Accountability chief sent packing

Published: March 11, 2011
SC orders immediate removal of Deedar Hussain Shah from office.

SC orders immediate removal of Deedar Hussain Shah from office.

Chairman NAB, Justice (retd) Syed Deedar Hussain Shah. SC orders immediate removal of Deedar Hussain Shah from office.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday struck down the appointment of Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Justice (retd) Syed Deedar Hussain Shah and directed him to relinquish charge immediately.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Javed Iqbal, declared the appointment illegal in a short order issued on Thursday.

The appointment of chairman NAB had been challenged in the Supreme Court by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), who contended that the mandatory requirement for consultation with the opposition for the appointment of Chairman NAB, as enshrined in the Constitution, was not fulfilled.

Maintaining that his reservations on the appointment were not taken into account, he added that he was opposed to it in view of nominee Justice (retd) Syed Deedar Hussain Shah’s past association with the Pakistan Peoples Party and the fact that he had twice served as a member of the Sindh Assembly.

The leader of the opposition claimed that he had expressed these reservations to the prime minister during a telephonic conversation.

Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, the federation’s counsel argued that the petitions were not maintainable since they were filed under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution, which relate to human rights. The apex court does not intervene except in cases where fundamental rights have been denied. The consultation process for the chairman’s appointment was carried out in accordance with the law. Earlier, the court had granted the counsel time to consult his client on the issue.

In reply to the court’s query on the consultation process and the advice given by the prime minister as mandatory under Section 6 of the  National Accountability Ordinance 1999 for the appointment of the NAB chairman, Pirzada had said, “Being a law officer of the court and not the government’s counsel, I think if there are any technical deficiencies in the notification for the NAB chairman’s appointment, it can be rectified without discontinuation of the process.”

President Asif Ali Zardari had subsequently reappointed Chairman NAB on a fresh summary sent by Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani. The court had expressed shock over the development and asked for the latest record regarding Shah’s reappointment as NAB chief. The court had observed that NAB chief will have to step down if it is proven that the opposition leader’s views were not taken into account since his appointment would then have been in violation of the law. Justice Khosa said the earlier notification could be revoked to rectify the consultation process. However, the word ‘advice’ by the premier for the appointment was missing in the notification.

The court observed that the prime minister had stated on the record that the president is not bound to act upon his advice. Akram Sheikh, counsel for Khan, argued that the opposition leader was not consulted in accordance with section 6 of the NAB Ordinance. He  added that, according to Article 48 of the Constitution, it is mandatory for the president to heed the prime minister’s advice.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (52)

  • ishaq
    Mar 10, 2011 - 3:04PM

    O GOD Save us from these political Judges and Their Judgments.Recommend

  • Neha Khan
    Mar 10, 2011 - 3:14PM

    The CJP should now just move next door, the PM House. Since he wants to decide everything, starting from commodity prices to appointments at important positions, the PM House is a more logical place for him.Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Mar 10, 2011 - 3:26PM

    I once again foresee “Judicial Murder” of PPP. All roads are leading to Raiwind and Takht e Lahore. Mr. Najam Sethi has revealed all faces and forces of darkness right from the murder of Liaquat Ali Khan upto the murder of Shaheed Bibi. So I am not skeptical if something big Bang is on its way. Keep it up conspirators. This verdict was expected.Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 10, 2011 - 3:32PM

    If you want GOD to save us? Then it is this government that has sold our Sovereignty and makes pun of her office and the nation.Recommend

  • Salman Hasan
    Mar 10, 2011 - 3:53PM

    War of power & authority! Biased Judiciary …..Recommend

  • Gill
    Mar 10, 2011 - 4:02PM

    Bravo, bravo, bravo!Recommend

  • Razi
    Mar 10, 2011 - 4:02PM

    @Khalid Rahim:
    Really? blame alone to Gov is fun and habit of us. It must be political parties, forces, judiciary and public like u and me.Recommend

