Former CJP ready to handover bulletproof car after IHC order

High court suspends single bench’s judgment


Rizwan Shehzad March 23, 2018
PHOTO:FILE

ISLAMABAD: Former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry finally decided to handover the bulletproof car to concerned authorities after a judgment of the Islamabad High Court disallowed him from owning a bombproof car.

The 6000cc bulletproof car with unlimited petrol and maintenance in addition to security officials and escort vehicles were provided to him on the pretext of security concerns in December 2013.

“It is, for your information, with the request that, as the vehicle was provided through Registrar office, a representative be deputed to handover the vehicle to concern functionary of Cabinet Division,” ex CJP stated in a letter addressed to the registrar of the Supreme Court.

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On Thursday, the judge-turned-politician’s newly established political party’s spokesperson Sheikh Ahsanuddin produced the letter before the IHC during the hearing of an Intra-Court Appeal (ICA) filed against the March 9 judgment of IHC’s Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani disallowing bulletproof car for the former CJP.

While hearing the ICA, a division bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi and Justice Aamer Farooq suspended the single bench’s order to the extent of the provision of security. They also issued notices to the respondents while hearing the ICAs against the single bench’s judgment.

Justice Kayani ruled that retired judges can only get specified post-retirement benefits as mentioned in the "The Supreme Court Judges Leave, Pension and Privileges Order, 1997." In the letter, the former CJP has given detailed background as to how the official bulletproof car was provided to him through the office of the apex court’s registrar in 2013.

While referring to Justice Kayani’s judgment, Justice Chaudhry stated that through an ICA against the decision is pending adjudication, he was ready to return the vehicle.

In the judgment, it emerged that the 2005 model bulletproof Mercedes Benz is not in running condition, neither is it being used for travelling purposes, yet it remained in the former CJP’s possession. It also stated that no potential harm or danger is in Justice Chaudhry's way.

The March 9 judgment also revealed that some of the SC judges, specifically Justice Chaudhry, have not been following the law.

The order revealed that the ex CJPs – Chaudhry, Abdul Hameed Dogar, Tassadaq Hussain Jillani, Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Nasirul Mulk, Nawaz Abbasi and Tariq Pervaiz –have been utilising security services which they are not entitled to.

Perusal of the 1997 order revealed that there is no provision related to the entitlement of a bulletproof car for the ex CJP.

A retired judge, however, can retain an official driver or orderly after leaving the judicial office, and as per an amendment in 2016, provision of a round-the-clock security guard at the former CJP's residence during his lifetime. The same provision isn't provided to widow(s).

Currently, nine constables, two sub-inspectors, two drivers, one head constable, and two pickups are deployed with ex CJP Chaudhry. Justice Jamali has four security officials and one pickup, Justice Jillani has four policemen, while Justice Dogar, Justice Mulk, Justice Abbasi and Justice Pervaiz have three officials each.

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A chart in the judgment showing details of security arrangements till Oct 12, 2017, showed that total 43 officials and three vehicles are available to 16 retired judges of the SC.

This led Justice Kayani to state “law which is applicable to the retired judges of the SC has not been followed in letter and spirit, whereas it is mandatory upon the organs of the State to comply with the law in a manner in which things have been provided.”

Initially, CJP Chaudhry was provided with Mercedes Benz 1991 model which was later replaced by 2005 model – the one that became redundant. Since 2013, Justice Kayani noted, not a single incident has been referred where any threat has been extended to ex CJP Chaudhry.

COMMENTS (1)

Haji Atiya | 3 years ago | Reply "Finally decided...'?!? Why, is he relinquishing his God-given birthright to those wheels "
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