Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Frenzied Jang Group/GEO TV "Attacks" Lawyers/Lawyers Movement.

The SCBA president said the judiciary should not act like trade unions, political parties and bar councils because such acts did not suit it. — File Photo
LAHORE: Supreme Court Bar Association President Asma Jahangir criticised on Tuesday a resolution unanimously passed at a full-court reference of the Supreme Court on Monday proposing an extension in service for Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday as an ad hoc judge for another year. Addressing a press conference, Ms Jahangir said the bar associations were showing resentment against the resolution. The SC judges had taken a political step by adopting a resolution for the appointment of ad hoc judges and the lawyers would also handle the issue politically, she added. The SCBA president said the judiciary should not act like trade unions, political parties and bar councils because such acts did not suit it. The judiciary was acting against its own decisions, she said. “The judiciary should do what it preaches.” She demanded of the government not to adopt the policy of leniency while appointing judges and said the resolution passed by a full court had no legal authority and it could not make the appointments. “But the judges should also think before taking such steps.”

میڈیا اور ججز:’رد عمل ذرا زیادہ تھا‘
آخری وقت اشاعت: جمعـء 15 اکتوبر 2010 , 15:46 GMT 20:46 PST

Ms Jahangir said she herself avoided uttering words which could hurt the feelings of the judiciary, but in this matter one of the beneficiaries (judges) also attended the full-court reference, which did not suit the judges. She said ad hoc appointment of judges could only be made in case of an emergency or shortage of judges. The appointment of a judge on an ad hoc basis would tarnish the image of the judiciary. Ms Jahangir said the bar associations would resist the decision when it came to the judicial commission for approval. She said she respected Justice Ramday very much for his one or two good decisions, but he was often found humiliating senior lawyers and litigants. She suggested that additional judges should be confirmed and the SC judges should review their resolution passed for the appointment of ad hoc judges. The resolution also proposed the appointment of Justice (retd) Rehmat Husain Jafferi as an ad hoc judge, who had reached superannuation on Nov 22 last year. REFERENCE: SCBA chief condemns proposal for Ramday’s extension By Our Staff Reporter | From the Newspaper

Watch in the video below, Abbas Ather reveals without naming that it was a newspaper (Jang Group’s (Geo TV’s) newspaper The News) which had first spread a false rumour about the denotification of the Supreme Court judges on 19 January 2010. Try to search that news item via Google. And lo and behold. There is actually a news story in The News on that date. But there is a small problem here. The story has been removed from The News website; most probably very recently. No plan to withdraw judges’ restoration notification – 19 Jan 2010 … ISLAMABAD: There is no plan to withdraw the notification issued on March 17, 2009 for the restoration of deposed judges, including Chief … [even the cache which is usually available is not available]

column kaar - 16th oct 2010 - p1

URL: People will soon witness a judicial dictatorship in the country if the judiciary continuously moves ahead in its present direction and then we would forget military and political dictatorships, HRCP chairperson Asma Jahangir said on Wednesday. While speaking at the Karachi Press Club, she said, “People want an impartial judiciary, and it is their right.” She said the HRCP was preparing a charter about judges’ appointments that would comprise requirements such as practice period of the person, and their proceedings of human rights’ cases and about other public interest matters. “We would not like pro-establishment judges.”  Referring to a meeting between Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, she said the HRCP would not accept any give-and-take as an outcome of the meeting. To a query, she said neither the parliament nor the judiciary were supreme; only the people are supreme because both the institutions have to serve the masses. She criticised a section of the media and said civil society had always supported freedom of the media, but suppressing any voice in the opposition would go against the rights of the freedom of expression. The HRCP demanded the government to make public the details of detained or arrested militants during the military operation in Malakand and Swat. The HRCP chairperson said hundreds of women and children of the militants had also been detained. REFERENCE: Asma says judicial dictatorship on the cards Staff Report Thursday, February 18, 2010\02\18\story_18-2-2010_pg7_30

’عدلیہ غیر جانب دار نہیں رہی‘
آخری وقت اشاعت: جمعـء, 19 فروری, 2010, 05:58 GMT 10:58 PST

