Legal reactions: Lawyers, bar associations divided over SC verdict

Many believe the order will intensify govt-judiciary dispute.

Salman Siddiqui August 04, 2012


Senior lawyers and bar association heads had an ambivalent reaction to the Supreme Court’s verdict on Friday which declared the Contempt of Court Law 2012 null and void.

Senior advocate of the Supreme Court Dr Abdul Basit felt that the apex court had exceeded its jurisdiction with the short order. “The short order is very defective because the principle of ultra vires (beyond powers) has been misused.”

However, he agreed that the essential function of the superior judiciary was to check whether any ‘strong grounds’ existed in a certain law which clashed with the fundamental clauses of the Constitution.

Former Senate chairman Wasim Sajjad believed the tension between the judiciary and the parliament is likely to intensify with this order and urged both institutions to show restraint. Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan president Yaseen Azad also said that the dispute between the judiciary and government will grow further.

“If the Supreme Court had struck down only those sections of the law which it felt were against the fundamental provisions of the Constitution … a clash between the two institutions could have been avoided.” On the other hand, Sindh High Court Bar Association president Anwar Mansoor Khan said it was the duty of the courts to strike down and treat as void ab initio (to be treated as invalid from the outset) any laws that are contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.

Pakistan Bar Council member Rasheed A Rizvi also welcomed the order and said the verdict has rightly proved that parliament’s authority is limited and cannot legislate anything that goes against the fundamentals of the Constitution.

“Nobody and no law is above the Constitution,” he said.

He blamed parliament for creating a clash between two institutions. “Parliament acted like the Urdu proverb ‘Aa bael mujhe marr’ (come bull, hit me); so, it has no one but itself to blame,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2012.


AnisAqeel | 11 years ago | Reply

Dictatorial justice going beyond its territory. Why to keep Parliament then?

gangly khan | 11 years ago | Reply

Mandi Bahauddin: Social circles including lawyers have welcomed the verdict of the apex court under which contempt law was struck down. A senior advocate Afzaal Warriach said that the contempt court law was designed to protect the new prime minister from being charged with contempt and thrown out of office like his predecessor. He said the law was based on mala fides as it was hastily passed with simple majority. He said ruling given by the court is correct under the facts and circumstances of the case. Every one has right under the constitution to be treated at equality basis, he added and said that the verdict of the court has protected this valuable right of people. He hailed the court for declaring the contempt law as void.and against the spiritis of the constitution. He further said senior advocates at SC and High Courts were in habit of twisting law inorder to interpret it according to the wishes of their political bosses that is resented by public. It is very obvious that the contempt law enected by legislature was against the basic rights of the people as enshrined in the constitution therefore the SC has dealt with the case strictly according to law and will of the people. He ruled out that this verdict will generate any clash between judiciary and government.

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