Thursday, April 1, 2010

Judicial Amnesia & Martial Law Duties.

As per a report by International Crisis Group "REFORMING THE JUDICIARY IN PAKISTAN" dated 16 October 2008:


Pakistan’s higher judiciary has repeatedly validated military interventions and sanctioned constitutional amendments that have fundamentally altered the legal and political system. Attempting to explain its failure to protect the constitution through the “doctrine of state necessity”, the judiciary has relied on the dubious argument that the army’s intervention could be justified because of the pressing need for political stability. This doctrine was first developed in three cases in 1955 in the Federal Court, as the Supreme Court was then known, to justify the extra-constitutional dismissal of the legislature by a titular head of state.11 Drawing on the precedent of those decisions, the Supreme Court validated General Mohammed Ayub Khan’s 1958 declaration of martial law, General Mohammad Ziaul Haq’s 1977 coup and General Pervez Musharraf’s 1999 coup. While these Supreme Court judgments gave military regimes the trappings of legality, repeated military interventions have hampered the growth of civilian institutions and moderate political parties and forces. The centralisation of power in a Punjabi-dominated army has also strained centre-province relations in a multi-ethnic, multi-regional state, even as the military’s use of religion to justify political control has undermined the security of Pakistani citizens, particularly women and religious and sectarian minorities. REFERENCE: Reforming the Judiciary in Pakistan Asia Report N°160 16 October 2008


Some courageous judges, such as Supreme Court Justices Dorab Patel and Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim,15 have refused to sanctify authoritarian interventions, and preferred to resign rather than undermine constitutionalism and the rule of law. By legitimising military rule and intervention, most have, however, abdicated their duty to uphold the law. Following Musharraf’s coup, the Supreme Court was purged of judges who might have opposed the military’s unconstitutional assumption of power. Judges were required to take an oath to Musharraf’s Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), 1999, superseding the oath they had sworn at their induction to the 1973 constitution.16 On 26 January 2000, thirteen judges, including Chief Justice Saiduzzaman Siddiqui and four other Supreme Court justices, were removed for refusing to do so. The reconstituted Supreme Court was composed of judges who willingly accepted the military’s directions. They included Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who was elevated to the Court in January 2000 and appointed chief justice by Musharraf in 2005. The judges took their oath of office under the PCO 1999, which omits the reference to their duty to “protect, uphold and defend” the 1973 constitution. On 21 May 2000, this bench upheld the legality of Musharraf’s coup under the doctrine of state necessity. The Supreme Court also authorised the army chief to amend the constitution, albeit within the bounds of its federal, democratic and parliamentary character. The Court also concluded that those judges who had been sacked following the PCO oath had lost any right to challenge their removal due to the passage of time. By placing personal survival over the rule of law and constitutionalism, these judges allowed another dicta tor to implement sweeping changes that expanded the military’s political powers and hold over the state. REFERENCE: Reforming the Judiciary in Pakistan Asia Report N°160 16 October 2008

Like Zia’s Eighth Amendment, Musharraf’s Seventeenth Amendment, passed by a rubber-stamp parliament in December 2003, enshrined all executive orders and changes made under military rule.21 The Seventeenth Amendment gave the president, the titular head of state, the power to dismiss elected governments and parliament and also transferred from the prime minister, the head of government, key appointment powers to the president including appointments of governors, the three service chiefs and the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Musharraf’s constitutional distortions weakened civilian institutions. By sidelining secular democratic forces, the military government also enabled right-wing religious parties to fill the vacuum. In dismissing legal challenges to Seventeenth Amendment, the Supreme Court shirked its responsibility to protect constitutional rule. REFERENCE: Reforming the Judiciary in Pakistan Asia Report N°160 16 October 2008


What a joke! On one hand the "Judicairy" orders the NAB to write letter to the Swiss Government and then the same "Judiciary" also say "Swiss officials do not acknowledge the NAB’s law"

