Gilani’s sentence proves no one is above the law: Chief Justice

Published: July 7, 2012
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Gilani was sentenced because he defied the court orders, says CJ. PHOTO: SANA/ FILE

Gilani was sentenced because he defied the court orders, says CJ. PHOTO: SANA/ FILE

KARACHI: The contempt of court case against former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani proves that every individual, irrespective of his position, is subject to the law, said Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry while addressing a lawyers’ ceremony at the Supreme Court Karachi registry on Saturday.

The chief justice added that action was taken against Gilani under the contempt of court law because the chief executive of the country defied court orders, and added that the implementation of court orders is the duty of the executive, which has been explained adequately in Article 190 of the Constitution.

Addressing the issue of immunity provided to the elected representatives, the chief justice said that if a person elected by the people violates the Constitution, then it is the duty of the courts to stop him.

He added that the Supreme Court’s order in the contempt of court case clarified that Gilani’s crime fell under the Article 63(1)(g) of the Constitution.

The Constitution of Pakistan is superior and above all state institutions, added the chief justice.

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Reader Comments (39)

  • Max
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:27PM

    Include yourself also Mr. Chief Justice. Your myopic and populist decisions have hurt the country and added further to its already fragile institutional arrangements. Institutions need to come before populism.

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  • Umer
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:41PM

    No it doesn’t. It just proves that judges, Generals and religious terrorists are all above the law but not democratically elected civilians.

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  • M Usama Kabbir
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:54PM

    The constitution is also superior than you Mr CJ. It sentences death penalty for those under article 6 who suspend the constitution, and those who help them ! Moreover, article 248 of the constitution gives head of the state and governors immunity from court proceedings as long as they hold office.

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  • Khaled
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:55PM

    Mr.CJ sir, you are so right. Nobody is above the law. But sir, what about Arsalan? You acted very swiftly on the issue of PM Gilani but you seem to be going slow on the Arsalan case. Any reason?

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:05PM

    CJ Sahib:

    But the law parliament is going to make will make the President and the Prime Minister above the law.

    Would Judiciary be able to award a sentence if the bill is approved in the parliament.

    I am of the view that no one is above the law whether he is a President or a Prime Minister.

    When we respect the law, it means we are protecting the interest of Pakistan.

    If there will be no respect of law, the Jungle Law will prevail in the entire country.

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  • saleem
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:08PM

    The courts have declared all martial laws and constitution breakers as right due to law of neccesity. . The courts have hanged one Prime Minister and sent another home. The courst have not done their work to clear missions of cases of common man.No justice against killers and murderers. Its the courts who are in contempt of the common people of Pakistan

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  • Alucard
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:10PM

    Wrong. People have accepted the constitution as a contract between themselves and the state, and if they wish they can nullify and replace it at any time either directly or through their representatives in a constituent assembly. Thus the will of the people is supreme and its input is essential to shape the evolving constitution – which is not a static document.
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  • Sehr.Siddiqui
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:13PM

    Supreme Court is the only hope for the common Pakistani. May this justice down below to lower courts also where most of cases are filed. Please take notice of PPP and allies prompting to make unislamic(amenity to certain President,PM and a few others) and unconstitutional amendments (allowing dual nationality holders to contest elections). If elected, they will claim to be PM and Governors,CMs and president. The entire constitution will require to be revisited.

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  • ishaq
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:36PM

    except lawyers and judges?

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  • Maestro
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:38PM

    No one is above the law except for the extremist religious parties.

    Makes sense!

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  • God Bless this Nation
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:39PM

    Judges speak through their decisions they never explain the rational of their decisions outside the courts.

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  • karma
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:50PM

    hmm.. I’ll believe ‘no one is above law’ in Pakistan when a General and a Chief Justice who validates a coup are punished.

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  • Neutral
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:58PM

    He wanted to make a point. That is why he sentenced Gilani

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  • Khurram Khalid
    Jul 7, 2012 - 8:15PM

    But the principle of punishing civilian leaders was established back in 1950s and then it peaked when the judiciary hanged Pakistan’s most popular leader ever and ex President and ex PM- ZAB- at the behest of Pakistan’s worst military dictator ever. With exception of a few distinguished judges Pakistani courts remained partisan and biased against the civilian set up and the democratic rule. There is absolutely nothing new in what the judiciary is doing right now as it has been doing this in Pakistan for ever.

