PM contempt: Asma Jahangir terms August 8 as ‘black day in judicial history’

Published: August 8, 2012
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Jahangir criticises court order, says judges are undermining judiciary themselves. PHOTO: INP

Jahangir criticises court order, says judges are undermining judiciary themselves. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: Former president Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Asma Jahangir termed Wednesday as yet another ‘black day’ in the judicial history of the country after the Supreme Court issued show-cause notices to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case.

Addressing the media after the hearing, Jahangir said that the judges of the apex court are themselves undermining the institution implying that democracy will not flourish in the country.

“The hearing could have been fixed after Eid. What was the haste?” questioned Jahangir and said that the prime minister was not running out of the country.

Strongly reacting on the court’s orders, Jahangir remarked that when the court gives rulings based on political bias and strategy instead of law, the common man loses confidence in the courts.

“During the last hearing, the court had hinted a middle way out but today’s attitude of the court was contrary to the previous. It reflects a strategised and planned ruling,” maintained Jahangir, adding that the attitude of the judges can lead to irrecoverable loss if they are planning or are part of a planning against the government.

She further maintained that the court should see Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s son Arsalan Iftikhar and Prime Minister Ashraf with the same eye of justice. “We want a strong judiciary, not a powerful one.”

Jahangir added that she does not support the new contempt of court law as many of its sections are against the spirit of the Constitution but restrictions cannot be imposed on the parliament taking away its right of legislation.

She further said that she has nothing to do with the issue of writing letter to the Swiss authorities but wants the judiciary to give its verdicts in line with the Constitution. She added that she had fought and would continue to fight for the independence and supremacy of judiciary “but keeping in view the conduct of the Supreme Court, it seems democracy will not work”.

Attorney General Irfan Qadir, speaking to the media, also expressed his concern over the court orders and said that he was not expecting the court to summon the prime minister.

“I am hopeful that the court will observe restrain, and hopefully a middle way out will be adopted,” said Qadir. “I, being the mediator, will try to find a peaceful resolution of the issue instead of a confrontation.”

Lawyer protests

Jahangir said that the Pakistan Bar Association is a professional body of lawyers and it should not go on strike if a matter is sub judice before the court.

“If the bar expresses jubilation about a sub judice matter, there will remain no difference between a lawyer and a politician,” she maintained.

“Our community and Bar Associations are being destroyed. These bars should not be turned into devotees’ club, these bars are not a branch of any judge,” she added.

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Reader Comments (34)

  • Nasir Mahmood
    Aug 8, 2012 - 9:46PM

    Instead of criticising judiciary every time she should advise her party (though she poses herself neutral) to act according to constitution. She wants judiciary ask her opinion before deciding cases.

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  • Indian
    Aug 8, 2012 - 9:54PM

    Someone in Pakistan is actually working to save the country… Kudos Mrs. Jehangir….

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  • s shah
    Aug 8, 2012 - 9:56PM

    @ Brave Asma Jehangir. Bravo and Respect!

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  • Saladin Chamchawalla
    Aug 8, 2012 - 9:57PM

    Seems that there is no adult left and juveniles are having a field day in all spheres of life in Pakistan!
    Truly sad!

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  • Naeem Malik
    Aug 8, 2012 - 9:57PM

    Asma Jahangir is one of very few sane voices left in Pakistan. God bless her.
    I hope there won’t be any Suo moto from bias CJ regarding this.

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  • Khadim Karrar
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:02PM

    “Jahangir said that the judges of the apex court are themselves undermining the institution implying that democracy will not flourish in the country.” On the contrary, the Supreme Court is trying to salvage democracy, which does not necessarily entail saving the present Government.

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  • Rick
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:15PM

    @Khadim Karrar:
    Every dictator including Zia and Mush took power to save democracy but the rest is history. The dictatorial forces have to invent a new slogan. Corruption and saving democracy have been tried and failed. That is why nobody believes that the current govt is corrupt. If the SC truly wants to save democracy, they should ask the current govt to take a fresh mandate from voters. Let the poor people once again decide who they support?