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) said the letter of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) addressed to the authorities in Geneva, should have been routed from the Law Ministry with due approval from Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Geo News reported Thursday. A seven-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry heard the case regarding the implementation of the apex court’s decision on National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). The CJ Chaudhry said the modus operandi of the letter was not right, as the government of Pakistan is absolutely absent in process of the letter sent to the Swiss officials. The Attorney General told the court that the law Ministry has NAB’s letter, which would be sent as per legal procedure. Justice Tariq Pervaiz said the letter on restoration of Swiss cases should have been sent from the government of Pakistan. Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday said in his remarks said the Swiss officials do not acknowledge the NAB’s law; therefore, the court ordered the Law Ministry to send letter to Swiss officials with the approval from the PM Gilani. The Attorney General has been directed to immediately call the Law Secretary at his chamber and bring new letter to the court by 1pm today after deciding the modus operandi of the same. The court ordered that the special messenger should be sent wit the letter. ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Thursday directed Federal Secretary Law to present report pertaining to reopening of Swiss cases till April 05, Geo News reported. In his remarks, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary said the issue of letter writing to Swiss government should be resolved by tomorrow. The AG said this to the Supreme Court, which, after an interval, started hearing the case regarding the implementation on the SC's verdict on National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). The AG said in his statement to the court that he is faced with hardships in getting the documents relating the Swiss cases from the Law Ministry. The Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry asked him as to who is responsible for these problems. It is the Law Ministry, he replied. The CJ asked if also the Law Minister is posing as stumbling block. The AG responded Affirmatively. The court told the AG, 'Your account has been recorded; now, you may go and tell the law ministry.' The court then called Law Secretary Justice Aqil Mirza (retd) for explanation. Daily bickering is not good, CJ remarked. You must sent case against Malk Qaym to NAB, he ordered Secretary. Law Secretary told the court that the Law Minister has not talked to AG for a week. CJ then remarked that SC is interested in getting its NRO verdict implemented. SC instructed Law Secretary to finalize the documents relating to reopening of Swiss cases in coordination with AG by tomorrow and submit complete report by April 05 about the steps taken in this regard. The hearing was then adjourned. REFERENCE: SC wants letter to be sent with PM approval Updated at: 1120 PST, Thursday, April 01, 2010 Swiss cases: SC seeks report till April 05 Updated at: 2020 PST, Thursday, April 01, 2010

GENEVA: Pakistan has not asked Swiss authorities to reopen a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari, Geneva's public prosecutor said on Wednesday. In any case, Zardari enjoys immunity from prosecution as a head of state, Prosecutor-General Daniel Zappelli told Reuters. “I have not received any request,” Zappelli said, commenting on news from Islamabad that Pakistan's anti-corruption agency would ask the Swiss to revive the case. Zappelli said that Pakistan's embassy in Switzerland had officially notified him in June 2008 of a decision by Pakistan's prosecutor-general in April of that year to withdraw proceedings against Zardari. He said that Pakistan's prosecutor-general had decided that the contracts at the heart of the kickbacks case had been awarded in good faith. “In Pakistan they decided that no crime had been committed,” he said. Zappelli also noted that Zardari and Bhutto had been sentenced by the High Court in Lahore in 1999, but in 2001 Pakistan's Supreme Court had cancelled this verdict and sent it back to Lahore for a new decision. However, there had not been a new trial in the nine years since then. A trial for money-laundering in Switzerland would have to be based on the proceeds of criminal activity, but that would require proof that a crime had been committed, he said. In any case under international law Zardari enjoyed immunity from prosecution as a head of state - unless that state itself lifts the immunity. “Immunity is the key question,” Zappelli said. “We can't prosecute Mr Zardari while he has immunity unless Pakistan lifts that immunity. And if he doesn't have immunity, why don't they try him in Pakistan?” REFERENCES: Swiss deny receiving request to reopen Zardari case Wednesday, 31 Mar, 2010 Impossible to proceed, says Swiss prosecutor Thursday, 01 Apr, 2010,-says-swiss-prosecutor-140


ISLAMABAD, Nov 15 (Reuters, AP) — A parliamentary member of Pakistan’s former ruling party filed a petition before the Supreme Court on Monday challenging last month’s military coup that toppled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, court sources said. They said the country’s top court was yet to fix a date to consider admissibility of the petition by Zafar Ali Shah, a member of the suspended National Assembly. It is the first legal challenge to the bloodless October 12 coup that installed Army Chief Gen Pervez Musharraf as Chief Executive. Mr Shah told reporters that he had requested the court to declare the military takeover "illegal and unconstitutional", and order the restoration of Mr Sharif’s government that was dismissed by General Musharraf and of the two-chamber National Parliament and four provincial assemblies that were suspended. He said another petition against the coup would be filed later by Mr Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML) Party. Today’s petition coincided with a court hearing in the port city of Karachi, where the police told a judge that Mr Sharif was not in their custody. Mr Sharif has been under detention at a secret location, thought to be near Islamabad, since the military coup that overthrew his government on October 12. The police said last week they expected he would be moved to Karachi today.

