PPP leaders face contempt charges

Published: March 27, 2011
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Notices issued to Sindh PPP leaders for calling a strike against the verdict on the appointment of Deedar Hussain Shah.

Notices issued to Sindh PPP leaders for calling a strike against the verdict on the appointment of Deedar Hussain Shah.

ISLAMABAD: 

The apex court on Saturday served contempt of court notices to two ruling Pakistan Peoples Party members Taj Haider and Sharjeel Inam Memon, also a provincial legislator, for calling a strike and using contemptuous language against the superior judiciary for invalidating the appointment of former NAB chairman Justice (retd) Deedar Hussain Shah and summoned them on April 1.

Both leaders have been directed to appear before the court to explain why proceedings under Article 204 of the constitution read with section 3 of the 2003 Contempt of Court Ordinance (Ordinance IV) may not be initiated against them.

On March 12, the apex court directed the chief secretary, Pemra’s acting chairman and Sindh Assembly secretary to submit reasons for the strike against the SC judgment organised by Taj Haider, the Sindh government’s media coordinator. The acting chairman submitted transcripts of the political leaders’ statements as proof of their use of contemptuous language.

According to the records, Haider said that legislators would take out a rally from the Sindh Assembly to the Sindh High Court to lodge a protest against what he called a ‘politically-motivated decision’ of the superior judiciary.

They would observe a general strike across Sindh against the “interference of the judiciary in administrative affairs”. He described the judgment as ‘biased’ because another person from Sindh was also removed from his post.

Sharjeel Memon stated that the “courts have dual standards” since they did not take any action against those who stormed the Supreme Court (SC) premises. “Tomorrow’s strike will be held in Sindh. Atrocities and injustices against Sindhis must be resisted.”

On March 10,  Justice Javed Iqbal struck down the appointment of Justice (retd) Deedar Hussain Shah on a petition filed by National Assembly opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and directed him to immediately relinquish charge. In the strike organised to protest against the judgment the next day, more than seven persons died in the ensuing violence. The court observed that citizen’s lives and properties were endangered.

After examining the record from the director general of the Intelligence Bureau Islamabad, home secretary Sindh and inspector general of police Sindh, the chief justice summoned both political leaders for contempt of court.

The court also sought assistance from the Attorney General of Pakistan, Advocate General Sindh, Supreme Court Bar Association president and the vice chairmen of both the Pakistan Bar Council and Sindh Bar Council for this case.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2011.


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Reader Comments (31)

  • Mar 26, 2011 - 3:05PM

    Good step.

    What sort of example are our politicians setting through open disrespect of the verdicts of the judiciary and ranting and raving to give judgements they disagree with an ‘ethnic color’ as the Ppp has done time and time again under Zardari.

    Of course many Pakistani liberals will be bashing the court over this, since the Ppp’s propagation of ethnic hatred is apparently not a sin, though sectarian and religious hatred is condemned unequivocally by the same liberals (as it should be).

    The point being, Pakistani liberals should end their double standards and hypocrisy when it comes to defending the Ppp and its sins.Recommend

  • Qasim Lakho
    Mar 26, 2011 - 3:06PM

    That is very good. Give the chance to the political leaders to take on the one eyed anti-christ. Previously when the political leadership was called, those were dull affairs. Let’s see how anti-christ takes them on.Recommend

  • Mar 26, 2011 - 3:21PM

    Good step.

    What sort of example are our politicians setting through open disrespect of the verdicts of the judiciary and ranting and raving to give judgements they disagree with an ‘ethnic color’ as the Ppp has done time and time again under Zardari.

    Of course many Pakistani liberals will be bashing the court over this, since the Ppp’s propagation of ethnic hatred is apparently not a sin, though sectarian and religious hatred is condemned unequivocally by the same liberals (as it should be).

