Complying with Orders: Court gives govt one more day

Published: July 28, 2011
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Supreme Court orders government to reinstate Secretary Establishment, Sohail Ahmed within seven days.

Supreme Court orders government to reinstate Secretary Establishment, Sohail Ahmed within seven days.

ISLAMABAD: 

The Supreme Court has given the government one more day to obey its directives, including the reinstatement of a top bureaucrat, a written response by the prime minister and bringing back the chief investigator of the Hajj corruption scam.

Earlier, on July 27, the five-member bench hearing the Hajj scam had given the government till Thursday to bring back the recently removed establishment secretary Sohail Ahmed and furnish the prime minister’s response to why he was removed to begin with. The court had charged the government with removing Ahmed for obeying the court’s directives.

The FIA was also ordered to ensure that the lead investigator into the Hajj scam, Hussain Asghar, took back charge of the probe immediately without any hurdles.

However, the attorney-general could not present a written report over his communication with the prime minister regarding the July 27 order.

The attorney-general also informed the bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry that the whereabouts of the newly-reappointed lead investigator, Hussain Asghar, were unknown. He said Asghar’s phone was switched off, and claimed no one knew where he was.

“There were reports that Hussain Asghar, who was performing duties as the inspector-general of Gilgit Baltistan, moved from Gilgit to Skardu but he is missing since (then),” the attorney-general said.

He said that he had informed the premier about all legal and constitutional provisions. Requesting the court to adjourn the hearing till Monday (August 1), the attorney-general said that the prime minister had told him that he would hold another meeting with him (the attorney-general) to formulate his response.

To this, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry responded that the attorney-general should tell authorities that the court was well aware of its jurisdiction, adding that the Constitution permitted declaring illegal appointments null and void. “All employees approach the court after suspension or removal,” he said.

On Asghar’s alleged disappearance, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain expressed amusement saying it was odd that such a senior officer could have gone missing without anyone noticing anything. The chief justice in his remarks also said that the court does not doubt the government’s intention regarding restoring Asghar as lead investigator in the Hajj scam, but this “game of hide and seek is not good”.

“Officials should uphold the Constitution and the court will support them,” he said.

He told the attorney-general to ensure that the directives were complied with by today (Friday).

The court also directed that in case Director General FIA Tehseen Anwar Shah was facing any hurdle in implementing the court’s order, he should immediately inform the court.

G-B disturbed by Asghar’s reinstatement

The Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government has been disturbed by the reinstatement of Hussain Asghar as the head of Hajj scam investigating team.

Asghar was the G-B Inspector General Police (IGP) when he was reinstated as the head of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team which probed the Hajj scam.

He was assigned to the position of IGP during the probe in which former minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi was also allegedly involved.

However, the G-B Chief Minister Mehdi Shah and G-B Council members have voiced their concerns over the Supreme Court (SC)’s decision, terming it against the interests of G-B.

“I haven’t been consulted over the transfer of Asghar,” said Shah on Wednesday, adding that he would talk to the Prime Minister Secretariat on the issue. The transfer of Hussain, who earned a good reputation while conducting free and fair recruitment in the police, also perturbed G-B Council, which termed the SC decision as against the interest of G-B.

“His presence in G-B was really important for law and order situation,” said Amjad Hussain, a G-B Council member. “The political setup of G-B is still in its infancy and requires well-reputed individuals in key positions,”remarked Amjad.

Meanwhile, officials said that the G-B Council members adopted a resolution to block the transfer of G-B Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattha.

“The council members have presented the resolution to the G-B Governor Pir Karam Ali Shah, requesting him to withdraw the decision,” he remarked.

“The chief secretary is a sincere official who is dedicated to peoples’ welfare. However, if officials of good credibility are transferred to other areas before completing their terms, the present setup, under which the government came into power, will be adversely affected,” he explained. Additional input from SHABBIR MIR

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (46)

  • Izhar ul Haq
    Jul 28, 2011 - 5:43AM

    Chief Justice should leave Supreme Court and join Nawaz League. What court is doing is no where near norms of justice or constitutional mandate. It is simply politics which courts should avoid.