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  • gulara
    Jul 7, 2012 - 8:35PM

    Supreme Court proved it well before in 1979 when it sentenced an elected PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to death and hanged him the same year. Mr CJ! It’s not the 1st time that no one is above the law.

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  • Jibran
    Jul 7, 2012 - 9:00PM

    Mr. CJ! These words sound hollow from someone who allowed a dictator to remain in power for 9 long years. Do you deny that you took oath under PCO and validated the martial law? Why you and others weren’t considered abetting an unconstitutional take over? Then the parliament picked up by Musharraf ratified his and “your” actions. Weren’t the 18th amendment against the basic structure of the constitution? Have you ever thought of declaring it illegal as you have done with 19th amendment? We know you won’t, since that very amendment grants you protection, otherwise you are no different than others who broke the constitution. Merely saying that “you are sorry and that won’t happen again” is not sufficient.Recommend

  • Jahaz
    Jul 7, 2012 - 9:11PM

    What about Target Killers in Karachi, Quetta and Gilgit ? Are they above, below or in the law?
    Nobody cares what happens on the top-most tiers of sick institutions where powerful and corrupt people quarrel. Answer what I have asked and yes availability of justice to the common man as well.

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  • Jibran
    Jul 7, 2012 - 9:11PM

    @gulara:
    Supreme court proved this over and over again:
    – Military takeover by Ayub
    – Military takeover by Zia
    – Bhutto’s death sentence
    – Dismissal of Benazir’s first and second governments
    – Military takeover by Musharraf
    – Nawaz Sharif hijacking case
    – Dual offices case
    – Memogate
    – Arsalangate
    – Anjum Aqeel case
    – Hamid Saeed Kazmi case
    – ISI case
    – Missing person case
    – Hudebia paper mill case
    – Mehrangate
    – List item-

    Explains very much who is above the law and who isn’t. As a jurist, we expect at least some truth and integrity from him, like Just. Nasim Hassan Shah, if not more.

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  • Jibran
    Jul 7, 2012 - 9:17PM

    I hate to say this, but we need an amendment in the constitution that only a non-Muslim (or a non Punjabi) is eligible for the position of the CJ. Throughout Pakistan’s history, it is the combination of Muslim Punjab judges who have been behind the ills that we are seeing today. And that is a fact.

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  • choptocut
    Jul 7, 2012 - 9:24PM

    It proves biased; it proves that no institution of this country is save from deterioration and corruption. Recommend

  • Umer
    Jul 7, 2012 - 9:38PM

    @Sehr.Siddiqui:

    Supreme Court is the only hope for the common Pakistani.

    Oh man, not again. What has SC done for common Pakistan? Is taking two plots by SC judges a service to the common Pakistani?

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  • Logic Europe
    Jul 7, 2012 - 9:52PM

    no common man ,well not even uncommon men go to supreeme court and even if they did nothing is ever solved
    supremcourt is a political battlefield and that is all

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  • Parvez
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:02PM

    Gilani deserved to be kicked out, you Sir were in the right place to do the deed.

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  • Umer
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:06PM

    Constitution is the creation of the parliament, how can a creation be above its creator? Parliament can change the constitution any time it wants and so parliament cannot be below the constitution. This statement appears political rather than legal or constitutional.

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  • Ishrat salim
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:07PM

    Mistakes of the past cannot be repeated…..has the civilian govt lasted that long as it is today….the credit shud go to the judiciary who did not cancel the last election although 35 million votes were fake ( confirmed by NADRA & EC )….give the devil it’s due OK guys…what do you guys want from the judiciary…a compliant judiciary who shud look the other way & the people shud continue with loot & corruption…..people shud continue defy court orders….60 years of corruption etc; cannot be allowed to continue or you guys want it so,so say it…..

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  • Ali Ahmad
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:48PM

    This is simply getting personal and war of egos. The CJ cant send his registrar to appear before PAC. Now the country should enjoy the independent judiciary.

