Dealing with PM: Top lawyer bodies call for restraint by SC

Published: August 19, 2012
PBC vice chairman had asked SC to go for committee or order fresh elections. PHOTO: FILE

PBC vice chairman had asked SC to go for committee or order fresh elections. PHOTO: FILE


With the prime minister’s fate hanging in the balance soon after the Eid holidays end, leaders of top judicial bodies called for restraint on the part of the Supreme Court – and the chief justice assured them that the matter would be dealt with through ‘consultations.’

The appeal was made by the vice chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in speeches at a farewell ceremony held on Thursday for outgoing judge, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan. The chief justice and other judges of the apex court were present at the event – a full court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, to mark Justice Jan’s retirement.

The top judge of the country assured the bar councils that all issues will be resolved through consultation.

The prime minister has been asked to appear before a five-member bench hearing the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) judgment implementation case on August 27. On the last date of hearing a related review petition, the court warned the government of consequences if Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf doesn’t respond ‘positively’ to the order to write a letter to Swiss authorities to make Pakistan a party in graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was tried, convicted and disqualified in the same case.

SCBA President Yasin Azad said that every Pakistani wishes to see the judiciary independent. However, he added that democracy must thrive, and every government must complete the period for which it was elected.

PBC vice chairman Akhtar Hussain said that, out of the six options provided by court to implement the NRO judgment, two may be conveniently exercised without sending another prime minister packing. These include the formation of a commission for writing a letter to Swiss authorities and fresh elections.

“The court has great responsibility to protect the political system under the Constitution and to show judicial restraint,” said Hussain.

He also hit out at the opposition parties, saying that, instead of presenting more favourable economic and political options, they are busy sloganeering and playing politics with the judiciary. He added that the only available course was to continue with the constitutional process for peaceful transfer of power through elections.

The SCBA and PBC officials also urged the chief justice to ensure an expeditious and transparent criteria for the appointment of judges, so that vacant seats could be filled on merit, with the consultation of the bar and bench.

Hussain said that the high courts of Sindh and Lahore have been at half their sanctioned strength since the past three years, and the consequent delay in the decision of cases is irksome for the litigant public.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:32AM

    What restraint ? They mean, the law for him & cronies of PPP should be different from rest of the people of this unfortunate country.Either there is justice or none & SCP is doing exactly in accordance with the law of the land & the constitution applicable equally on every one without discrimination.


  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:35AM

    Fresh is excellent idea !!


  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:36AM

    Correction……Fresh election is excellent idea !!


  • Mirza
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:44AM

    Finally some elected leaders who are law scholars trying to put some sense in the power politics of the govt servants. Let us hope and pray that the parties are hearing them.


  • M.Ahmer Ali
    Aug 19, 2012 - 10:15AM

    “PBC vice chairman had asked SC to go for committee or order fresh elections.”
    Fresh elections as soon as possible on priority basis is much the best option to resolve this clash/crisis between the government and the Supreme Court…….


  • Nasir Mahmood
    Aug 19, 2012 - 12:59PM

    These lawyers should play positive role and advise the PM to write a simple letter to end the judicial-executive conflict.


  • suraj
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:00PM

    Good advice in the current turmoil..


  • Umar
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:22PM

    Yeah this is called the “doctrine of necessity” or “Nazaria-e-Zaroorat”. Do this and then don’t complain the next time the SC uses the same doctrine to accomodate a military government.

    The law has to be implemented and seen to be implemented; such flexibilities show bias and not even handedness.

    Good luck Pakistan !


  • Iqbal Ph.D (Petroleum Geologist)
    Aug 19, 2012 - 3:21PM

    The stance of SBC, PBC and civil society activists, on judicial activism,egoism and self isolation of the newly emerging elite, is a LANDMARK against a MINDSET of pro dictatorial segment


  • Puzzled Indian
    Aug 19, 2012 - 5:28PM

    Finally some sense. SC should heed.Save democracy.


  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Aug 19, 2012 - 8:10PM



  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Aug 19, 2012 - 8:27PM

    Once I wrote a letter to BB to ensue more democracy in the PPP’s structure, before sending the letter, I asked AG Yahya Bukhtiar to review it, make addition or deletions, after reading it he said to me that there was no such thing called “more or less democracy” but “only democracy”.How true. Asking restraint from the judiciary is like asking one law for the masses and other one favoring the ruling class. No Sir, only one law should apply to all Pakistanis.


  • Sehr.Siddiqui
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:09PM

    You show me the face and I will give you the law. This country we have several laws depending on the person committing the crime. Bigger the crime bigger should be the position
    to get away. If that is democracy, we do not want it. down with this kind of democracy.


  • SaqibTahir
    Aug 20, 2012 - 3:19AM

    Supereme court cannot order early elections. There is no constitutional provision for such order. Giving judges such draconian powers practically means the revival of notorious 58-2B clause. The best possible option is that court wait for the completion of President Zardari’s term.


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