Former judge of the Indian Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju has taken a dim view of the apex court ruling that disqualified Yousaf Raza Gilani from the premiership— asserting that a prime minister did not need a trust vote from the Supreme Court.
In an opinion piece written for The Hindu, Justice Katju – who is currently the chairman of the Press Council of India – has claimed that the “Pakistani Supreme Court, particularly its chief justice, has been showing utter lack of restraint. This is not expected of superior courts.” Substantiating his stance against the Pakistan’s highest court, he held that the language of the Pakistani Constitution with regards to this specific provision was clear.
He cited Section 248(2) of the Pakistani Constitution which states: “No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the president or governor in any court during his term of office.”
He said according to the “principle in British constitutional law, almost every constitution in the world has incorporated a provision giving total immunity to presidents and governors from criminal prosecution”. He said this principle was central for the efficient working of a system. “I fail to understand how proceedings on corruption charges can be instituted against the Pakistani president.”
“It seems to me that the Pakistani Supreme Court has lost its balance and gone berserk. If it does not now come to its senses I am afraid the day is not far off when the Constitution will collapse, and the blame will squarely lie with the court, and particularly its chief justice.”
Published In The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2012.
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