ISLAMABAD, April 5 (Reuters) – Pakistan’s Supreme Court adjourned until Wednesday a hearing to decide the legality of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s blocking of an opposition bid to oust him, a dispute that has led to political turmoil in the nuclear-armed country.
Former cricket star Khan lost his parliamentary majority last week and had been facing a no-confidence vote tabled by a united opposition that he was expected to lose on Sunday.
But the deputy speaker of parliament, a member of Khan’s party, threw out the motion, ruling it was part of a foreign conspiracy and unconstitutional. Khan then dissolved parliament.
The stand-off has thrown the country of 220 million people, ruled by the military for extended periods since independence in 1947, into a full-blown constitutional crisis.
The opposition challenged Khan’s decision in a legal case in the Supreme Court that began on Monday.
The panel of five judges has not said when it might give a ruling.
“Our concern is about the legality of the ruling of the speaker,” Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said at the hearing. “We don’t want to indulge in policy matters.”
Opposition lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan said Khan’s actions were a violation of the constitution.
“This is not just a matter of procedure but it is in negation of parliamentary democracy,” he told the court.