KARACHI: Four former allies of deposed Premier Nawaz Sharif pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of treason and hijacking. Mr Sharif, who was reportedly transferred to the southern port city of Karachi yesterday, did not appear in court. His whereabouts is not known. Mr Sharif has been in army custody since the military overthrew his government in a coup on October 12. Last week, the army filed charges against Mr Sharif and seven other men in connection with an incident in which the passenger aircraft returning Army Chief Gen Pervez Musharraf to Pakistan was refused landing permission in Karachi. The aircraft was allowed to land after the army took control of the airport control tower, but fuel aboard the aircraft had run perilously low. According to the charge sheet against Mr Sharif, there were only seven minutes of fuel remaining. General Musharraf said the refusal to allow the aircraft to land endangered his life as well as those of 200 passengers and crew on board. Appearing in court today were Ghaus Ali Shah, a former advisor to Mr Sharif on southern Sindh provincial affairs, Aminuddin Chaudhry, former chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former head of the National Pakistan International Airlines, and Rana Maqbool, former Sindh provincial police chief.

"There is no truth to the charges," said Mr Shah, who was represented by a lawyer.

It’s not known when Mr Sharif will be taken to court or why he was not among those in court today. Another report said the police told the judge that the ousted Pakistani Prime Minister was not in its custody. "When the issue was raised by Mr Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer, the police simply said that he had not been arrested by them," said an official of the anti-terrorist court. The official, who asked not to be identified, said the police did not say when Mr Sharif would be brought to the court or formally arrested. Mr Sharif’s lawyer Iqbal Raad told reporters that the police gave the court no evidence and did not say where Mr Sharif was. "They (police) have nothing against Mr Sharif. They have nothing against him to link him to this case," Mr Raad said. Public Prosecutor Feroz Mehmood Bhatti said Mr Sharif would be brought to the court only after he was formally arrested by the police in Karachi. "He has not been arrested yet so there is no question of telling the court about evidence against him," Mr Bhatti said. The four others accused with Mr Sharif were formally arrested on Saturday. The police requested custody of them so they could be interrogated and the court said it would rule on the request later. REFERENCE: Court moved on Pak takeover Sharif’s ex-allies plead not guilty Tuesday, November 16, 1999

ISLAMABAD, Dec 1: Supreme Court on Wednesday set up a five-member bench to hear petitions challenging the ousting of premier Nawaz Sharif in a military takeover in October, officials said. The bench, led by Chief Justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui will hear four identical petitions on Monday, they said. Four other judges in the bench are Mohammad Bashir Jahangiri, Nasir Aslam Zahid, Abdur Rehman Khan and Wajeeh-ud-Din Ahmed. The petitions were filed last month by Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and three lawyers, Syed Zafar Ali Shah, a member of suspended National Assembly, Iqbal Haider of Muslim Welfare Movement and Wahabul Khairi, an advocate. The PML, which called the army action "illegal and unconstitutional", has asked the court to set aside the overthrow of Sharif's government. It has also asked the court to overturn the suspension of the federal and provincial assemblies. PML lawyers said the petition had challenged all actions taken by General Musharraf since military takeover on October 12. General Pervez Musharraf proclaimed a state of emergency two days after the military takeover, suspended the constitution and parliament and declared himself chief executive. The general also issued an order prohibiting the Supreme Court and high courts from taking action against him.-AFP REFERENCE: Supreme Court bench to hear petitions against coup DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending:04 December 1999 Issue:05/49

