ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday announced that the Prime Minister cannot take decisions on financial matters without the federal cabinet’s approval.
“The Prime Minister cannot take decisions by himself, or by supplanting or ignoring the Cabinet because the power to take decisions is vested with the Federal Government i.e. the Cabinet, and unilateral decisions taken by him would be a usurpation of power,” stated Justice Saqib Nisar in a judgment announced on a plea against the notification of increased imposition of levy tax.
He further said: “The decisions of the Federal Government are the decisions of the Cabinet and not of the Prime Minister. Any decisions taken by the Prime Minister on his own initiative lack the authority of the law or the Constitution.”
The apex court also noted that the ordinance making power can only be exercised after a prior consideration by the Cabinet. An ordinance issued without the prior approval of the Cabinet is not valid. Similarly, no bill can be moved in Parliament on behalf of the Federal Government without having been approved in advance by the Cabinet. The Cabinet has to be given a reasonable opportunity to consider, deliberate on and take decisions in relation to all proposed legislation, including the Finance Bill or Ordinance or Act. Actions by the Prime Minister on his own, in this regard, are not valid and are declared ultra vires.