A presidential ordinance could be cancelled if it promulgated without meeting the constitutional requirements, Senator Raza Rabbani said in his reply to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) as amicus curiae in a case against presidential ordinances on Saturday.

The high court had questioned the scope of the president’s authority to promulgate ordinances.

A petition in IHC had challenged promulgation of ordinances by the government.

A bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had sought a statement on the matter from amicus curiae Raza Rabbani and others to assist the court in the matter.

Rabbani submitted his detailed reply on the matter, comprises of 61 pages, in the high court.

He said that a presidential ordinance could be cancelled if it promulgated without meeting constitutional requirements, as it would be against the constitution with no legality.

“In an emergency situation, a presidential ordinance could be promulgated for prompt action,” Senator Rabbani said. “The President could issue an ordinance on recommendation of the cabinet in an emergency situation,” he said.

“The constitution offers limited powers for promulgation ordinance to the president in case the parliament was not in session,” Raza Rabbani said.

“Questions could be raised over a malicious presidential ordinance,” according to the reply.

An ordinance was unnecessary when a scheduled session of the Senate was not convened. “The ordinance was promulgated to bypass the debate in the legislature,” former Senate chairman said in his statement.

The petition filed in the high court stated that as per Article 89 of the Constitution, the president is only authorized to issue ordinances when the government needs to respond to an emergency situation.

According to the petitioner, ordinances can only be issued in an emergency situation and legislation cannot be made through ordinances.