- Mr Justice Irshad Hassan Khan ISLAMABAD: Thirteen judges of the superior judiciary, including Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, ceased to hold office after they refused to take fresh oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), on Wednesday. Mr Justice Irshad Hassan Khan became the new chief justice of Pakistan as the judges of the Supreme Court, Federal Shariat Court and four High Courts were administered oath under the PCO. Six judges of the apex court, including the chief justice, refused to take fresh oath. The other seven judges who were not invited for the oath were two from the Lahore High Court (LHC), two from Peshawar High Court (PHC) and three from Sindh High Court (SHC). Mr Justice Irshad Hassan Khan was administered oath by President Rafiq Tarar at Aiwan-e-Sadr. Six other judges of the Supreme Court and the entire fleet of judges of the Federal Shariat Court also took oath under the PCO. All the four judges of the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) were also administered oath. Out of the existing strength of 102 judges of the entire superior judiciary, around 89 judges were administered the new oath on Wednesday. The ceremony was attended among others by Chief Executive General Pervaiz Musharraf, federal ministers, members of National Security Council and senior civil and military officials. Those who took new oath "will discharge their duties and perform their functions honestly and to the best of their abilities and faithfully in accordance with the Proclamation of Emergency of the October 14, 1999, the PCO No. 1 of 1999 as amended, this order and the law," the new oath says.

It adds: "That I will abide by the provisions of the Proclamation of Emergency of the 14th day of October, 1999, the Provisional Constitution Order No. 1 of 1999 as amended this Order and the Code of Conduct issued by the Supreme Judiciary Council." Sixty-two-year-old Chief Justice Siddiqui, who refused to take the oath, said, "I have no regrets about my decision. There is no question of my taking the oath. That was absolutely clear to everybody." The Tuesday midnight move was seen by many as a repeat to what the last military ruler, General Ziaul Haq, did in early 1980s. At that time few of the judges also refused to take oath. "Whatever has happened is in the interest of the country," said Chief Executive General Pervaiz Musharraf, who attended the swearing-in ceremony for the new chief justice of Pakistan and other judges at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. He, however, reserved further comments, though Law Minister and Attorney General Aziz A Munshi said, "Things have happened as situation warranted." He added, "It is their own choice." He was asked about the judges who did not take oath.

By and large, the lawyer community believed that this move has created a "sharp division" in the superior judiciary. Pakistan Muslim League, which is likely to face the music the most, described this decision as the "blackest spot" in the country's judicial history. "Now the country has put under real martial law," said top PML leader Raja Zafarul Haq. The seven Supreme Court judges who took oath under the PCO were Mr Justice Irshad Hassan Khan (Chief Justice), Mr Justice Bashir Jehangiri, Mr Justice Abdur Rehman Khan, Mr Justice Shaikh Riaz Ahmed, Mr Justice Munir A Shaikh, Mr Justice Shaikh Ejaz Nisar, and Mr Justice Ch Mohammad Arif. The judges who refused were Chief Justice Mr Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui (who was due to retire on Nov 11, 2000), Mr Justice Mamoon Kazi (retiring date Dec 29, 2000), Mr Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid (Feb 2, 2000), Mr Justice Khalilur Rehman (April 24, 2001), Mr Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed (November 2003), and Mr Justice Kamal Mansoor Alam (April 2002).

New appointments in the superior judiciary are expected to take place shortly.

Reacting to the oath-taking, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed said, "The country seems to have plunged into a more complicated constitutional crisis." The swearing-in ceremonies were held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr and the respective governor houses in the provinces. In Punjab, 41 out of total 43 judges of the Lahore High Court were administered the oath. Only two judges -- Mr Justice Ehsanul Haq Ch and Mr Justice Najamul Hassan Kazmi -- did not take oath. Twenty-four judges and Chief Justice of the LHC Mr Justice Rashid Aziz Khan took oath at the Governor House, while 11 judges in Multan and five in Rawalpindi were administered oath.