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  • basharat
    Jul 28, 2011 - 6:26AM

    The confrontation between the judiciary and the Executive may result in another decade of
    dictatorship . The judiciary , as well as the executive , will be held responsible for all the harms
    which the people and the country may have to sustain due to egocentric attitude of the parties . Rightly or wrongly ,great many people consider the government to be inefficient and the judiciary trespassing deep into the domain of the executive . The Judiciary is expected to exercise more restraint .

    Recommend

  • Pundit
    Jul 28, 2011 - 8:26AM

    The PPP has poured black paint over the white Supreme Court building !

    PPP will pay a price for their illegal acts!

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  • shadi
    Jul 28, 2011 - 8:27AM

    all those people criticizing the judiciary should ask the elected officials to resign! name one develop country where an elected representative does not resign themselves after they are accused of such big allegation. Only in pakistan

    Theres a saying a country only gets the kind of leaders they deserve. The reason why we deserve people like these is because we do not take improve our selves. the arab revolution because people got sick of their leaders. We on the other hand just sit there and led them walk all over us.

    The federal government should not be allowed to interfere in the judicial process. We should all support the judiciary at this time. !Recommend

  • Asffend Ahmed
    Jul 28, 2011 - 9:11AM

    Why PM is reluctant to obey Supreme Court??? PMLQ join Govt to save Monus Elahi. If Monus Elahi and Hamid Saeed Kazmi are not guilty, let them prove in Court, why Govt is interfering in Court and accused proceedings???? History will proved, who is right or wrong and we are happy that Pak is on the way of change. Now nobody can legalise the corruption like past even if he is in Goverment or any influential party. Anjum Aqeel, Hamid Saeed Kazmi, Monus Elahi are the examples

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  • Jul 28, 2011 - 9:16AM

    The judiciary is supposed to curtail colossal deluge of ruthless looting of national exchequer. The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan allows judiciary to take immediate effective measures against the hegemony of despots. Subjugation of the judiciary would obliterate vital national interests and cause catastrophe.

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  • Karim
    Jul 28, 2011 - 9:22AM

    If Hussain Asghar or Zafar Qureshi are somehow ineligible or undesirable to investigate the Haj or NICL scam, why is it that the replacements the government seeks to appoint are invariably seen as weak and pliant?

    The present government appears to have made a fetish out of unaccountability and opaqueness

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  • Jul 28, 2011 - 9:24AM

    The chief justice directed the AGP to ask the Prime Minster to repost Sohail Ahmed as establishment secretary and inform him of the consequences of defying Supreme Court’s orders.

    Finally something!

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  • Karim
    Jul 28, 2011 - 9:27AM

    we have seen government creating obstacles so far in all cases, investigations, accountability of officials, political partners etc.

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  • AnisAqeel
    Jul 28, 2011 - 9:28AM

    If his desired person is not reinstated, he will go on strike. Someone may ask him have you concluded decisions on Taseer’s murder, killers of Ahmadi worshippers or what you call as ‘sou motto’ about any political solutions you don’t like. Your Honor a judge always keeps its own likes hidden and do not impose politics over justice. I do not like anyone from this present government but your standard of justice is just ‘kangaroo’.

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  • Ahsan
    Jul 28, 2011 - 9:38AM

    Well Judiciary is the last source of sane power which can challenge the governments. If they even dont do this then the whole situation is collapsed. People power is certainly not in our country then atleast let the judges do some justice for the right cause.

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  • Jul 28, 2011 - 9:47AM

    Conflicts like this wouldn’t happen if Pakistan didn’t use a butchered version of democracy. The mutilation of the concept is why people in Pakistan can see it as a failure of a way to run things regardless of how successful it is elsewhere.
    The most important part is: making officials have incentive to make choices based on the approval of the people.
    It may be roundabout in some cases but it always place a subtle, yet serious part in these conflicts and it goes overlooked. If it was the way it should be, they would not be speaking directly to each other being motivated by ego. Each side would be speaking outwardly, to the people, to prove their case of being right or wrong and the people would be the jury. Direct bickering would be seen by them as a bad idea because it would make them look immature and incompetent in the eyes of the people. They would try to stay away from that method of solving things.
    It’s what would fix a lot of the corruption as well. A politician can be as corrupt as they want but, they won’t be able to accomplish anything selfish if they don’t also do their actual job efficiently enough to keep a positive image amongst the people. Sincere or not, they’d still bring some positive along with the negative instead of it all being negative.

