Lawyer and politician Aitzaz Ahsan has said that in some matters the judiciary is stepping out of the constitution and is getting too much independent.
“The activism of the Supreme Court is one-sided and is not even-handed,” he said talking to the BBC on Tuesday.
He said that in the coming elections, PPP will not only win, it will also be able to form a government because President Asif Ali Zardari has a lot of experience of making coalition governments.
“Judiciary is independent, it is too much independent, actually it is getting free of the constitution in some matters,” said Aitzaz.
The parliament can make an amendment to the constitution with a two-thirds majority and it cannot be challenged in court. He said that the stand Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took against Gen Pervez Musharraf strengthened the judiciary, but later events prompted comments about the judiciary.
He said that disqualifying Yousaf Raza Gilani was a wrong decision. He said that what was used to disqualify Gilani, was not a matter of disqualification; it was rather an issue related to the area of judiciary’s authority. He questioned as to how the court could ask to run a case against the president in a foreign court, while the constitution clearly gives him immunity.
Aitzaz said that the stance taken by the Chief Justice in his speech that the judiciary can stop parliament from constitutional amendments is contrary to the Supreme Court judgments. He said that the Supreme Court can review the amendments made with simple majority for any discrepancy with any article of the constitution, however, an amendment made with a two-thirds majority cannot be challenged in the court.
He said that some of the recent Supreme Court judgments have eliminated any possibility of the martial law and, therefore, there is no chance of the military taking over the reins in the future.
Aitzaz Ahsan said he has no regrets for (taking part in) the movement for the restoration of Iftikahr Muhammad Chaudhry as Chief Justice and the judiciary. He said that it was a movement for the victory of the people. Aitzaz, in 2007, had successfully represented the case of chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, followed by his arrest by the former president Pervez Musharraf.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2012.