    The point being, Pakistani liberals should end their double standards and hypocrisy when it comes to defending the Ppp and its sins. If the Military is wlong when it refuses to obey the law, then so is the Ppp.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Mar 26, 2011 - 3:22PM

    On the one hand, PPP leadership raise slogans for independent judiciary, and on the other hand, its leaders give strike calls against the court verdict. Ridiculous! Recommend

  • Sajjad Hussain
    Mar 26, 2011 - 3:33PM

    Today’s action of the apex court to issue conempt notices to PPP leaders is highly laudable. To establish rule of law in the country, the apex court must not hestitate to disqualify all those responsible for violating the orders of the court. Indeed, these people are playing with the destiny of our beloved country under the umbrella of Democracy. They desrve to be dealt with an iron hand. The whole nation is looking towards the appex court to play its role and take stren action against all such anti- state elements. Recommend

  • Abdul Ali
    Mar 26, 2011 - 4:51PM

    Totally supportive of the step of Honourable Supreme Court.Recommend

  • EA
    Mar 26, 2011 - 5:00PM

    All state institutions are answerable to the public at large. The incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan is himself a beneficiary of public support.
    Why is he angry with the public now?
    Do we assume that Courts’ intellect is infallible?
    If public believes courts have done something wrong…how should it let them know?
    I would like to remind all it was a ‘free’ court which was responsible for ZA Bhutto’s murder. Recommend

  • Abdul Mannan Lodhi
    Mar 26, 2011 - 6:51PM

    Our politicians are really resposible for all the problems people of Pakistan have been facing since its very creation after the death of our Quaid and are still facing.They are blaming the military rules but if their so called democratic rule be the guide we have seen the worst type of bad governance and corruption during their governments.This was the reason that the peiople of Pakistan have mostly welcomed military takeovers.They blame the military for the Bangladesh problem but after all these were the civilian leaders who failed to arrive at an agreement which would have kept the country united.Our political leaders are shortsighted and want to serve their selfish interests at the cost of the poor people and the prestige and honour of our Pakistan.That is the reason that the committee that was assigned the responsibility for eighteenth amendment they did not forget to serve their own interests .That concerning the article of limiting the number of ministers in the cabinet but that after the next elections so that present ministers could continue for some more time.They called for a strike they will do any thing to remain in power.Fate of a country with such political leadership can be nothing but humiliation.May God help Pakistan.Recommend

  • salim
    Mar 26, 2011 - 6:58PM

    Is the judiciary independant? I dont think so. A number of cases against Tiger and his cronies remain frozen!Recommend

  • Mar 26, 2011 - 9:51PM

    EXEMPLARY PUNISHMENT IS LIABLE TO IMPOSED ON THE CONTEMNERS; It was really shocking and surprising to hear about the call of agitation and protest by the responsible office bearers of PPP over the decision of Deedar Hussain Shah as Chairman Nab. In pursuance of the said call, many innocent persons have lost their lives, heavy damage to the property. This irresponsible attitude, only for evil motives, did suggest that the persons who were giving such calls were doing the same at the behest of PPP’s leadership and if not, why action was not taken against the said persons by the PPP leadership. The silence on the part of PPP leadership and rulers do suggest that they too intended protest and agitation over the decision of Apex Court of this country. It is a matter of great pleasure that the Honourable supreme court of Pakistan has issued notice to the aforesaid two office bearers of PPP and Inshallah having the ray of hope that after necessary proceedings, they may be punished and given exemplary punishment provided under the law.Recommend

  • Mar 26, 2011 - 10:19PM

    @salim:

    “Is the judiciary independant? I dont think so. A number of cases against Tiger and his cronies remain frozen!”

    And so starts the cherry picking of facts by PPP Jiyalas and Pakistani liberal hypocrites.

    How many cases against Zardari and his cronies are ‘frozen’ pray tell?

    Is it not true that the SC has delayed verdicts over the constitutionality of immunity for a President, which affects Zardari most? Is it not true that the SC has delayed verdicts on the holding of dual party and President offices by Zardari? Is it not true that the SC has so far not challenged Zardar openly in terms of removing his presidential immunity and reopening corruption cases against him?

    There is a lot this SC could to to legally end Zardari Reign of Mismanagement and Corruption, yet it has chosen to be extremely careful and selective about the issues it has taken up, FOR the sake of political stability and a continuation of the democratic process.