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  • Pro Bono Publico
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:18PM

    Jahangir’s anti-SC tirade, translated means “Let Zardari’s $60 million lie peacefully is foreign banks,” and no one should bother about reopening the cases illegally withdrawn by Ge. Musharraf.

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  • Cherry
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:27PM

    CJP has now gone to far. A deliberate attempt at destabilizing an elected government just months before the 2013 general elections.

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  • Shuaib
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:29PM

    Why is she accusing the judiciary of being hasty? On the contrary the judges have given the govt more than enough time to implement it’s verdicts it has been over 2 years since the court is ordering them to write the letter but they are disobeying the courts! Isn’t this against democracy where an executive flaunts courts rulings? I’m sorry but Asma’s comments need to be more balanced if she is going to accuse the courts of undermining democracy then what about this govt?

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  • sibghat mansoor
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:38PM

    Asma Jahangir is protecting a culprit and corrupt person and allegating SC the only hope of Pakistan.
    shame on you.

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  • SaqibTahir
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:42PM

    It is clear that judges are working on an agenda. They have some plan for next elections, NRO is just a ploy.

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  • Khalq e Khuda
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:44PM

    In this country of men it is a woman who has the courage to speak up! All the other leaders of lawyers movement have gone into hiding rather than apologising for this monstrosity in the name of azaad adliya.

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  • Ishaq Khan
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:50PM

    Almost Every Day is a Black Day For Judiciary in Supreme court

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  • Umar
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:54PM

    She is another one of those sick minds that can not see right from wrong. May Allah give us all the correct guidance.

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  • Sarosh
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:54PM

    I agree with her. the judiciary taken oath under same constitution approved by parliament. why this back lash

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  • Sadia Batool Naqvi
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:09PM

    Asma Jahangir is absolutely right and this sort of judicial activism will result into irrevocable losses in the democratic history of the country. We need strong judiciary but not the one that has absolute power and considers its prerogative to attack other institutions of the country. I m not a proponent of the government but in my opinion youth and intelligentsia should stand for the principles and we should never support the court rulings based on political bias and strategy instead of law coz it is only shattering our confidence in the credibility of the torch-bearers of justice

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  • Ejaaz
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:22PM

    too little too late. The PCO judges will not be deterred.Recommend

  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Aug 9, 2012 - 12:07AM

    I am beginning to doubt this woman’s sincerity to speak for human rights, it seems to me that she is after fame and fortune. Where was she when the parliament legislated a law to protect certain people in the government while they are well known for their corruption and incompetence. I thought that when some laws are rail roaded through the legislative branch to protect a few corrupt individuals will be considered against the constitution because the constitution provides equal treatment to all citizens, perhaps Pakistani Constitution says differently than most the constitutions of other countries. I suppose the laws only apply only to the have-nots in Pakistan and when the Supreme Court stands up and redress the situation then we have people like her to malign the intention of the Supreme Court. Pakistan is a lawless country and just look around you where no body is safe if you are not rich enough or has political clout. I don’t hear anything coming out of her mouth about the 2 women paraded naked near Multan, the reason is simple, the laws only apply to the common citizens and the elite could flaunt it at will and this woman by siding with this government is doing the same..

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  • Rick
    Aug 9, 2012 - 12:54AM

    AJ is one lady who has stood against every dictator whether judicial or military. Kudos to AJ for once again following her own high traditions to tell like it is. We are proud of you AJ, may God bless you and your family.

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  • Fida Muhammad
    Aug 9, 2012 - 1:46AM

    It is a shame for all of us that our president is a convict, who was convicted by a Swiss court in money laundering case. Nobody is talking about that. Instead jiyalas are beating the bush. Come on folks, there is no harm in writing letter against a convict money launderer, who has looted the nation’s money and have amassed it abroad. If anyone is adamant in saving and siding such corrupt person, he/she should be dealt in the way SC is doing. Supreme Court is the last hope of our nation. Ms. Asma has forgotton Memo Scandal. Who says that she is neutral. The govt has made a mockery of the rule of law but she would still want restrain from SC. This is simply ridiculous.

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  • Charles
    Aug 9, 2012 - 1:46AM

    Judging the responses these days, it seems PPP has invested well in social media. otherwise, the 180 turnaround i see, in the comments these days to a few months ago, seems too strange.