  • Abdul Ali
    Mar 10, 2011 - 4:13PM

    Let us learn to respect the decisions of our Courts. Please.Recommend

  • Atif
    Mar 10, 2011 - 6:12PM

    you are right, these are the courts which are making our foreign policies, raising pertrol prices, getting loan from IMF, created electricity issue and brought expensive rental power plants, sold over sovereignty, allows US for drone attacks, and should also be blamed for the condition of Baluchistan.Recommend

  • Muhammad HAFEEZ ATTARI
    Mar 10, 2011 - 6:35PM

    This is the 1st step to Self Accountability
    Plz Respect the Judiciary For Nation Honour in the world
    We will not find our Destiny without Free JudiciaryRecommend

  • Muhammad HAFEEZ ATTARI
    Mar 10, 2011 - 7:05PM

    Mr Ishaq
    Ur Analysis is For those who’s looted the nation day & night
    if u r a Educated Person u should revisit ur statement
    Bcoz those decoites were sold the Diginity of our Great NationRecommend

  • Mar 10, 2011 - 7:11PM

    Now our Judiciary has put on a jacket meant for suicide bomber.Recommend

  • zawaf
    Mar 10, 2011 - 7:20PM

    Firstly appointing one’s own party man as chief accountibility officer is itself ‘morally’ illegitimate.

    Secondly now PPP annownced that they will observse Friday as protest against judiciary. whereas their President has authority to proceed against any Judge if PPP thinks the conduct of that judge is wrong. If PPP thinks that CJ is biased then why not to take the coarse of the law/constitution and proceed with a reference against CJ.
    But street agitation is not a right action ‘against’ APPEX court’s decision. Recommend

  • ishaq
    Mar 10, 2011 - 7:29PM

    @Khalid Rahim. I am not defending Government. Both PPP and PML-N
    are doing nothing for the people but it is fact that our judiciary is political
    and corrupt.Recommend

  • Neha Khan
    Mar 10, 2011 - 8:13PM

    @ Zawaf, only being a member of a political party in the past does not disqualify anyone from holding a job. The gentleman in question has an impeccable record. Most lawyers in Pakistan have been a member of one party or another in their lives, does it disqualify them from being a judge?? Do you want me to tell you the political affiliation of the current judiciary and all the relatives they have in a certain party in Pakistan??Recommend

  • Shahid Malik
    Mar 10, 2011 - 8:21PM

    If government does not accept adhocism for the sake of their cronies, then the government can expect such decisions from our present SC. A national tragedy!!!Recommend

  • Mar 10, 2011 - 9:00PM

    Appointment of Deedar Hussain Shah being affiliated with PPP on the post of Chairman Nab was itself doubtful and was justifiably challenged before the August Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Apex court has given a detailed verfict declaring such appointment as void. Very funny and fantastic that the PPP is agitating and bent upon to protest. If this practice is allowed to flourish, the poor people who are already suffering would definitely come out as they are already crushed due to wring decisions of th PPP government. What is wrong with the decision of Apex Court and this is not the first, rather there are other decisions also, in which appointments/selections by the rulers stood declared as void and against merits. Instead of reconsidering their decisions and showing repentence, PPP’s so called agitation would definitely an other slur on their names. The decision againstg the two seats of President is still awaited by the Court. We people must discourage this practice of protesting against the decision of August Court. On one hand the Prime Minister is making speeches that they are accepting and would accept the decisions made by the Courts and on the other hand, what PPP’s is doing. It is also worth mentioning over here that from the very inception the PPP’s ruler are not accepting the present judiciary and even judiciary was restored not at the whim or wish of PPP rather at the strength of agitations and protest of public at large. Recommend

  • shah
    Mar 10, 2011 - 9:40PM

    @ zawaf….what about the impartiality of Saif-ur-rehman and his ehtasab bureau ??? And what about false political cases he concocted….??
    Be fair.Don’t just eat sweet and spit bitter.
    Why Shahbaz is still CM of Punjab on a stay order since 3 years…???.
    And why the LHC CJ has refused to hear cases against “LOTAS” on priority basis and threw the case in the cold storage….??
    Is this judicial activism or tainted political judicial system….Recommend