In Sindh, three High Court judges -- Mr Justice Dr Ghous Muhammad, Mr Justice Rasheed Ahmed Razvi and Mr Justice Mushtaq Ahmed Memon -- were not invited to take fresh oath under Provisional Constitutional Order (POC) in Karachi on Wednesday. The remaining 22 judges, including Chief Justice Mr Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui, took fresh oath in two ceremonies held at the Sindh Governor House and the SHC Committee Room. The official announcement regarding fresh oath of the judges of superior judiciary, including Federal Shariat Court, was made on Tuesday night. Due to this late-night announcement, three judges -- Mr Justice Rana Bhagwandas, Mr Justice Ghulam Nabi Soomro and Mr Justice Musheer Alam -- who were holding sittings at Sukkur and Hyderabad circuit benches could not attend the oath-taking ceremony at Governor House. They, however, were later administered fresh oath by the chief justice in the SHC building.

Mr Justice Dr Ghous Muhammad, Mr Justice Rasheed Ahmed Razvi and Mr Justice Mushtaq Ahmed Memon held sitting at the principal seat of SHC in Karachi on Wednesday, but they discharged the respective boards when they were told that they were not being invited to take fresh oath under the PCO. Mr Justice Rasheed Ahmed Razvi and Mr Justice Dr Ghous Muhammad left for their homes soon after discharging their boards while Mr Justice Mushtaq Ahmed Memon stayed in his chamber till late in the afternoon. Earlier, Chief Justice Mr Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui and 18 other judges were invited to Sindh Governor House to take oath under PCO. Governor Sindh Air Marshal (retd) Azeem Ahmed Dauodpota administered the oath to Chief Justice Mr Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui. After taking fresh oath, Mr Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui administered oath to 18 judges at Governor House in a simple but impressive ceremony.

The judges who took oath at Governor House included Mr Justice Syed Deedar Hussain Shah, Mr Justice Amanullah Abassi, Mr Justice Hamid Ali Mirza, Mr Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, Mr Justice Sayyed Saeed Ash'had, Mr Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed, Mr Justice Abdul Ghani Shaikh, Mr Justice Mohammad Roshan Essani, Mr Justice Shamim Ahmed Sarwana, Mr Justice Zahid Kurban Alvi, Mr Justice Shabbir Ahmed, Mr Justice Ata-ur-Rehman, Mr Justice Ghulam Rabbani, Mr Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmani, Mr Justice Anwer Zaheer Jamali, Mr Justice SA Rabbani, Mr Justice M Ashraf Laghari and Mr Justice Wahid Bux Brohi. Mr Justice Rana Bhagwandas, Mr Justice Ghulam Nabi Soomro and Mr Justice Musheer Alam were administered oath at the SHC building in the afternoon by Chief Justice Mr Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui.

The office-bearers and members of Sindh High Court Bar Association and Sindh Bar Council were not invited to attend the oath-taking ceremonies at Governor House and SHC. Later Chief Justice Mr Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui congratulated the judges who took fresh oath. In Quetta, Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court (BHC) Mr Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and four other High Court judges took a fresh oath under Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) on Wednesday. Balochistan Governor Justice (retd) Amirul Mulk Mengal administered the oath. The oath-taking ceremony was held at the Governor House here. The BHC judges who took oath under the PCO included BHC Chief Justice Mr Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Mr Justice Javed Iqbal, Mr Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed, Mr Justice Amanullah Khan and Mr Justice Fazlur Rehman. Prominent amongst the guests who witnessed the oath-taking ceremony were Corps Commander Quetta Lieutenant General Mushtaq Hussain, Advocate General Balochistan Ashraf Tanoli, President BHC Bar Association Hadi Shakil Ahmed, provincial ministers and other senior military and civil officials. In the NWFP, Governor Lt-Gen (retd) Muhammad Shafiq administered oath to Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court Mr Justice Mian Muhammad Ajmal, who later administered oath to 9 other judges. REFERENCE: Justice Irshad replaces Justice Saeeduzzaman as Chief Justice of Pakistan DAWN/The News International, KARACHI 27 January 2000, Thursday, 19 Shawwal 1420

PCO ORDER FROM MILITARY REGIME OF MUSHARRAF: Provisional Constitution Order No. 1 of 1999 Issued 1 a.m. (Pakistan Standard Time), October 15, 1999 ORDER NO. 1 OF 1999 No. 2-10/99-Min. I. Dated 14th October, 1999

Good Old Days of Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [During Martial Law of General Musharraf] Courtesy Dawn Wire Service [Complete PCO Bench] Read how Martial Law was Justified by the Judges and Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was part of the bench:

ISLAMABAD, March 1: The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Irshad Hasan Khan, on Wednesday observed that when the politicians are in power, they try to become dictators but when they are out of power, they become champions of the rule of law. Presiding over a 12-member bench seized of the seven petitions challenging the military takeover, the chief justice directed the attorney general to provide details of the expenditure on holding elections, including the expenses made by the candidates on their election campaigns. The Supreme Court announced that it would decide the issue of maintainability and merits of the case simultaneously. The chief justice said the court had entertained the petitions. The bench started regular hearing of the petitions on Wednesday. The court first took up the petition of Syed Zafar Ali Shah, suspended MNA of PML from Islamabad. The representative petition of PML would be taken next and Khalid Anwer would argue the case on behalf of the party. Other petitions before the court are of Syed Imtiaz Hussain Bukhari, challenging the PCO; Fazal Ellahi Siddiqui, challenging the PCO; Shahid Orakzai, seeking restoration of Senate, office of speakers and provincial assemblies; Al-Jehad Trust, seeking restoration of Constitution to the extent of judiciary; and Syed Iqbal Haider of MWM, seeking validation of PCO. The bench consisted of Justice Irshad Hasan Khan, Justice Mohammad Bashir Jehangiri, Justice Sheikh Ijaz Nisar, Justice Abdur Rehman Khan, Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, Justice Chaudhry Mohammad Arif, Justice Munir A. Sheikh, Justice Rashid Aziz Khan, Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Qazi Mohammad Farooq and Justice Rana Bhagwandas. The chief justice made it clear at the outset that the counsels should try to be relevant and unnecessary repetition of arguments should be avoided. He said the whole work of the court was suspended due to the present case. Chaudhry Farooq, the counsel of Mr Shah, said that on the last hearing the petitioner had apprehended that the judges of the court would be asked to take fresh oath under the PCO and his apprehensions proved to be true. He said the PCO (1) of 1999 and subsequent orders were unconstitutional, having no force of law.

The chief justice asked the parties to avoid mud-slinging, and added that: “we will perform our function without intimidation.” He observed that the bar and the bench were integral part of the chariot of justice. He said his effort was to save the system and referred to the decisions of the Chief Justices Committee. The counsel said: “Pakistan was a gift of our forefathers, but unfortunately the rule of law had been interrupted at regular intervals. In its total life, Pakistan had suffered military rule for 30 long years”. He said the government in its reply to the petitions had said that the elections of Feb 3, 1997, were farce. The elections in which PML obtained heavy mandate were monitored by the observers across the globe, he said, and added the armed forces were employed to supervize the elections. On the court’s query, Barrister Khalid Anwar stated that 36 per cent of voters used their right of franchise in the 1997 elections. Chaudhry Farooq said if the government of Khawaja Nazimuddin would not have been dismissed, the fate of Pakistan would have been different. He said Pakistan was created with the force of vote and not through any military operation. “Both citizens and soldiers are subject to Constitution alike.” Referring to Article 6 of the Constitution, he said abrogating the Constitution was treachery with the country. When he stated that the respondents had not replied to the Politicians in power try to be dictators: CJ challenge he raised in the petition, the chief justice observed that the counsel was trying to be hyper technical. The CJ made it clear to the counsel that notice of the case to the chief of the army staff was there.The counsel said he was firm believer that the Kafir (infidel) could not be a friend of Muslim and Hindus being Kafir could not be trusted. When the counsel referred to a judgment from the Indian jurisdiction, the court asked him not to cite Indian judgments in the present case. When the counsel started reading an old judgment from Pakistani jurisdiction, the chief justice asked the counsel to first read the speech of the chief executive in which he had spelt out the reasons which forced him to come into power. The counsel was still reading the speech of Gen Musharraf when the court rose to assemble again on Thursday (March 2). REFERENCE: Politicians in power try to be dictators, says CJ Bureau Report [DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 4 March 2000 Issue : 06/10


