Pre-emptive strike

Published: October 15, 2010
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17-member bench constituted to hear the matter from today.

17-member bench constituted to hear the matter from today.

ISLAMABAD: 

High drama unfolded in the capital late Thursday night, resulting in what appears to be a pre-emptive strike on the part of the Supreme Court regarding rumours of the executive seeking to pull the plug on an increasingly assertive judiciary.

A dramatic late-night meeting of all 17 judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan took notice of the purported plans of the government to withdraw the executive order that reinstated the judges that were earlier sent packing by the Musharraf regime after the Nov 3, 2007, Emergency.

In a clear-cut statement, the Supreme Court has “clarified” that the issue of the reinstatement of the judges has already been “conclusively settled.” According to the Supreme Court, the notification cannot be taken back, as the reports were suggesting was the government’s plan.

Moreover, the apex court has also constituted a 17-member bench that will hear a case regarding the reports that were being aired by the media regarding the government’s purported plans to this effect.

The hearings will begin today (Friday) and the Attorney General of Pakistan has been summoned to appear before the 17-member bench.

The following is the text of the Supreme Court’s late night press release issued by Additional Registrar Sajid Mehmood Qazi:

“As per reports telecast tonight on several TV Channels including AAJ, GEO & ARY, alleging that the Government is considering to withdraw the notification/executive order dated 16.03.2009 of restoration of the Chief Justice of Pakistan and other Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Chief Justices/Judges of High Courts. Some newspapers have already reported this issue as well. Earlier on, few months ago, a similar statement was made by one of the high constitutional office holders in the Parliament.

“As the news item was flashed by other TV channels, some channels have also telecast denial today (14.10.2010) from the Government, saying that there is no truth  behind the said news.

“It may be clarified that the issue of restoration of Judges through notification has already been conclusively settled by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in its judgment dated 31.07.2009 in the case of Sindh High Court Bar Association v. Federation of Pakistan (PLD 2009 SC 879), relevant paragraphs whereof are reproduced below: –

“The Proclamation of Emergency issued by General Pervez Musharraf as the Chief of Army Staff (as he then was) on November 3, 2007; the Provisional Constitution Order No.1 of 2007 issued by him on the same date in his said capacity; the Oath of Office (Judges) Order of 2007 issued by him also on the same date though as the President of Pakistan but in exercise of powers under the aforesaid Proclamation of Emergency and the Provisional Constitution Order No.1 of 2007; The Provisional Constitution (Amendment) Order, 2007 issued by him like-wise on 15.11.2007; the Constitution (Amendment) Order, 2007 being President’s Order No.5 of 2007 issued on November 20, 2007; the Constitution (Second Amendment) Order, 2007 being the President’s Order No.6 of 2007 issued on 14th December, 2007; the Islamabad High Court (Establishment) Order 2007 dated 14th December 2007 being the President’s Order No.7 of 2007; the High Court Judges (Pensionary Benefits) Order, 2007 being President’s Order No.8 of 2007; the Supreme Court Judges (Pensionary Benefits) Order, 2007 being President’s Order No.9 of 2007 dated 14th December, 2007 are hereby declared to be un-constitutional, ultra-vires of the Constitution and consequently being illegal and of no legal effect.

“As a consequence thereof: –

“The Chief Justice of Pakistan; the Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan; any Chief Justice of any of the High Courts and the Judges of the High Courts who were declared to have ceased to hold their respective offices in pursuance of the afore-mentioned alleged judgments or any other such judgment and on account of the instruments mentioned in Para 21 above, shall be deemed never to have ceased to be such Judges, irrespective of any notification issued regarding their reappointment or restoration;”

“It may be stated that the issue of appointment or removal of Judges is clearly prescribed by the Constitution of Pakistan, which has been elaborated through successive verdicts of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has held time and again that a Judge of the superior judiciary may not be removed except on the grounds and as per procedure laid down in Article 209.