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  • Ali
    Jul 7, 2012 - 10:54PM

    So now everyone is against the CJ?

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  • gp65
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:16PM

    Everyone is under the law except
    – generals
    – – lawyers who threatened the judge who ruled against Qadri
    – terrorists who can never be convicted
    – CJ’s son against who the Lahore high court finds petition ‘not maintainable.

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  • Sunder Khan Afridi
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:24PM

    @Max:
    Rule of law provides strength to the institutions and this is what the CJ has done. Individuals cannot be allowed to flout the court verdicts in the name of sanctity of institutions particularly when custodians of these institutions instead of bringing back the looted wealth of poor people of Pakistan, protect the corruption of their political masters. When the people in authority and their families indulge in drug business and make their fortunes by looting the state enterprises. Let us be a bit rational in our thinking and do not unnecessarily blame the courts. I can assure you that if today Raja Pervez Ashraf (alias Raja Rental) decides to implement the court verdict and writes the letter to Swiss authorities, there will be no instability in the country.

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  • Jibran
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:39PM

    Pakistanis seriously want to know the number of plots CJ Iftikhar Ch. has secured, his take home salary, the make and year of his car, and the TA/DA he has bagged in 2012. And to compare the perks with performance, Pakistanis want to know the percentage of non-political cases (related to common Pakistanis) he has disposed off this year.

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  • Suraj
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:47PM

    Purely political address.. not at all called for…to cite this as example… Rather it should be an encouraging one to address humanity, ethics and help the poor…

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  • Riaz Khan
    Jul 8, 2012 - 12:12AM

    Mr. CJ, Why all the judgements are against PPP? None against PML(N)!

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  • Fawad
    Jul 8, 2012 - 2:13AM

    The honorable Chief Justice is implementing and applying written constitution.Those against it are the one who have vested interest.The most popular leaders were Quaid Azam, Liaqat Ali Khan and not self created Chief CIVIL MARTIAL LAW ADMINISTRATOR . The one who played with destiny of the nation and over ruled laws had to borne the consequences

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  • KnoWhat
    Jul 8, 2012 - 4:42AM

    Until the laymen get justice in small cases it don’t prove much.Recommend

  • Tahir
    Jul 8, 2012 - 7:01AM

    People are jumping on this CJ bashing as ever a Pakistani style. What has these politicians given you. So
    Next time you get 22 hr load shedding, please don’t complain about the govt. rather you should within yourself.

    Anyway, where are the quotes about CJ, I don’t see any. What did he actually say. Please check before starting this usual bashing!!!!!!

    Verifying and actually checking any information would help.Recommend

  • kamal
    Jul 8, 2012 - 10:08AM

    @jibran. absolutely wrong. maulvi mushtaq who hanged ZAB was an Urdu speaking migrant from UP. I know you hate punjabis to the core but plz don’t distort the facts.

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  • ishrat salim
    Jul 8, 2012 - 12:50PM

    Hey you guys..did you forget who was the first ever Civil Martial Administrator…guess who ? ZAB….now tell me was that OK…? Fawad thanks….

    all seem to hv gone against the CJ to the extent that they want to know what happened to Arsalan case…
    1) CJ had the guts to take up suo moto case against him & called him to appear in court….contrary to our convicted ex PM who started to defend his son & transferred officials…why

    – 2)CJ has forwarded the case to the govt for investigation & guess who is handling it…Mr Irfan Qadri – all knows his attitude against CJ…contrary to our convicted ex PM who tried to change / transfer concerned officials in his son`s case

    So, guys what else do you want ? criticizing is very easy just on hearsay is not enough…Recommend

  • Rebel
    Jul 9, 2012 - 11:03AM

    I wish there was a “Not Recommended” button here. I would’ve “Not Recommended” so many comments here. That would’ve saved so much of my time :/. Anyway to keep it short and sweet I will say this “I am with you Honourable CJ Sahib.”

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  • Sunder Khan Afridi
    Jul 9, 2012 - 6:28PM

    @Riaz Khan:
    Because the PPP leaders indulge in all sorts of corruption and then defy the courts.

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