Ruling coalition, Chief Justice at loggerheads

The Nation  |  Apr 02, 2023

Multiparty alliance demands present court proceedings be terminated by accepting four-judge majority judgment n Wants holding of general polls on single day across Pakistan n Urges all stakeholders to respect Parliament’s supremacy n Maulana Fazl alleges ‘biased attitude’ of CJP and two other judges ‘has corrupted Supreme Court’.

ISLAMABAD    -   Leaders of the ruling co­alition parties Saturday demanded that gener­al elections should be held on the same day across the country.

The demand was made at an important virtual meeting of the coalition parties in La­hore on Saturday with Prime Minister Sheh­baz Sharif in the chair.

Former President Asif Ali Zardari, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Reh­man, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Maryam Nawaz Shar­if and other leaders at­tended the meeting.

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All the leaders agreed that it is the basic con­stitutional requirement to conducting impar­tial, transparent and free elections in the country and deviation from which will plunge the country into a di­sastrous political crisis. 

The meeting expressed no confidence in the three-member bench headed by the Chief Jus­tice and demanded that the present court pro­ceedings be terminat­ed by accepting the four-judge majority judgment.

The meeting fully supported the recent legislation of the Par­liament and stated that the obstacles in the way of justice have been removed by this legislation. The meet­ing urged all stakeholders to respect the Parliament’s su­premacy. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar briefed the meeting on the economic situation of the country. 

Pakistan Democratic Move­ment (PDM) chief Maulana Fa­zlur Rehman while talking to re­porters said that in the Supreme Court, a suo motu notice re­garding the date of general elec­tions of Punjab and KP is un­der hearing. The first selection bench constituted consisted of 9 members, but was reduced to three members. Separation of the judges is a decision against the notice itself, said Maulana Fazlur Rahman.

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Chief Justice is afraid that this case has to be heard at any cost, Maulana Fazlur Rehman add­ed. In such a situation, what opinion should politicians, par­liament and people form, said Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

In our view, he said, the Su­preme Court and the present bench are clearly playing the role of party in this case. Fa­zlur Rahman also said that af­ter the party’s role related to the elections in two provinces, it is obvious that we have no faith in this court, Maulana Fa­zlur Rahman.

The biased attitude of the Chief Justice or the two hon­ourable judges who are asso­ciated with him has corrupted the Supreme Court, Maulana Fazlur Rahman. “It is surpris­ing that the Supreme Court is the most valuable and high ranking institution of Pakistan, but a few judges clearly want to give relief to Imran Khan, want to win his party’s posi­tion at any cost.”

In such a case, it is permissi­ble to divide the Supreme Court, but not withdraw from the one who is supporting. Morally, the Chief Justice and his two associ­ates should withdraw from this case and end this matter, Maula­na Fazlur Rehman.

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“The chief justice is advising us that this matter should be resolved together and the chief justice himself has divided the honourable court,” Maulana Fa­zlur Rehman.

Who should we talk to, a crim­inal who was brought in by rig­ging? Maulana Fazlur Rehman. “We did 15 million marches, we did Azadi marches, you didn’t realise at that time, why didn’t you take notice, said PDM chief.”

The two main culprits of July 25 rigging are still roaming openly, even today you are not taking any notice against them, says Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Conducting elections in the provinces or conducting elec­tions in the country is the work of the Election Commission.

The suo motu case has been rejected by four and three, so there is no further hearing on it, Maulana Fazlur Rehman. We do not trust this bench and the CJP, he added. “Today it is be­ing said that the Constitution requires that elections should be held within ninety days, why was this not a requirement of the Constitution when this court was allowing dictator Per­vez Musharraf to hold elections in three years, asked Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

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Currently, he said, the census is taking place in the country, af­ter a few months a new constit­uency was created, a new voter list and the newly formed voter will not be able to cast his vote. “In order to keep the country politically united since 1949, elections are held in one day in Pakistan. Care should be taken, do not play a party role, let the Supreme Court remain united, let the Supreme Court remain neutral.”

Maulana Fazlur Rehman also made it clear that they would not be a part of any negotiation with Imran Khan regarding the election date nor will we negoti­ate with any criminal. 

According to a statement is­sued here, the leaders consid­ered in detail the overall po­litical situation in the country and held consultations on fu­ture strategy. They said any de­viation would be similar to a suicide attack on the econom­ic interests of the country. The meeting made it clear that the conspiracy to create an un­ending political and constitu­tional crisis on the pressure of a party which was attacking the state institutions with its gangs, would not be acceptable in any way.