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  • Ali Wazir
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:12AM

    The judiciary should not stop. The people gave it the mandate to catch crooks, who ever they may be, and no one can take it from it not even. If it holds back it will be breaking its covenant with the nation. The Crooks running the government are expendable but a free judiciary which Pakistanis fought for against a dictator on the streets is Not.

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  • A J Khan
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:21AM

    Judiciary is evolving a new role for it self. Going by the actions, Chief Justice would be an amalgam of Prime Ministerial role wrapped in judicial puzzle. He may be called Chi Prim Justice.

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  • breitzer
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:22AM

    Well elites ahs to save thier kids from corruption or give way to honesty…this is the point if nation stands with court and honest peopel then we will rise…if epople keep supporting those politicians then we deserve to live in target killing and withut electricity beccause its our (peoples ) choice not others…

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  • Lalai
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:32AM

    Expect the unexpected.Now that the government seems to be floating smoothly and we have had a big breakthrough in relations with India, non democratic forces are in action again. It looks as if somebody doesn’t want peace in this region. Is the politics of 1999 being repeated again, perhaps this time via judiciary? I don’t know when we will get mature.

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  • AS
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:35AM

    Your government only constitutes committees to investigate scams like the Hajj case. Its been almost an year now or 9 months to be precise there have been funny transfers of the officers investigating. If the court has taken a stance on behalf of we the less interested people, what’s bad in it.

    @izharulhaq – Rs. 480 million has been refunded from govt. treasury to the Hajis from last year. But no money has been recovered from those who committed the fraud. If the governemnt fails to establish governance then someone has to step up, since people like you and me didnt, SC did. Appreciate that.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:43AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.This is the very awesome and shameful for the top government officials that they are disobeying the Supreme Court’s orders openly and whereas they give this hypocritical statement before the nation that courts are free to make decisions without any fear and pressure but when the time comes to obey they disobey and protect the corrupt people involved in any corruption cases and for this purpose they change the honest and sincere investigation officers.Their prejudicial attitude against the judiciary has been the most worsened than Musharraf’s regime and Musharraf is being defamed just for nothing.Recommend

  • Engr Nasir Jamal
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:55AM

    @Izhar ul Haq:
    Why did you not give the same advice to Justice Khawaja Sharif? What was he doing in the Lahore High Court? His presence was a disgrace to the judiciary because of his avowed fealty to the Sharif family.

    Chief Justice Iftakhar Chaudhry is doing the right job. Every one must be held accountable before the law. The son of the Prime Minister who is alleged to made millions in the Hajj scam must be brought to book.

    There are other high profile scams as well. The public supports the Supreme Court in its endeavour to punish the corrupt elements in the government.

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  • Jul 28, 2011 - 10:58AM

    PP govt is responsible for this

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  • Pakistani Punjabi (PP)
    Jul 28, 2011 - 11:02AM

    I think so called Chief Justice should take over the Govt and try to enforce his own orders.
    This is the only solution i can see which can satisfy.
    Some times, i think Mushi was right..

    Can not he see the cases of bank loans against sharifs?
    why does he not order terrorist to stop killing honest people?
    why does not he punish people who were with Mushi?
    why he can not see that no judge is willing to take case of Afaq Ahmed in karachi?
    Why he can not make commission to find who did killings on 12th may, when he visited karachi?
    He is a just another person who can see with only one eye and show his power to push weak people and targets.Recommend

  • H.A. Khan
    Jul 28, 2011 - 11:11AM

    The issue is serious:

    If the Executive wing of the Government ( PM et al) does not obey the orders of the supreme Court of Pakistan, then I feel this is what is termed as break down of the constitution.

    The orders of Supreme Court are law of the land and have to be obeyed.Article 190 of the Constitution mandates it.

    The supreme law of the land is the constitution and not the parliament as is so often stated by our PM that Parliament is supreme.