    The response of our wonderful PPP and Zardari has been to resort to more and more ethnic hatred and a propagation of ethnic differences, in order to pressure other institutions and opposition to not challenge their mismanagement and corruption beyond a certain level.

    I am sorry, but IMO the use of ethnic hatred and differences by the PPP is no different than the use of religion and sectarianism to divide Pakistanis and make us more intolerant. The PPP is therefore no different than the MMA in that respect.Recommend

  • a ercelan
    Mar 26, 2011 - 10:21PM

    there are times when one courts arrest in solidarity with justice activists. now may be the time to court contempt in solidarity! Recommend

  • EA
    Mar 26, 2011 - 10:49PM

    @Abdul Mannan Lodhi: You need to check your facts again. Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Mar 26, 2011 - 10:59PM

    The way CJ is chasing the PPP leadership it seems one day he will issue a contempt notice against himself.Oh my God, “Yar ab bus kro”. Don’t you have anything else to do. There are million cases still pending. Please come out of One Point Agenda.Recommend

  • nasim+ahmed
    Mar 27, 2011 - 12:44AM

    Long awaited action finally being taken,I hope that the apex court must give exemplary punishment to those culprits who think that they can get away because there party is in power.Law should be for every body.Great bravo our courts.Recommend

  • Yasir
    Mar 27, 2011 - 2:05AM

    Whatever stance serves the purpose of govenment is considered to be right and religious….. In case of Raymond Davis, most PPP leaders took the stance that the decision of court cant be argued upon as they believe in RESPECTING THE VERDICTS given by Judiciary…. So where was this respect when a higher court gave a verdict??Recommend

  • Nurmomad
    Mar 27, 2011 - 2:21AM

    Holy Cow!

    We know a lot about the courts’ decisions in the past to allow them do anything they please.

    These courts committed judicial murder of the the best awami leader of Pakistan. They can not be trusted with closed eyes.Recommend

  • These Notices and Sou Motto Actions Are Only for PPP leadership???Recommend

  • Malik
    Mar 27, 2011 - 5:39AM

    SC is acting like a dictator.

    Let’s see SC issue notices to Nawaz League for attacking SC and also Generals for the second coup in Musharaf’s time. Somehow Generals and Punjabi politicians are above the law, only PPP needs to follow law and constitution and for Baluchis it’s even worst; they just get killed in mysterious circumstances without any judicial notice. We are not free it’s just an illusion.Recommend

  • Malik
    Mar 27, 2011 - 5:42AM

    How about some action on Raymond Davis case against the Judge, Punjab Government and ISI/Military? Why are all these holy cows? SC is just an extension of establishment, this is pretty obvious.Recommend

  • Gul Agha
    Mar 27, 2011 - 10:17AM

    Expression opinions and assembling peacefully is a fundamental right of people. How can justices be guardian of fundamental human rights when they react like this? This is an arrogant attitude, putting themselves above criticism. Against the norms of democracy and bodes ill for any chance of development of civilian government under such a court. Many SC justices are lampooned on television in the US. Hundreds of lawyers signed statements condemning some decisions. That is democratic exercise. This court wants to no check on its power! Absolute power corrupts absolutely! Recommend

  • Mirza
    Mar 27, 2011 - 10:50AM

    The SC and its CJ should bring PPP leaders from Sindh and try them all in Punjab HC and SC registry in Punjab.

    From ZAB who was arrested from Sindh and tried in Lahore HC, and finally put to death by a military dictator to BB, Liaquat Ali Khan all were gunned down in Punjab.

    Almost all the NAB cases are against Sindhi politicians whether they belong to MQM or PPP.. No corruption happens in Punjab and KP, only in Sindh! The cases against MQM leaders are not “active” while the cases against Sindhi only are pursued.

    While the murders on May 12th and multiple acts of high treason by Mush and similar crimes like unlimited murders in Karachi are totally ignored. Why some murders are never talked about let alone tried in a court of law?