’عدلیہ دائرہ کار سے تجاوز کر گئی ہے‘

علی سلمان
بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، لاہور

عدلیہ کا کام ارکانِ پارلیمان کی اخلاقیات کی جانچ پڑتال نہیں
آخری وقت اشاعت: ہفتہ, 19 دسمبر, 2009, 05:25 GMT 10:25 PST

’عدلیہ کی آزادی کے باوجود کچھ نہیں بدلا‘

ججز کیس کو ختم کرنےکو زیادہ اہمیت دے رہے ہوتے ہیں بجائے اس کی کہ انصاف کی فراہمی کی جائے:علی احمد کرد
سپریم کورٹ بار ایسوسی ایشن کے صدر علی احمد کُرد کا کہنا ہے کہ عدلیہ کی آزادی کے باوجود ابھی تک کچھ نہیں بدلا اور حالات اُسی طرح کے ہی ہیں جو نو مارچ سنہ دو ہزار سات سے پہلے تھے۔
علی احمد کرد نے عدالتی سال شروع ہونے کی تقریب سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ ایسا محسوس ہوتا ہے کہ ’فرعونوں‘ کےسامنے پیش ہو رہے ہوتے ہیں جو کیس کو ختم کرنےکو زیادہ اہمیت دے رہے ہوتے ہیں بجائے اس کے کہ انصاف کی فراہمی کی جائے۔
انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ یہی رویہ نو مارچ سنہ دوہزار سات سے قبل اعلٰی عدلیہ کے ججوں سے لےکر مقامی عدالتوں کے ججوں کا تھا۔
واضح رہے کہ سابق ملٹری ڈکٹیٹر جنرل ریٹائرڈ پرویز مشرف نے نو مارچ کو چیف جسٹس افتخار محمد چوہدری کے خلاف سپریم جوڈیشل کونسل میں ریفرنس بھیجا تھا۔
ماتحت عدالتوں کے فیصلوں کے خلاف ایک سو پچاس کے قریب پٹیشنز ریلیف کے لیے دائر کی جاتی ہیں جس میں سے بہت کم کو سول یا فوجداری اپیلوں میں تبدیل کردیا جاتا ہے جبکہ باقی رد کردی جاتی ہیں
علی احمد کرد
یہ پہلی مرتبہ ہے کہ ججوں کی بحالی کی تحریک کی کامیابی کے بعد وکلاء کے کسی سرکردہ رہنما نے کُھل کر ججوں کے رویے کے بارے میں تنقیدی کلمات کہے ہیں۔
علی احمد کُرد نے کہا کہ ججوں کی بحالی کے لیے شروع کی جانے والی تحریک میں نہ صرف وکلاء نے ان کا ساتھ دیا بلکہ سول سوسائٹی اور انسانی حقوق کی تنظیموں نے بھی اس میں بڑھ چڑھ کر حصہ لیا۔
انہوں نے کہا کہ اس تحریک میں وکلاء نے اپنی قیمتی جانوں کے نذرانے بھی پیش کیے۔ سپریم کورٹ بار کے صدر کا کہنا تھا کہ لوگ اُن سے یہی سوال پوچھتے ہیں کہ اس تحریک کی کامیابی کے کیا اثرات سامنے آئے ہیں۔
انہوں نے کہا کہ مشاہدے میں آیا ہے کہ وکلاء نے جو پٹیشنز دائر کی تھیں اُن میں سے بہت کم درخواستوں کو دیوانی یا فوجداری اپیلوں میں تبدیل کیاگیا ہے۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ ماتحت عدالتوں کے فیصلوں کے خلاف ایک سو پچاس کے قریب پٹیشنز ریلیف کےلیے دائر کی جاتی ہیں جس میں سے بہت کم کو سول یا فوجداری اپیلوں میں تبدیل کردیا جاتا ہے جبکہ باقی رد کردی جاتی ہیں۔
علی احمد کُرد کا کہنا تھا کہ وکلاء ذمہ دار افراد ہیں اور کوئی بھی یہ نہیں چاہے گا کہ کوئی ایسی بےمقصد پٹیشن دائر کی جائے جس سے عدالت کا قیمتی وقت ضائع ہو۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ عدالت کا یہ فرض ہے کہ وہ وکلاء کو تحمل کے ساتھ سنے۔
’عدلیہ کی آزادی کے باوجود کچھ نہیں بدلا‘
Monday, 7 September, 2009, 12:58 GMT 17:58 PST