ISLAMABAD, Feb 28: The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Irshad Hasan Khan, on Monday constituted the Supreme Judicial Council, and determined the seniority of the chief justices of the high courts. According to an order passed by the chief justice in his administrative capacity, the Supreme Judicial Council had been constituted. The members of the council are: Chief Justice Irshad Hasan Khan (chairman), Justice Mohammad Bashir Jehangiri, Justice Sheikh Ijaz Nisar, Justice Mian Mohammad Ajmal, and Justice Mian Allah Nawaz. Only four cases were referred to the council in the last 52 years. The last case of the Lahore High Court judge, Justice Shiekh Shaukat, was referred about two decades ago. According to a press release issued by the Supreme Court, the chief justice has institutionalized the decision-making process relating to administrative matters and decentralized his powers. Justice Bashir Jehangiri, senior judge of the Supreme Court, has been delegated financial powers of the chief justice to sanction expenditure up to Rs30,000. Justice Jehangiri would assist the chief justice in matters relating to the administration of the Supreme Court and proposals for improving and strengthening the administration of justice.
Other judges of the Supreme Court are also delegated different duties, such as chairmen of different committees and members of the universities’ syndicates. The chief justice also determined the inter seniority of the chief justices of high courts. They are (seniority wise): Justice Mian Mohammad Ajmal, chief justice of the Peshawar High Court; Justice Mian Allah Nawaz, chief justice of the Lahore High Court; Justice Syed Deedar Hussain, chief justice of the Sindh High Court; and Justice Javed Iqbal, chief justice of the Balochistan High Court. POWERS DECENTRALIZED: The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Irshad Hasan Khan, has taken several steps to decentralise his powers and institutionalise decision making relating to administration to further improve performance and smooth functioning of the judiciary, adds APP. He has delegated his powers to the following judges for smooth functioning of courts.

1- Mr. Justice Muhammad Bashir Jehangiri, Senior Puisne Judge:

(i) Has been delegated financial powers of the Chief Justice to sanction expenditure upto Rs. 30,000/-

(ii) To assist the Chief Justice in matters relating to the administration of the SC and proposals for improving and strengthening the system of administration of justice.

2- Mr. Justice Sheikh Ijaz Nisar:

(i) Chairman, Building Committee at Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Islamabad.

(ii) Chairman, Federal Review Board

3- Mr. Justice Abdur Rehman Khan:

(i) Chairman, Disciplinary Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council

(ii) Member, Building Committee of Peshawar Building

(iii) Judge-in-charge Complaints

4- Mr. Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad:

(i) Member, Syndicate of the Quaid-i-Azam University

(ii) Member, Building Committee at Islamabad

(iii) Judge-in-charge of Computers

(iv) Member, Federal Review Board

(v) Member, Lahore Building Committee

Continued on Page 11

5- Mr. Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Arif:

(i) Judge-in-Charge, Federal Judicial Academy

(ii) Judge-in-charge of the Library

(iii) Chairman of the Library Committee

6- Mr. Justice Munir A Sheikh:

(i) Judge-in-charge of Pakistan Law Commission regarding initiation of proposals for law reform.

(ii) Chairman, Enrolment Committee of Pakistan Bar Council.

(iii) Judge-in-charge for Welfare of retired Judges in Lahore/Islamabad

(iv) Chairman, Election Tribunal, Pakistan Bar Council

7- Mr. Justice Rashid Aziz Khan:

(i) Member, Executive Council of the Allama Iqbal Open University

(ii) Member, Building Committee at Lahore

(iii) Chairman, Disciplinary Tribunal of the Pakistan Bar Council

8- Mr. Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui:

(i) Judge-in-charge for Welfare of retired Judges in Karachi

(ii) Member of the Building Committee at Karachi

9- Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry:

Judge-in-charge for Affairs of Staff Welfare

10- Mr. Justice Qazi Muhammad Farooq:

Judge-in-charge for Welfare of retired Judges in Peshawar

11- Mr. Justice Rana Bhagwandas:

Member of the Library Committee. REFERENCE: Seniority of Chief Justices determined Bureau Report [ DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 4 March 2000 Issue : 06/10

Incumbent CJ in the company of sacked PCOed CJ Abdul Hameed Dogar!

