Time for coups is gone: CJ

Chief Justic­e says, judges of Suprem­e Court are here to protec­t and preser­ve the consti­tution.

Faisal Shakeel December 23, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Attempting to soothe frayed nerves over the Memogate case, the Supreme Court on Friday ruled out the possibility of a coup and blamed the media for creating an impression of a clash between institutions.

Heading a nine-judge bench, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry said the time for a coup is up because both the judiciary and parliament had shut the door on unconstitutional steps.

Submission of reply by the army chief signals great achievement on part of institutions, the chief justice observed.

The media has created an impression that parliament and the army are on a collision course, said Justice Jawad S Khwaja. “There is no question of a clash,” the judge added.

Criticising the court

On court’s query, Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq read out Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s reply to the December 1 press conference of former law minister Dr Babar Awan held following the Supreme Court’s decision to probe the Memogate affair.

“The prime minister is of the view that in the press conference, the stance of the party was expressed in historical perspective and was not at all intended to ridicule the judiciary,” the attorney-general read out.

The chief justice observed that earlier, the Supreme Court was attacked and criticised blatantly but he never expected that the Pakistan Peoples Party would indulge in a similar exercise.

The prime minister should explain why the party used official premises for transmitting its point of view, the chief justice said.

The court declared the reply ‘vague and evasive’ and directed the attorney general to seek fresh instructions from the premier on the press conference.

“There should be a categorical stand taken by the prime minister or the federal government in this behalf, instead of shifting the burden upon the political party under the garb of historical perspective,” the bench stated in its order.

Federation’s reply

When inquired, the attorney general said the federation, through secretaries of law, foreign affairs, interior and cabinet divisions, was in the process of preparing affidavits.

He asked the court to adjourn the case and allow him to argue on behalf of the federation after filing of the affidavits.

The court had directed the federal government to accept or deny the replies filed by the army and intelligence chiefs, Pakistani-origin American businessman Mansoor Ijaz and former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani.

Petition’s maintainability

Earlier, arguing upon the maintainability of the petition, Senator Ishaq Dar said the Parliamentary Committee on National Security would not be able to conduct the probe into the memgote affair. Justice Khwaja observed that Dar should not criticise the parliamentary committee to make a point on the maintainability of his petition.

Justice Saqib Nisar observed the petitioner should highlight involvement of fundamental rights in the memo case instead, to explain how his petition was maintainable.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2011.


Aafiyat Nazar | 10 years ago | Reply

The PPP leadership should now prove that they are not a "state within state" and implement the decisions of the Apex court, which proved itself the greatest protector of the constitution.

Mirza | 10 years ago | Reply

Kudos to CJ for stating the obvious truth. I have been a stron critic of the political side of this SC but looks like there is still some hope for democracy and constitution. Let all the pillars of govt openly come out and state in no uncertain terms (with their actions and words) that they obey the constitution and would not surender to any backdoor move. I humbly request the PPP to respond the CJ in kind and give him the benefit of doubt. Everybody knows this whole strom in a teacup is a whole lot of nothing but the politics Pakistani style. How can Pakistan end all corruption and social evils by moving one man out of presidency? There would be no water in the milk, no blackouts, no fake baby formulas and drugs, no drug users, no Taliban seeking revenge from US by killing Paksitani civilians after Zardari leaves.

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