The Supreme Court on Monday expressed its displeasure over the continued delay in the appointment of the special Anti-Corruption Court judge for Karachi and Hyderabad.
Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Faheem’s case regarding the NICL scam was also still pending in the anti-corruption case in Karachi, but due to the non-availability of a judge, no progress was made on the matter. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry also observed that the court knew very well the reasons as to why no judge was appointed despite its directions.
Appearing before a three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain on a constitutional petition, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Raja Aleem Abbasi requested the Supreme Court to grant him additional time to seek instructions and input from the law and justice secretary over the appointment of the judge.
During the proceedings, the chief justice questioned Abbasi about the delay in the implementation of the court’s directive, and disagreed with his viewpoint that three names for the appointment should be forwarded. He also rejected Abbasi’s request for consultation talks between the chief justice of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and the provincial government over the matter.
Chaudhry told him that Article 175A (8) of the Constitution clearly states that only one person was required to fill a vacancy. He also reminded Abbasi that after the Al-Jihad Trust and Sharad Farooqi’s cases and after the passage of Article 175A, the executive had no prerogative over the appointment of judges.
“The court issued clear directives over the matter and you were bound to implement them,” Chaudhry added. He then announced that next week, he would be holding a meeting with the chief justice of the SHC to enquire how many accused were acquitted due to the non-appointment of the judge of the anti-corruption court, saying that those responsible for the delay would face the consequences.
DAG Abbasi claimed that he was speaking on behalf of the law ministry and it was their opinion which he shared with the court. He said a summary had already been forwarded on June 28. The bench reminded him to assist the court as a law officer.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2012.
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