    In Haj scam case,did the government recover the money from those stole it or paid back to Haji(s) from it’s own resources. I think it is latter. This is unfair on the citizens of the country.

    Let there be proper investigations,follow the orders of the Supreme Court an dlet their be rule of law.

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  • Fahd
    Jul 28, 2011 - 11:12AM

    @ Izhar : How come you say this? Shouldnt the government resign for trying to hide the corruption. Is the money which they are trying to protect their own or of the people of Pakistan? what this government is doing is equal to anarchy. Every officer is being removed midway during the investigations, and if the chief justice tries to restore him, then they raise hue and cry. the so called democratic PPP is destroying the supreme court and its orders.

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  • parvez
    Jul 28, 2011 - 12:45PM

    When loot and plunder by our law makers and those who are responsible for implementing the rulings of the superior court is so apparent. Something has to be done otherwise we are descending very fast into a state of anarchy. What use is democracy when its is used blatently as a ploy to to benefit only the very few.

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  • Salma
    Jul 28, 2011 - 1:08PM

    it seems a parallel govt is created in the supreme court……what about all the other cases related to PMLN etc why always federal govt bashing… What’s going on this is so mind bogging….the movement to restore him was not for this purpose..The bureaucracy always defies politicians….the CJ has to be very careful in handling such matters. PPP has been in the eye of the storm from day one, but by doing this CJ has and is continuously tarnishing his and judiciary image….

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  • S Khan
    Jul 28, 2011 - 1:12PM

    Now the tussle has turned into war of EGOS between two important state institutions, let the sense prevail or we land country into state of chaos.
    For GOD sake leave the country and its people alone , as the people of PAKISTAN has every right to live in peace & harmony and be accorded Justice.
    We have seen the judgment based on doctrine of necessity & Z A Bhutto
    After country been devastated by these judgments over the decades we are invalidating these Judgments who paid the price the PAKISTAN & its PEOPLE
    our issue is BREAD & BUTTER

    MERCY ON US , MERCY ON US

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  • FZ
    Jul 28, 2011 - 2:22PM

    quite surprised by some of the pro govt/anti CJ comments here. Is this the new public relations policy of this govt. ‘Hire’ people to make comments?

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  • Voice
    Jul 28, 2011 - 2:52PM

    The PPP is clearly in the wrong. Only if it could remember that Chaudhry Shujaat and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi have ousted the CJ twice four years back. And now they are again at it, but this time they are using a democratic gov

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  • Izhar ul Haq
    Jul 28, 2011 - 2:55PM

    If government is ousted by some sort of ‘judicial coup’ as planned by Pro-Nawaz judiciary, expect unprecedented bloodshed, if not a civil war followed by army takeover.

    Recommend

  • Lalai
    Jul 28, 2011 - 3:13PM

    @Karim, no copies please. What you have written is copied from a DAWN editorial (http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/28/sc-government-tussle.html).

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  • Naveed Baloch
    Jul 28, 2011 - 4:42PM

    The judiciary is clearly a party in the matter and acting as a B-Team of the N-League. No dispensation of justice is being done except persecuting the PPP led Govt. What the court is doing in missing persons case. Thousands of litigators are waiting for their cases to be heard but the court is busy in persecuting a single party.

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  • shah
    Jul 28, 2011 - 5:29PM

    if govt is clean and honest, then why they dont implement SC orders, only because they know that they are the most corrupt govt that ever ruled Pak

    I cant understand why people are supporting govt on this issue?just look at the condition of country in last 3-4 years, how can u guys say that SC is not following the right path. Govt has not even implemented any single decision of court so far.

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  • Siraj Ahsan
    Jul 28, 2011 - 5:32PM

    CJP get a life… you are now party to a case which you should be impartial…

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  • Jul 28, 2011 - 5:44PM

    @Izhar ul Haq: Dont try to politicise the judiciary to hide the corruption of ‘Democratic militants’ present in GoP high posts. This is for your information:

    “Shahbaz stated that following the restoration, the PML-N was prepared to end the issue and remove Chaudhry once and for all,” reported Lahore Consulate Principal Officer Bryan Hunt in a secret American diplomatic cable describing his meeting with the younger Sharif on March 14, 2009.