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  • Asad Shah
    Aug 9, 2012 - 2:20AM

    Down with the PCO judges. Its so sad that people including me fought for this judiciary but now wants it removed because of their own biased actions. Bravo Asma.

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  • Wahab Khan Afridi
    Aug 9, 2012 - 5:33AM

    she is the one who speak the truth against army and now judiciary bravo

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  • Fed Up Baloch
    Aug 9, 2012 - 5:33AM

    Asma Jahangir is not correct in her assessment, criticism of the CJ … A common citizen like me would not want to be at the wrong end (and at the mercy) of a parliament’s self serving legislations with nowhere to turn for justice …

    The parliament (even if elected through coerced, purchased votes) needs to clearly and unmistakably demonstrate that their legislation is above board … before even making a claim of any supremacy … A parliament not accountable to law is not acceptable to ordinary citizens …

    Hitler came in through democratic means into Reichstag as a minority but subverted the parliament to create a fascist dictatorship; the Bolsheviks came into the Duma as a minority and subverted the parliament to create Dictatorship of the Proletariat …

    A dictatorship of venal, corrupt, self serving, heartless Tribal Chieftains, Landlords, Pirs, Gaddi Nashins, Robber Businessmen, Corrupt Mullas, Waderas is not acceptable … particularly when they want unfettered, unaccountable power …

    It is time stand up for the sacred principle of Equality before Law …

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  • Caramelized_Onion
    Aug 9, 2012 - 5:51AM

    This coming from Ms. Human Rights? I thought access to justice was a ‘Human Right’? And justice is the same for all. Or that only the case when its convenient for you?

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Aug 9, 2012 - 7:28AM

    Well said Jahagir , your advise should be followed by judiciary otherwise the country will soon become Syria .

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  • HADI SAKEY
    Aug 9, 2012 - 7:45AM

    Asma is not a top class lawyer. She is just a mediocre and her talks are very crude. The day she lost Haqqani’s case she speaks the same language as spoken in President House. The only person who is sane is the current Chairman of PBC. From Karachi Anwar Mansoor Khan ex- Attorney General, and Advocate Hafiz Pirzada gave very clear cut opinion. For get Asma Jahangir, she is paid from the back door by Zardari Government.

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  • Ikra
    Aug 9, 2012 - 8:08AM

    Since PPP has made its government, every day is a black day for the poor people of Pakistan. May I ask you Ms.Jahangir as what relief you guys have provided to people rather than increasing there problems.

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  • Muzaffar
    Aug 9, 2012 - 1:19PM

    has she joined PPP already ??

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  • HADI SAKEY
    Aug 9, 2012 - 10:37PM

    Asma Jahangir is daughter of a Khan Bahadur of British Raj. The title Khan Bahadur was bestowed on Indians who were pro-British and did all nefarious activities against their own people. She is not a trust worthy woman. She has written an essay Cheating on wives – She should look inside her house why Aisam divorced her daughter in less than one year after marriage?Recommend

  • Fareeha
    Aug 10, 2012 - 9:05PM

    All the law experts including eminent lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan are constantly insisting that the constitution clearly stipulates that the head of state could not be prosecuted. Earlier, former judge of the Indian Supreme Court Markandey Katju had remarked, “Pakistani Supreme Court, particularly its chief justice, has been showing utter lack of restraint. This is not expected of superior courts.” According to Katju, taking a cue from 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.” The Supreme Court has also struck down the contempt law passed last month by parliament on the basis that it is unconstitutional. While the apex court has the authority to declare any primary legislation null and void if it considers it violation of the constitution, the power is usually exercised rarely and with restraint and only in cases wherein fundamental rights specifically enacted in the constitution were directly affected by the offending statute or law. Supreme Court has adopted a self awarded authoritative position, which is clear violation of laws and oath taken by the CJP and his judges. They are guardian of constitution not spoiler but they have assumed an anti-role, leading to complete disaster of system.Recommend

  • Maimouna
    Aug 11, 2012 - 3:17AM

    Assalamu alaikum Asma Jahangir plz i need ur help to find my 3 little daughters,insha Allah ameen.sake for Allah.

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