The former and current presidents of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) have opposed the way the Supreme Court was confronting the democratically elected institutions.
SCBA president Muhammad Yasin Azad told a press conference on Wednesday that instead of disqualifying another prime minister the judiciary must consider options on the NRO case, since the former option was not in the interest of the country.
SCBA’s former president Asma Jahangir termed August 8 a black day in judicial history and said the judges of superior court themselves are undermining the institution, which means the democracy will not flourish.
She was talking to the media outside the Supreme Court after issuance of a show cause notice to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.
“The hearing could have been fixed after Eid. What was the haste?” questioned Asma.
She said when the court gives ruling based on political bias and strategy instead of in accordance with the law, the common man loses confidence in courts.
“On last hearing the court had hinted at a middle way out but today’s attitude of the court was contrary to the previous, and reflected a strategised and planned ruling,” said Asma.
The court should see Arsalan Iftikhar and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf with the same eye of justice. “We want a strong judiciary, not the powerful one,” she said.
She said Pakistan Bar Association is a professional body of lawyers. If it goes on strike or expresses jubilation about a sub judice matter, there will remain no difference between a lawyer and a politician. “These bars should not be made devotees club,” said Asma.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Irfan Qadir told the media after the hearing he was not expecting the court to summon the prime minster the way it has.
“I am hopeful that the court will observe restraint and hopefully a middle way out will be found,” he said.
SCBA president Yasin Azad said national issues were being ignored by both the apex court and mainstream political parties.
He said that instead of judicial activism there was an urgent need of disposing of the cases of poor litigants pending for years. Many petitioners were languishing in jails and their cases have not been disposed of over the last seven years, he said.
To a question, he said that no one was above the law and the Supreme Court should constitute a committee on Arsalan Iftikhar case and his case like any other Pakistani citizen should proceed in accordance with the law.
Replying to another question, SCBA president noted that although judiciary was supreme and empowered to abolish any law if found against the injunctions of Islam and the Constitution, parliament was too supreme and had the right to legislate any law it considered in the best interest of the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.