“In view of the facts stated above, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan, on a note moved by the Registrar, has ordered registration of the matter as Civil Miscellaneous Application and its fixation before a 17 – Member Bench on 15.10.2010. Notice has been issued to the Attorney General for Pakistan.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (42)

  • qasim
    Oct 15, 2010 - 1:43AM

    Ooh laa laa! The fun begins.Recommend

  • Asad
    Oct 15, 2010 - 1:47AM

    one word. lzolz.Recommend

  • ATHER
    Oct 15, 2010 - 1:48AM

    Very sad, no lesson from past. But v should not feel any kind of fear about this situation, because this kind of act will help us to become a strong nation in future and whith\black will be differentiated. So keep watching and be strong mentaly.Recommend

  • Ishaq
    Oct 15, 2010 - 1:55AM

    Supreme Court now open 247 anytime any where.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Oct 15, 2010 - 2:02AM

    it was disinformation spread by geo news and made judges fool.they overreacted on rumours.no other channel gave that news only geo made that news and judges got traped in geo tv game.media is creating havoc in pakistan.
    Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Oct 15, 2010 - 2:15AM

    Challenging Judges appointments has created a direct rift between the executive and the judiciary.

    General (R) Musharraf had made the same mistake that he challenged the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

    The result was that Chief Justice of Pakistan was honourably restored and General (R) Musharraf was about to be impeached by the National Assembly and thus had no further chance to prolong his president-ship.

    Now in this case, the full bench of Supreme Court may ask the government to relieve the people who were benefited under the NRO but may also ask the government to refrain from doing such acts which may create chaos in the country.

    I can see that Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif is going to take a tough stand on the issue.

    The government should change its stance and remove the misunderstanding at the first instance. Recommend

  • waqas raza
    Oct 15, 2010 - 2:36AM

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,..!!!Recommend

  • ATHER
    Oct 15, 2010 - 2:41AM

    “it was disinformation spread by geo news————————-” a person give his comments but he don’t know, this news was 1st time breaked by “express” tv. so plz 1st update ur self then should comments.Recommend

  • Rana Khan
    Oct 15, 2010 - 2:49AM

    This is a trap by govt to trap media

    or

    (more likely) govt was considering these options and judges got in first.

    ps. a caretaker govt is coming your way.Recommend

  • watchdog from UK
    Oct 15, 2010 - 2:58AM

    Another judicial crisis in making?
    I sincerely hope the rumours spread by some TV channels are baseless.Recommend

  • Oct 15, 2010 - 3:15AM

    I think it has no reason to believe today;s media reports yet it might be pre-emptive tactic of media to eschew the Executive which sole Zardari excluding Mr, Pir –cum-landlord Gilani,to take such a volatile step. Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Oct 15, 2010 - 3:49AM

    This will be the final blow to any hope that might have survived through the events of the last 60 years. May Allah Bless our fine country.Recommend

  • TIMOTHY HEGAN
    Oct 15, 2010 - 4:33AM

    This is shameful!

    A 1/4th of the nation has been hit by the floods which has caused damage of over $ 20 billion. The country is begging for funds .

    And the politicians have no respect for the judiciary or rule of law and they want to gag the independent judiciary. This is un-acceptable.Recommend

  • basharat
    Oct 15, 2010 - 5:29AM

    Even if the rumour is correct , there is no wrong in it. The Government has every right to
    engage in mutual consultations , even about withdrawing the executive order , cause will arise only if the government takes some practical steps. The hue and cry is useless and premature , nevertheless if the media has given a false news , action against the perpetrators must be taken. The government has every right to discuss the problems and ways and means to solve them. We should not try to squeeze the authority of the Government. Recommend

  • khan
    Oct 15, 2010 - 6:23AM

    mna’s come to a session of the NA and a US drone drops a big 30,000 pound bomb on it.Recommend

  • mnkhan
    Oct 15, 2010 - 7:38AM

    it was disinformation spread by geo news and made judges fool.they overreacted on rumours.no other channel gave that news only geo made that news and judges got traped in geo tv game.media is creating havoc in pakistan. : repeat once again, :, CJ should take note of this ,call kamran to
    court ask for explatation, and if found guilty of spreading false reports be given punishiment , to be
    a lesson for others, judges should get their selves adjusted to the media reports, and take due
    care in over reactations, as all this leads to CONFUSION ABOUT SYSTEM.Recommend