  • nasar ali
    Mar 10, 2011 - 9:44PM

    Is it reasonable or fair to rush to judgement and hastily attribute ulterior motives to the judges of the Supreme Court for pronouncing the appointment of Justice ( retired) Deedar Hussain Shah as illegal as most of the persons who have contributed comments have done? What we have before us is a legal judgement which like all such documents is ( and should be ) subject to rational scrutiny, analysis and challenge on the basis of facts and the law.alone. If the summary of the applicable law (the NAB Ordinance) is correct, then the appointment does not seem to have conformed to it. However be that as it may, before forming an opinion let us wait until we can see the text of the full judgement or at least the short order. Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahsan Nadeem
    Mar 10, 2011 - 10:25PM

    The problem with all of us is this that we always give expert opinion (though we don’t know the A B C D of the issue) when we discuss any kind of issues. More interestingly we try to prove that the expert is wrong and we are right.

    Can any one explain what will happen if you are not an engineer and you have to solve an engineering problem or if you are not a doctor and you have to check a patient or if you are a not an aalim (molvi) and you have to give a fatwa or or or or ………? Recommend

  • Shahid Malik
    Mar 10, 2011 - 10:26PM

    The nation struggled for an independent judiciary. What we got turned out to be history’s most prejudiced judiciary.Recommend

  • Mar 10, 2011 - 10:33PM

    The Supreme Court can only earn respect when it shows that it is not just independent but also impartial. So far, and I say this with a sad heart, it has only shown that it is independent of the government not impartial. Why does it not decide the case of Air Marshal Asghar Khan, the Hudaibiya Mills case, the Mian Shahbaz case in which he is ruling the largest province by virtue of an interim stay order. Air Marshal Asghar Khan is a hero and has written several times to take up his case without so much as even an acknowledgment from the Supreme Court. This is, to say the least, shameless. The Late Mr. A. K. Brohi once reminded the Supreme Court that : “The mandate of the Constitution is only that the Supreme Court shall decide finally. The Constitution does not say that the Supreme Court shall decide correctly.” He then went on to say that there was a court higher than the Supreme Court and that court not only decides finally but also never decides wrongly!
    Unfortunately the Supreme Court day by day is providing material to those who perceive it as biased and bought. That makes one so pessimistic that it makes one think; would not the Taliban also feel happy at what the Supreme Court is doing? Perceptions are so important in this world of make believe. Hope someone realises this and soon. GOD save and bless Pakistan.Recommend

  • shahid
    Mar 10, 2011 - 10:46PM

    first free media now free judiciary.what next?

  • Uza Syed
    Mar 10, 2011 - 11:05PM

    @ Ishaq: “O GOD Save us from these political Judges and Their Judgments.” —— Amen!

    @Neha Khan: “The CJP should now just move next door, the PM House. Since he wants to decide everything, starting from commodity prices to appointments …. ” —- why not move back to whereevr he came from?

    @Salman Hasan: “War of power & authority! Biased Judiciary …..” ——- Biased — yes!

    @anwaarahmad: “Now our Judiciary has put on a jacket meant for suicide bomber.” —— the jacket should be taken off from our judiciary and let it on those in there with death wish!

    @zawaf: “……CJ is biased then why not to take the coarse of the law/constitution and proceed with a reference against CJ.” —— Agree!

    @ishaq: “… is fact that our judiciary is political and corrupt.” —— Agree!

    @Shahid Malik: “…… history’s most prejudiced judiciary.” ——– Agree!Recommend

  • FK
    Mar 10, 2011 - 11:36PM

    @Salman Hasan:

    Oh please your the one who are biased. no wonder you support a government this rotten to the core.Recommend

  • MS
    Mar 11, 2011 - 12:01AM

    Judiciary finally has the backbone to do whats its meant to do and you guys are saying that its prejudiced?!? We have corruption in every aspect of our economy and its judiciary responsibility to bring justice! Recommend

  • No BS
    Mar 11, 2011 - 12:08AM

    Well played PMLN and Chaudhry Nisar, divert SC attention from peoples problems. SC come out as villans of this episode, people of Pakistan continue to suffer, and PMLN-PPP will continue to enjoy the fruits of ‘democracy’ – which came about thanks to 37mn (46% of all votes) fradulent votes (Election Commission of Pakistan)