عدلیہ انتظامیہ جھگڑے میں نیا موڑ
رفاقت علی
بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، لندن
آخری وقت اشاعت: اتوار, 14 فروری, 2010, 22:17 GMT 03:17 PST
سپریم کورٹ نے خود کئی بار ججز کیس کی دھجیاں بکھیریں اور ایک بار
تو لاہور ہائی کے ایک ایسے جج کو سپریم کورٹ میں تعینات کر دیا جن کا ہائی کورٹ میں ججوں کی سینارٹی لسٹ پر سولہواں نمبر تھا۔ جب سپریم کورٹ میں ججز کیسز کی واضح خلاف ورزی کو چیلنج کیا گیا تو سپریم کورٹ نے حکم صادر کیا کہ وہ کسی جج کو سپریم کورٹ کا جج بنا سکتی ہے۔ ججوں کی تعیناتی کے سلسلے میں سپریم کورٹ نے اپنی ضرورت کےمطابق کئی متضاد فیصلے صارد کر رکھے ہیں اور شاید موجودہ سپریم کورٹ کو بھی ’پی سی او سپریم کورٹ‘ کےایک فیصلے کا بھی سہارا لینا پڑے گا جس کے تحت صدر کے اس اختیار کو مانا گیا تھا کہ وہ ہائی کورٹ کے سینئر جج کو سپریم کورٹ میں تعینات کر سکتا ہے۔
چیف جسٹس آف پاکستان جسٹس افتخار محمد چودھری جسٹس خواجہ شریف کو لاہور ہائی کورٹ کا چیف جسٹس رکھنے پر کیوں بضد ہیں اس کا کسی کو علم نہیں ہے۔ جسٹس خواجہ شریف کو میاں نواز شریف کے دور حکومت میں لاہور ہائی کورٹ کا جج مقرر کیا گیا تھا۔
لاہور ہائی کے سینئر جج جسٹس میاں ثاقب نثار کو بھی نواز شریف دور میں ہائی کورٹ کا جج مقرر کیا گیا۔ جسٹس ثاقب نثار میاں نواز شریف دور کے وزیرِ قانون خالد انور کے جونیئر تھے اور اسی دور حکومت میں انہوں نے سیکرٹری قانون کا قلمدان بھی سنبھالے رکھا International Commission of Jurists The independence of the judiciary was largely undermined by the order by General Musharraf in January 2000 that Pakistani judges take a fresh oath of loyalty to his administration. In May 2000, the Supreme Court, reconstituted after the dismissal of six judges who refused the oath, upheld General Musharraf’s military coup of 1999, under the doctrine of state necessity. Pakistan is a constitutional republic. On 15 October 1999, the Government promulgated the Provisional Constitution Order, (PCO), No.1 of 1999, overriding the 1973 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, previously suspended following the 12 October 1999 military coup led by General Pervez Musharraf. The PCO provided for the suspension of the National Assembly, the Provincial Assemblies and the Senate and mandated General Musharraf to serve as the new Chief Executive. On 20 June 2001, General Musharraf became President of Pakistan after dismissing the incumbent President, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar. On 12 May 2000, the Supreme Court validated the October 1999 coup under the doctrine of state necessity. However, the Court ordered that the Government hold national and provincial elections by 12 October 2002. In response, President Musharraf presented a four-phase programme aimed at returning the country to democratic rule, with local elections to be held from December 2000 until August 2001. Subsequently, a series of local elections were held in December 2000, March 2001, May 2001 and July-August 2001. However, political parties were prohibited from participating in the contests and party leaders were disqualified from holding political office.