ISLAMABAD, March 16: Raja Anwar, counsel for Benazir Bhutto, on Friday argued that his client was convicted only because Nawaz Sharif, the then prime minister, wanted her to leave politics. Addressing a seven-member SC bench, hearing appeals of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari against their conviction, Raja Anwar argued that the Ehtesab Bench, comprising Justice Malik Qayyum and Justice Najmul Hasan Kazmi, had convicted his client on the basis of documents which were inadmissible. The process of awarding pre-shipment inspection contract which was set in motion in 1992 during the Nawaz Sharif government, culminated in 1994, the counsel said.

The counsel said there was no violation of Financial Rules of the Government of Pakistan in the award of tenders. He said tenders could only be rejected after assigning any reasons in writing. When he referred to rule 90 of Pakistan’s Financial Rules, Justice Bashir Jehangiri observed that in Pakistan every contract was awarded in violation of rules. At the end of every tender notice it was written that the competent authority reserved the right to reject the bids without assigning any reason. He said his client did not grant the contract, rather it approved it. The contract was awarded by Nawaz Sharif who had issued letter of intent before he was removed from office. The seven-member bench consists of Justice Bashir Jehangiri, Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, Justice Munir A. Sheikh, Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Qazi Mohammad Farooq, and Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.

Responding to court’s question about Jens Schlegelmilch’s stay in Islamabad in Aug 1994, Raja Anwer said that there was nothing on record to show that the alleged frontman of Asif Zardari, Jens Schlegelmilch, met Benazir Bhutto. Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui observed whether it was possible for any official to investigate the sitting prime minister, the counsel said that his client was not prime minister at the time when investigations were being conducted. On conclusion of the proceedings on Friday, the court asked Raja Anwer to conclude his arguments by Monday as many other cases are suffering because of lengthy hearing of the case. The counsel, who had earlier indicated that he would conclude by Friday, said that he needed at least one more day to conclude his arguments. Raja Anwer assured the court that he would conclude his arguments by Monday next. The court will resume hearing on Monday, March 19. REFERENCE: A political conviction: counsel Rafaqat Ali DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 17 March 2001 Issue : 07/11

ISLAMABAD, April 6: The Supreme Court on Friday set aside corruption convictions awarded by the LHC’s Ehtesab bench to Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari, and ordered a retrial of the case. In a short order, the seven-member bench accepted the appeals of Ms Bhutto and Mr Zardari against the 1999 conviction. The detailed judgment would be announced later. The former prime minister and the suspended senator had requested the apex court to acquit them honourably. Justice Bashir Jehangiri, presiding judge of the bench, announced the verdict at 10.50am: “Reason to be recorded later in the detailed judgment, we accept the appeals and set aside the impugned judgment recording conviction against and awarding sentences to the appellants, and send the case to a court of competent jurisdiction for retrial.” On April 15, 1999, an Ehtesab bench consisting of Justice Malik Qayyum and Najmul Kazmi of the Lahore High Court had convicted Ms Bhutto and Mr Zardari. They were sentenced to undergo five years’ simple imprisonment each, and pay $8.6 million fine each. The Ehtesab bench had ordered their disqualification as members of parliament for five years, and forfeiture of their property made with money acquired through corruption.

The Ehtesab bench had held that the pre-shipment inspection contract to the Swiss company, SGS, had been awarded by the former prime minister “alone” at the behest and abetment with Mr Zardari. The prosecution case was that the contract had been awarded in consideration of 6 per cent commission of the total amount received by the SGS from the government of Pakistan. The prosecution had alleged that the commission had been paid to an offshore company, Bomer Finance Inc., owned by Mr Zardari through his fiduciary agent Jens Schlegelmilch. The ultimate beneficiaries of the commission were Mr Zardari and Ms Bhutto, according to prosecution. Farooq Hameed Naek, counsel for appellants, said after the judgment: “I am satisfied … but not happy. I was expecting honourable acquittal but this is the court’s judgment.” The military government had inherited the case from the PML government and defended the judgment vehemently, spending over Rs10 million in legal fees and other expenses. The Supreme Court bench consisted of Justice Bashir Jehangiri, Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmed, Justice Munir A. Sheikh, Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Qazi Mohammad Farooq, and Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar. SC orders retrial of Benazir, Asif Rafaqat Ali DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 07 April 2001 Issue : 07/14

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