    (http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/20/shahbaz-was-willing-to-have-cj-removed-after-face-saving-restoration.html)

    PML(N) considers an independent judiciary as a threat to their future plans of exploiting the Pakistani tax payers money. Recommend

  • Adeel759
    Jul 28, 2011 - 5:48PM

    Wow, horns are locked, this is going to be significantly impactful week. Where, Babar Awan is the law advisor, heavens are due to fall there. decades after decades of dictatorship has failed to teach any lesson to these thugs, looters and robbers of national treasury. To whom shall people look upto, Dictators, Politicians, Bureaucrats, Highly Educated, Economist, Bankers, Industrialists, Feudals, Aristocrats, Lawyers, Mediocres meaning every class of pakistanis have failed to run this country, and deliberately. Only option is to, Ask UN to appoint international administrators of high reputation to govern this country already for next 25 years until all men of pakistan aged 50 and above have died, to my observation, those who arte 40 plus are the responsible for ruining this country regardless of class.Recommend

  • Ishtiaer Hussain
    Jul 28, 2011 - 5:50PM

    Chief Justice is acting like the king of the country. He is asking all other institutions of the state to uphold the constitution, while his behavior and verdicts show that he considers the constitution nothing more important than a piece paper. How to run FIA; which officers to transfer; at what price the sugar be sold in the market; how to investigate a certain corruption case; and whether or not to privatize steel mill or any other state corporation are the exclusive prerogatives of the executive. It’s better for the chief justice to try to dispose of millions of cases involving poor peoples which is his real constitutional job. He has tarnished the ideals of justice in our country. He does not deserve to be chief justice. I request the government to rescind the notification of the reinstatement of juges which was illegal or send a reference against this trouble maker justice to the Supreme Judicial Council.

    Recommend

  • nasir
    Jul 28, 2011 - 7:15PM

    why CJ showing so much interest in one case.why no body is ready to listen to AFAQ AHMED CASE, Why is his bail not granted . Why judiciary not giving justice to AFAQ AHMED.
    Recommend

  • Sacha Sain
    Jul 28, 2011 - 7:16PM

    @Ishtiaer Hussain

    It’s better for the chief justice to try to dispose of millions of cases involving poor peoples which is his real constitutional job

    Really? And let powerful corrupt run amok.?

    Recommend

  • zahid
    Jul 28, 2011 - 7:30PM

    I think the most critical thing for CJ is to bring reform in lower courts operations and the provide security to the judges so that they are able to give judgements against proven terrorists.
    he is just squandering all the good will he earned in 2007.

    Recommend

  • nasir
    Jul 28, 2011 - 9:52PM

    A very well-respected and honest FAKHRUDIN G IBRAHIM today in capital talk with hamid mir critisized the way SC behaving in these cases.He is friend of judiciary and struggled alot for this judiciary but he was very disappointed with SC behaviour.
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  • Jul 29, 2011 - 1:39AM

    @FZ:
    Hiring is for the Chief Justice. The ONLY Supreme Court in the whole wide world which has a Press Room to coax journalists so that they have a ticker running all the time about the remarks made in court. That is not the way for judges to publicize themselves. They should speak only through their judgments.

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  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Jul 29, 2011 - 5:20AM

    Basharat Sahib wrote, “The confrontation between the judiciary and the Executive may result in another decade of dictatorship . The judiciary , as well as the executive will be held responsible for all the harms.”
    Sir, The judiciary will take oath on PCO and politicians will come as B team. No harm to anyone, Allah Allah Khair Salah..

    Recommend

  • Adi
    Jul 29, 2011 - 9:58AM

    Enjoying this democratic tamasha…..hahahhaha

    Recommend

  • Zai
    Jul 29, 2011 - 1:56PM

    @Naushad Shafkat:
    question: do you want corrupt ministers to get away with swindling haajis? I was on haj last year and I know what happened

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  • Zai
    Jul 29, 2011 - 1:59PM

    @nasir: please also mention that the same respected gentleman also criticised the government’s attitude and said that we should all rise up against corruption.

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  • Jul 30, 2011 - 11:55AM

    If you want administrative chain going on correct track
    you must honored the apex court verdict.

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