  • Silent Spectator
    Mar 11, 2011 - 12:12AM

    Isn’t Zardari’s order a clear case of contempt of court? I hope the Supreme Court takes notice of this blunt admonition of its decision. Time for the Supreme Court to strip Zardari of his so-called ‘immunity’.Recommend

  • Riaz Riaz Toori
    Mar 11, 2011 - 12:21AM

    Unnecessary involvement of Judiciary in Administrative Affairs like removal of NAB Chairman, DG FIA and etc will not only destabilize democratic culture in Pakistan as well as will pave roads to dictatorship and the people will loose trust over judiciary more. Because whatever case if goes against Government of PPP the courts of Pakistan must pick it and very quickly decide about it opposite the cases of other parties like Government of Punjab is being run on stay orders.Recommend

  • Muhib Hussain Pirzado
    Mar 11, 2011 - 12:35AM

    PP played vital role for restoration of democracy and judges!
    What they face today
    Our judges have become opposition, just to oppose decisions of democratic govt
    why they don’t take important matters that are in pending since years
    Why they not take criminal party’s cases and their criminal cases….if the same are taken…as todays report is that if 7000 members of MQM against whom criminal cases are registered are faced court, target killing in karachi could be stopped!
    is not it matter of importance…
    only non issues are taken by CJ and SCRecommend

  • MK
    Mar 11, 2011 - 12:45AM

    I wonder who the Sharif’s are breeding to be the next Chief Justice? Recommend

  • Khan
    Mar 11, 2011 - 1:15AM


  • M. Tauseef Barlas
    Mar 11, 2011 - 1:48AM

    our leaders have not changed for the last 70 years. Recommend

  • Asif ilyas
    Mar 11, 2011 - 1:49AM

    i once again see a great disturbance in country due to lack of co-operation between govt and SC.i think its our history to fight for power and use power for fight.once again unseen forces wants to hit PPP led govt by judges.Recommend

  • nakamura
    Mar 11, 2011 - 3:24AM

    Our problems:
    1- Inactive Government
    2- Hyperactive court
    3-Superactive media.
    4- un interested awam
    5- super clever army
    6- un checked MulvisRecommend

  • waqas
    Mar 11, 2011 - 4:43AM

    @Neha Khan:
    i think we are not used to with free judiciary thats why we all are reacting like this. STATE is responsible for providing every basic facility to its citizen. what if more then 60% people of the a country cannot afford to feed itself properly, then SC has no right to intervene because pakistan is not made for 3 % of elite people who has occupied most of the resources and wealth of this country.
    i am wondering why you guys cannot feel that.Recommend

  • saeed kamoka
    Mar 11, 2011 - 7:24AM

    its really a very good judgement because it is going to creat a hurdel in the way of ppp corruption. The reaction from the ppp side is showing their will toward corruption.Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Mar 11, 2011 - 8:52AM

    @Neha Khan: Neha, this will be a very big favor to the nation and rest of the world if you inform them the affiliations of the present lot in our judiciary. Spill the beans so that we may know which is eatable and which one must be thrown out of the window. I request you to do so. Enough is enough what is now being seen as “One Way Traffic”.Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Mar 11, 2011 - 8:59AM

    @shah: Alas if you would have seen the program of Mr. Najam Sethi which was aired on 9th of this month and strangely on Geo TV and also known as “Apas ki Baat” in which so much was exposed that a true Pakistani’s head will fall in shame. I totally agree with what you penciled down in your comments on this verdict. Recommend

  • Ammar
    Mar 11, 2011 - 10:39AM

    There is nothing unexpected in this judgment. Nawaz Adlia is doing as per dictates from Raiwind and Takht Lahore. This is such a shame! To maintain their strength in the Judiciary they have also set aside the PC decision for no extending the tenure of judges. These judges should also be ashamed of their selves; shame is a rare commodity for them though! This is a bunch of shameless Punjabi Judges what else could we expect from them.Recommend