    There are high crimes, high treason and rule of Mafia in Karachi which are totally ignored by the independent judiciary. The cases of administrative appointments and challenges to democratically elected govt are what SC and CJ is ready to pounce on. Sad to see that in no other country of the world people do not know the name of the SC judges and they keep themselves insulated and neutral. While in Pakistan the CJ and army chief love to make political speeches!

    Mirza, USARecommend

  • Abu Muhammad
    Mar 27, 2011 - 11:49AM

    These are elected Members who used contemptuous language against the Superior Judiciary for invalidating the appointment of Deedar Hussain Shah choosen by nice Pakistani people.

    Excellent choice of Pakistani people.Recommend

  • Adnan
    Mar 27, 2011 - 6:40PM

    These are not Politicians .They are all Thugs. I agree with Imran Khan that they must submit their assets statements and the means by which they were earned. Because If they earned that money by dirty means , then it would be extremely foolish to expect from them that they won’t do it now. Just take examples of Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. Both pay no taxes while Billions of dollars they own and use millions of Rupees of Govt. resources. We must stop it and Put rule of law Before anything ellse. These two PPP members must come in court and explain what problem they have to accept SC’s decision? Contempt of court is the first thing to do against them and also those sitting Govt. Executives who already committed Contempt must be brought into SC and disqualified for life. Zardari is on top of the list followed b Gilani.Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Mar 27, 2011 - 8:57PM

    People who have been served contempt notices by the Court should be put behind the bars if they do not submit written apology and further give an undertaking to the court that they will not commit the same mistake again.

    Any one belongs to the ruling party should not think the he or she is above the law and no action can be taken against him or her. Every one in the country is equal and should remain within the limits. Recommend

  • Aamer
    Mar 27, 2011 - 9:09PM

    @Mirza

    Isn’t Zardari a sindhi?Recommend

  • Mar 27, 2011 - 9:42PM

    @Mirza. Dear Mirza Sahib I think you have not viewed all the people who are involved in corruption/Nab cases. From whole the Pakistan not only politicians, bureacrates are also involved in corruption and many have faced and many are facing and many wuld face. I am sorry to say over here that from your comments I smell provincialism. We all are Pakistani. Provinces are only for distinction qua local culture etc. and nothing else.. All people know it very well that who is at right and who is at wrong. Let us wait for sometime. All corrupt politicians irrespective of their affiliations with any party, must be brought to picture and would face the music.Recommend

  • Aamer
    Mar 28, 2011 - 12:50AM

    @Mirza

    Isn’t it a fact that out 8000+ NRO beneficaries, almost 8000 are from Sindh?

    Is that the fault of Punjab, KP or Baluchistan?Recommend

  • Gul Agha
    Mar 28, 2011 - 1:04AM

    Whatever the merits of the critique, whatever the character of the critics, the right of free expression is a fundamental human right. Anyone is free to criticize to the judiciary; the judiciary is not infallible or sacrosanct. The justices are bringing contempt on themselves–they are acting like little children. Their job is protect people’s rights, not act as mafia dons muzzling critics. It is a travesty of justice. These are not vanguards of liberty; they are showing themselves as instruments of oppression. Think skinned like any tinpot dictators. Recommend

  • eliya
    Mar 28, 2011 - 9:50AM

    This is once again the “pick-and-choose policy” of the Supreme Court against the ruling party. While PML-N(nincompoops) enjoying the stay-order, PPP is the target of selective-judicial-activism.Recommend

  • Ashiq Khan Achakzai
    Mar 28, 2011 - 11:26AM

    NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.
    IT WILL OPEN PANDORA BOX.
    RIGHT TO PROTEST AND RIGHT TO OPINION IS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT.
    IT CANNOT BE USURPED BY THE INDEPENDENT BUT __ JUDICIARY.
    JUDICIARY HAD BEEN INCONSISTENT IN DECISION MAKING. IT VALIDATED PCO JUDGES OF 12 OCT 1999 BUT TOOK COGNIZANCE IN 2007 CASE.
    .Recommend

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