  • Oct 15, 2010 - 7:41AM

    Chief justice should behave and become impartial and protect human rights.Recommend

  • gangly khan
    Oct 15, 2010 - 8:02AM

    Rift among the judiciary and government is continuing. On the other side corruption in government departments is going unchecked. Political parties are fighting for power. Welfare of people is not on agenda of either. There is no strong leadership who can keep the nation united. Our country has become arena where every one is fighting for their personal interests. Judges have become controversial. Their restoration has not improved administration of justice. They have become politicians. They should now resign in the interest of public at large. Recommend

  • blah
    Oct 15, 2010 - 8:08AM

    blahRecommend

  • Anonymous
    Oct 15, 2010 - 8:20AM

    i think we have to update our knowledge-base first.
    this news was also on air on AJJ tv….so we should not criticize geo…
    if we can not give the credit to geo but we can at least admire the efforts of geo to keep us informed all the times Recommend

  • yawar
    Oct 15, 2010 - 8:21AM

    i think we have to update our knowledge-base first.
    this news was also on air on AJJ tv….so we should not criticize geo…
    if we can not give the credit to geo but we can at least admire the efforts of geo to keep us informed all the times Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Oct 15, 2010 - 8:32AM

    So they always come out even in V hours if it concerns something which may affect their services but they will not do all this “Bhaag Dhaur” if it comes to deciding 2 million plus cases in their backyards. In fact one wonders why all these Judges are speaking in one voice as if others do not have their own voices. Is it dictators-ship even in this institution. We only hear 3 to 4 Judges who always pass their remarks in a very mocking way. One feels that now it is time for the government to always take permission from CJ even if any one wants to visit “Wash Room”.Recommend

  • Oct 15, 2010 - 8:50AM

    Remember “When the Gods get angry, they make you go mad”. If this is true that the PPP Core Comm/ Kitchen Cabinet even discussed this thing, than they don’t need any enemy. Recommend

  • Shahzad Khan
    Oct 15, 2010 - 9:11AM

    If Judges can only be removed by procedure mentioned in Article 209 then how our honourable Supreme court removed 110 Judges in 31st July,2009 judgement with a single stroke of pen. I believe double standards should not be followed. In addition there is no provision in constitution to restore Judges therefore that reinstatement executive order is illegal & unconstitutional & it can be withdrawn any moment. Recommend

  • Ammar
    Oct 15, 2010 - 9:41AM

    Now the judiciary is issuing press releases. What we know and is the precedent, Courts pass orders and do not issue press releases, and that too on some extremely vague media reports. This trade unionist approach is unique in the sorry history of Pakistani judiciary. God knows what else is in order for the abject Pakistanis!Recommend

  • ArifQ
    Oct 15, 2010 - 9:43AM

    Shooting from the hip, not gun shy describes the honorable judges, most disturbing aspect is their eagerness to make decisions based on “rumors”. Recommend

  • Oct 15, 2010 - 10:05AM

    President Eisehhower sent 14 battalions of National Guardsmen to Alabama to get the US Supreme Court judgement implemented.

    In Pakistan what do we have – an ineffective brigade of ministers and the ones on top of them only interested in self enrichness.

    For God’s sake learn from history. No country can rise unless it respects its own laws and implements justiceRecommend

  • Oct 15, 2010 - 11:01AM

    By the rumor flared up,
    and specific reaction from the other side
    I come to the conclusion that
    judiciary and executive has appeared face to face.

    What would be the result of this stand off.
    nothing can be said this time
    but I would like to say herein that
    outcome not favorable or in interest of country
    and the people of Pakistan.

    Who will come to settle the issues between them,
    all are spectators and interested in their own benefits
    seeking and waiting expected results.

    Prime minister has refused regarding the rumors
    but not depend on and on the contrary informers are believed
    it mean there is no confidence between the tow important pillar of the state.

    Unfortunately,
    people of Pakistan,especially poor people of Pakistan
    are already facing natural disaster,skyrocketing prices of all essentials
    political unrest,insurgency and now a new crisis.