  • Mazhar Aziz
    Mar 11, 2011 - 11:06AM

    God Save us From Political Parties or political leaders.Recommend

  • Asmat Jamal
    Mar 11, 2011 - 11:22AM

    For the satisfaction of Supreme Court, The government should allow Nawaz Sharif to appoint some one from Punjab. May be “Saif Ur Rehman”.Recommend

  • salim
    Mar 11, 2011 - 12:00PM

    @Muhammad Ahsan Nadeem:

    There is no need for expertise here. It’s common sense. Chaudhri Nisar of PML N petitioned the SC and so outcome was very much expected!! Recommend

  • Riaz Butt
    Mar 11, 2011 - 12:47PM

    Judiciary can only be respected if it remains impartial. Current judiciary is just watching interests of Sharifs. Now we realize that Musharraf was correct in his decisions.Recommend

  • abdullah
    Mar 11, 2011 - 12:51PM

    reading the posted comments above i feel that every1 is fighting for its party and no one talks about the benefits of pakistan [ except few ]……v r all as greedy as our politicians r …they all fight for their seats in the parliament and v all r morons 2 join hands with them would b gud if v fyt for those dying in karachi,balochistans ,kp and punjab by suicide bombings and target killing…….this is so shamefull..and than v say v r all muslims….shame on all of them where u r let with no love for humanityRecommend

  • Fareedi
    Mar 11, 2011 - 1:09PM

    Ask yourself, what has the Government ever given to people?
    Then ask yourself, has the Judiciary given anything to people?
    Why does a Saudi prince write to the Chief Justice?
    Why are dishonest people weary of Supreme Court?
    Who doubts that Zardari is a Dishonest person?

    You shall know that the corrupt don’t wish to be held accountable. The whole country and its system are rotten to the core.

    Remember what the prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “If it is my daughter Fatima who commits a crime, then by God she shall be punished”.

    Does anyone know of any innocent person who is shy of Justice?

    The time of change is upon us, don’t resist. Be grateful to Allah that our unfortunate country has awoken!Recommend

  • Tufail Malik
    Mar 11, 2011 - 1:46PM

    The NAB and FIA should be under the control of the civilian government… so that they can make money without having caught or investigated, wovvRecommend

  • Amanat ali
    Mar 11, 2011 - 2:44PM

    Mr. Ishaq, please correct You should pray for GOD that save us from this bloody Govt, not from these judges. These judges are blessing. This is the Govt who is bone of contention and this is motto not to abide by the ruling of SC. I disagree with the views of Neha and Aftab. SC is the only light of hope for us. SC is doing right. The Govt should kick out the corrupt officials and the PPP members and minister rather than opposing the SC.Recommend

  • omer
    Mar 11, 2011 - 3:34PM

    o GOD . . . plz save us from these shamless and greedy govt.
    they want to appoint their own ppl at every post . . . . .they dnt hv any respect for merit.O GOD PLZ PLZ SAVE US . . . .Recommend

  • Mar 12, 2011 - 1:36AM

    @SA Chaudhary:
    There are many instances where judges who have held political positions have been appointed to various positions including as High Court judges. Syed Ghous Ali Shah was basically a PML man before he was appointed as a judge of the Sindh High Court and there are other examples too. And if his appointment has been declared unlawful on a technicality (which appears to be the case) the court, if it had acted in the larger national interest, could have easily asked the government to rectify the lacuna. Sorry to remind you that the Supreme Court has not given any reasons so far for the decision what to speak of detailed reasons.Recommend

  • Mar 12, 2011 - 1:40AM

    A short reply to your second question; the judiciary has given us judgments like in Maulvi Tamizuddin’s case, the Dosso case and the Begum Nusrat bhutto case in which it has legalized dictatorships. Recommend

  • Neha Khan
    Mar 14, 2011 - 12:22PM

    @Aftab Kenneth Wilson.. As you wish Sir! Let some suspense remain there (oh’ our little joys:)) but I’ll start with the CJP then. He is a cousin of the most foul mouthed person, not just in PML-N but whole of Pakistan I guess, Rana Sanaullah. Recommend

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