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They were of the view that un­fortunately an administrative issue was turned into a politi­cal and constitutional crisis and ignoring of economic, security, constitutional, legal and politi­cal affairs would be akin to ne­glecting interests of the state.

They said the haste to achieve a particular objective for giv­ing relief to a party looked like a political agenda and it was against the constitution, law and authority of the Election Commission.

According to article 218(3) and other articles of the consti­tution, holding the election was the prerogative of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and according to the Constitu­tion, “Supreme Court should not interfere in the authority of an independent and autonomous Election Commission”. They said the four honourable judges of the Supreme Court gave the same verdict in the suo moto case number 1/2023.

The meeting expressed their “no confidence in the three-member bench of the Su­preme Court headed by Chief Justice and comprising Jus­tice Ijaz ul Hasan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar and demanded that the majority decision of the four members in the suo moto case 1/2023 should be accept­ed and the current judicial pro­ceedings should be stopped”.

“It is unfortunate that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court wanted to impose the de­cision of the minority on the de­cision of the majority,” they said.

They said this behaviour was not only a clear example of a grave constitutional and politi­cal crisis in the country but was also evident of “deviation from the constitution” and laid down a legal procedure which was a “flagrant violation of the basic concept of separation of powers of the state”.

The meeting raised the issue that a bench headed by a se­nior most judge of the Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa or­dered the suspension of hear­ing of all cases under article 184(3) of the constitution, add­ing that contradictory court de­cisions had created an unimple­mentable and complex situation and respect of the decision of the bench of Justice Qazi Faez Isa was also mandatory for ev­eryone. 

The leaders demanded that action should be initiated on the references filed by Pakistan Bar Council and other associations under article 209.

They clarified that Justice Ijaz ul Hasan had already volun­tarily recused himself from the bench in this particular case, so he could not be part of the pres­ent bench.

In this respect, orders of Jus­tice Mansoor Ali Shah and Jus­tice Jamal Khan Mandokhail were clear and it all was present on the record.

The meeting urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to listen to the dissenting voices ris­ing from the benches of the Su­preme Court as chief of the in­stitution and immediately form a full court to negate the im­pression of “one man show”.

They declared that the “ver­dict of the three members on the issue of article 63A was the cause of political instability and through it the constitution was re-written”.

They also stated that clear “division could be seen in the thinking of the Supreme Court, therefore the apex court should refrain from issuing controver­sial political decisions”.

It was urged that the impres­sion regarding the Chief Justice and some other judges should be removed that they were adopting a special discriminato­ry attitude in the matter of Pa­kistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). They also highlighted “that those who are advising politi­cians to take decisions by sitting together are also divided and they should create unity and unanimity among themselves”.

Federal Minister for Law Sen­ator Azam Nazeer Tarar in­formed the leadership about the legislation enacted in the Parlia­ment about article 184(3) of the constitution and briefed on the situation arising out of the con­flicting decisions and formation of benches.

The meeting fully supported the recent legislation in the Par­liament and said the legislation had removed obstacles in the way of justice.

The new legislation had put a stop to the path of one-sided justice to the people and gave them the right to appeal which was according to natural justice and the basic intent of the con­stitution. The Parliament had given a clear opinion about the article 184(3) through its leg­islation, they said , adding Par­liament was a supreme institu­tion and its opinion should be respected by all. 

The meeting expressed the hope that the “President will not become a hurdle in this leg­islation on the basis of his party affiliation”.

Meanwhile, Minister for Fi­nance Ishaq Dar briefed the participants about the econom­ic situation in the country.

Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Aminul Haque, Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Hashim Notezai, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, Muham­mad Tahir Bizenjo, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Shafiq Tareen, Amir Haider Hoti of Awami Na­tional Party, Mian Iftikhar Hus­sain, Dr Khalid Magsi of Baloch­istan Awami Party, Chaudhry Salik Hussain, Tahir Bashir Cheema, Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sher­pao, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Rana Sanaullah, Rana Tanvir Hussain, Marriyum Aurang­zeb, Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan, Attaullah Tarar, Allama Sajiq Mir, Aslam Bhotani, Mou­lana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Shah Awais Noorani, Kamran Murtaza, Mohsin Dawar, Fa­rooq H Naik, Murtaza Wahab, Sheeraz Rajpar, and others at­tended the meeting.

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