    God have forgotten us,in fact.
    where we should go in such circumstances.Recommend

  • Oct 15, 2010 - 11:12AM

    Storm in cup of teaRecommend

  • Asmat Jamal
    Oct 15, 2010 - 11:43AM

    Ajmal Qasab had brought India and Pakistan to almost a war. This act of a private channel is replication of the same when they brought judiciary and executive to war. This is a serious matter. Supreme court should not only ask the Federal Government but should also ask the anchor and the management of the TV channel to clarify their position. It also a reminder to the courtsnot to play to the galleries, rather concentrate of providing in time and above board justice to all.Recommend

  • SUB
    Oct 15, 2010 - 12:02PM

    Geo & Jang may be really bad & have done a LOT of bad deeds however this news was on air Aaj TV before any other. So please forgive Geo/ jang in this regardsRecommend

  • hafeez
    Oct 15, 2010 - 12:54PM

    this is how our premature media is creating mess.. Recommend

  • kashif ali
    Oct 15, 2010 - 1:43PM

    why judges are acting so promptly have they ever been so efficient about the real probelms of a common men. nothing but sheer politics everywhere in pakistan.Recommend

  • Azeem
    Oct 15, 2010 - 4:01PM

    The notification is unlikely to be withdrawn. The reason for this is that once it is withdrawn you can be rest assured the sitting government will not survive 24 hours. And yes the siound of boots would be heard in Islamabad once again on that day.

    Lets hope it doesnt come to that.Recommend

  • Concerned
    Oct 16, 2010 - 1:28AM

    Well its turf war, the judges are trying to rule the country. Rule by judicial decree should not be equated with Rule of Law. Pakistan’s top judges should first try to reform the judicial institution, the unruly lawyers, the pathetic law schools, archaic and unfriendly court rules set by them and then pontificate. Recommend

  • nasir
    Oct 16, 2010 - 2:01AM

    y no action on altaf hussain calling army to take over?y no article 6 on musharaf.?sc threatend democratic govt today of article6 on small notification issue but never did anything against musharaf dictator.
    Recommend

  • Footnotes
    Oct 16, 2010 - 2:25AM

    Pakistan is here to stay for times to come.
    We are experiencing a change in our lifetime – we are experiencing history.
    Its up to us.Recommend

  • Mohammad naeem
    Oct 16, 2010 - 11:06AM

    Sc should avoid politics instead of creating confusion for whole nation in their midnight-weekend over reactions every now and then. Recommend

  • gangly khan
    Oct 16, 2010 - 12:07PM

    It is strange that our top judges nerves failed on listening rumors regarding withdrawal of their restoration notification. They spent night awake in the court discussing how to save their posts. One of them is retired who is sticking to the post of ad hoc judge. I ask a question from them if they ever held similar session over a issue concerning poor people. These judges are now openly defying Government and creating hurdles in smooth functions of government. I think their priority should be to purge judiciary from corrupt elements. There are lot many complaints against judges specially of lower court for their misconduct but no action or inquiry is ordered to against such corrupt judges. There are lot many cases of villagers pending higher judiciary. But nothing is being done to dispose them off. Judiciary and lawyers have turned politicians. Some of them with CJ, some of them are with LHC cj and some them are with the government. All have their personal interests. Judiciary and lawyers are not working for delivery of transparent and speedy justice.. Recommend

  • Oct 17, 2010 - 3:27AM

    Power struggle- lets see who wins-
    People
    Judiciary
    Army
    MediaRecommend

  • Oct 17, 2010 - 5:17PM

    Can a court issue an order or announce a verdict before an allegedly intended crime has been committed?

    If the judges cannot be removed from office through non-adherence to the concerned clause of the constitution, can President of Pakistan’s immunity from a court trial in and outside pakistab be revoked?

    If the judges cannot be removed, how come the President can be tried in a court of law either in or outside Pakistan?

    Was the alleged media story regarding revocation of the restoration of the judges a trap to give a glimpse of what is expecting during the NRO trial in the days to come?

    I REST MY CASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • younis
    Oct 17, 2010 - 7:50PM

    the thing is that electronic media specially i quote (GEO ARY & EXpress) are intending to provoke the news of reversal of judges restoration is based on there phenomena of zardari dis likeness.Recommend

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