had supported him. The Chief Justice said that the Parliament did not validate the action but it only passed the resolution. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja citing a politician said that the parliamentarians considered themselves as servants of the people and the masses were the real masters of their government. Justice Ramday commented that the Parliament was taking extraordinary step for the fate of the whole nation in this matter. They did not bother to consult them as well, he added. He said that now through 18th Amendment, the new method had been introduced that the members of the National and the Provincial Assemblies were being nominated by the head of the party and among them a few were not even the member of the Parliament. According the 1973 Constitution, the MNAs and MPAs are elected through adult franchise, he added. Justice Tasadduq Hussain Jillani asked Pirzada, Can you cite from other constitutions where the intra-party election are mandatory? Justice Rehmat Jaffari asked if such a provision was written in the original 1973 Constitution and envisaged by the lawmakers at that time. Pirzada said in the beginning it was not there but later it was included. About Article 2A, Pirzada said that the Parliament passed 102 amendments in the Constitution but it did not abrogate Article 2-A in the Constitution, which was inserted by a dictator. On a question, he said that the provision of referendum was not new and still existed in the Constitution. Earlier, Wahab-ul-Kheri during his argument said that after the removal of provision of intra-party elections, the head of the political party could control his own prime minister. He said that independent election was the fundamental right of the people. So far A K Dogar, President High Court Bar Rawalpindi Zulfiqar Naqvi, a petitioner Sardar Niazi, counsel for Nadeem Advocate, Akram Sheikh, counsel for Supreme Court Bar Association Hamid Khan, Chairman Wattan Party Barrister Zafarullah Khan, counsel of Rawalpindi District Bar Association Chaudhary Ikram, and the counsel of Ejaz-ul-Haq, President Pakistan Muslim League (Zia), have concluded their arguments. The case was adjourned till today (Wednesday).