Jang Group & GEO TV VS Lawyers & Lawyers Movement - 1 (Aaj TV 15 Feb 2011)


Jang Group & GEO TV VS Lawyers & Lawyers Movement - 2 (Aaj TV 15 Feb 2011)

URL: his supporters, and there are many, Pakistan’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is a hero, a man of honor who stood up for an independent judiciary and defied the diktats of former President Pervez Musharraf — and who continues to hold the political establishment accountable. To his detractors, however, Chaudhry is an activist jurist with unbridled powers, a populist with grandiose political ambitions. In a country where politics can get very personal, the Chief Justice’s relationships with the pillars of civilian and military power, President Asif Ali Zardari and Army Chief of Staff General Ashfaq Kayani respectively, could be important in shaping Pakistan’s transition from de facto military rule to civilian democracy. And those relationships are likely to be tested in the tussle over a package of wide-ranging constitutional reforms that was due to be introduced to parliament on Friday, whose purpose is to reverse changes made by previous military rulers, trim the power of the presidency, and alter the procedure for Supreme Court appointments. The bill would take Supreme Court appointments out of the hands of the president, who now makes nominations after consulting with the chief justice, and place them before a government legal committee that also includes several justices. Unlike the present system, judges would have to be confirmed by a parliamentary vote. The proposed reforms have widened the rift between Chaudhry and the government that has grown since the Chief Justice last year struck down amnesty decrees by Musharraf that protected many senior figures in government — including Zardari himself once out of office — from prosecution on corruption charges. And some saw the Chief Justice’s hand in the eleventh-hour stalling of parliamentary debate on the package on Friday by opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, who objected to proposals on the selection of judges. Sharif’s opposition, some senior politicians suggest, results from being pressured by Chaudhry, who is allegedly opposed to having his own power in the selection of judges curtailed. “The chief justice threatened [Sharif]. He said he’d open up all cases against him,” a senior leader of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party said on condition of anonymity. “He’s become an absolute dictator.”

Jang Group & GEO TV VS Lawyers & Lawyers Movement - Part - 3 (GEO TV 15 Feb 2011)

Jang Group & GEO TV VS Lawyers & Lawyers Movement - Part - 4 (GEO TV 15 Feb 2011)

URL: the contrary, says a legal expert at the Supreme Court and Chaudhry associate speaking on condition of anonymity, the conflict is caused by the “government [wanting] a chief justice and court which is compliant, not independent.” The standoff over how judges are selected could have far-reaching implications in a political order feeling its way towards democracy, with the different branches of government are “attempting to first stretch the bounds of their authority and second, to learn how to work with each other,” says Samina Ahmed, Pakistan director for the International Crisis Group, a global policy-research center. “The problem in Pakistan has [historically] been with the military’s intervention, transitions have been disrupted, and the judiciary in the past has supported every military intervention.” But as the two civilian branches of government tussle over their powers, neither appears to have clear backing from the military, whose preferences are often decisive. Still, some Pakistani media commentators suggest that the generals may be colluding with the judges to limit the power of government, already groaning under the weight of the president’s sagging popularity. They point to a stalled but soon-to-be-reopened Supreme Court case that accuses intelligence agencies of using the “war on terror” as a pretext to secretly detain thousands of citizens suspected of links to Baluchi separatists and other radical groups. The local Dawn newspaper reported last month that Supreme Court Justice Javed Iqbal said that the court “would not like to create the impression that it was out to destroy or tarnish the image of intelligence agencies” with regard to these cases. Chaudhry had in 2007 begun to investigate the issue of Pakistanis alleged to have disappeared into secret custody before he was deposed by Musharraf, and had ordered members of the security forces to produce several of the missing in court. Now, some media commentators are suggesting that Chaudhry is retreating from that fight. Chaudhry’s supporters deny the claim, and say that the court will not shy away from prosecuting any security officials who have broken the law. Whatever the outcome of the particular battles over constitutional powers and various court cases, what remains clear is that Justice Chaudhry, while holding an office that is ostensibly above politics, will remain in the thick of it. REFERENCE: Pakistan’s Chief Justice Takes on its Political Class By RANIA ABOUZEID / ISLAMABAD Saturday, Mar. 27, 2010,8599,1975646,00.html

Jang Group & GEO TV VS Lawyers & Lawyers Movement - Part - 5 (GEO TV 15 Feb 2011)

Jang Group & GEO TV VS Lawyers & Lawyers Movement - Part - 6 (GEO TV 15 Feb 2011), June 5: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry met visiting US envoy Richard Holbrooke in the Supreme Court building on Friday. “The meeting was held at the request of the visiting US envoy Mr Holbrooke who came to meet the chief justice in his chambers,” said Dr Faqir Hussain, Registrar of the Supreme Court. He said that officials of the Foreign Office were present at the meeting. “Matters relating to judicial reforms as per national judicial policy and the whole judicial structure of Pakistan were discussed,” Dr Hussain said. The meeting comes at a time when Pakistani judiciary is seized with litigations that directly involved interests of the United States. A particular case of concern to the US is that of the missing persons in which intelligence agencies have been accused of either abducting people on suspicion of terrorism or handing them over to the United States. The case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who was reportedly abducted from Pakistan and is now in US detention, is also pending in courts. The Supreme Court spokesman denied that the issue of missing persons came up in the meeting. When contacted, the firebrand leader of lawyers’ movement and president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Ali Ahmed Kurd, declined to comment on the meeting. PML-N spokesman Siddiquul Farooq who has a case pending in the apex court said: “It was a courtesy call by Mr Holbrooke and we believe in the person of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and we believe that no one can derail him from the judicious path.” Immediately after the meeting, the chief justice went to the presidency to attend the oath-taking ceremony of newly appointed Federal Shariat Court Chief Justice Agha Mohammad Rafique. There he had a one-to-one meeting with President Asif Zardari. It was for the first time since his restoration that the chief justice visited the presidency and met President Zardari. Justice Iftikhar, it may be mentioned, did not accept earlier invitations from President Zardari.

Jang Group/GEO TV is playing Double Agent on Raymond Davis.

URL: last time the chief justice met Mr Zardari was at the Zardari House just before he moved to the presidency after becoming president. After becoming president, Mr Zardari publicly resisted the restoration of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, till the success of the long march by lawyers in March this year. One case pending before the Supreme Court and that directly affects President Zardari relates to the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) through which former President General Pervez Musharraf allowed the quashing of corruption charges against PPP leaders, including President Zardari. Under the new judicial policy reforms spearheaded by the chief justice, judges of the superior court are required to strictly follow the judicial code of conduct which, among other things, require them to stay away from public functions and not to assume executive offices to temporarily fill vacancies created by the president and governors going abroad. After his first restoration on July 20, 2007, Justice Chaudhry had stopped meeting the president or the prime minister and attending functions hosted by them. REFERENCE: CJ receives Holbrooke, calls on Zardari By Matiullah Jan Saturday, 06 Jun, 2009,-calls-on-zardari-669’S chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry , is riding high. At a time when most of the country’s political leaders are despised as venal, lazy or inept, its senior jurist is held in esteem. People tell pollsters they trust him more than anyone. They cheer his efforts to take on the corrupt and hapless president, Asif Ali Zardari. Yet Mr Chaudhry may be crossing a line from activist judge to political usurper. His judges pass up no chance to swipe at the government. Mr Chaudhry spent months trying to get Swiss officials to reopen a corruption case that could have toppled Mr Zardari (in Pakistan, criminal proceedings against a sitting president are prohibited). After that failed, the courts took up a thin-looking case in which the president is accused of unconstitutionally holding an office for profit. That looks vindictive: the office in question is his post as head of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party. The courts quickly adopt populist causes, especially those that squeeze Mr Zardari. After an American diplomat shot dead two men in the street in Lahore last month, the mother of one victim appealed for justice on television, saying that she would trust only Mr Chaudhry to help. The High Court in Lahore promptly ordered that the diplomat, who had been arrested, must not be allowed out of the country—even if the government were to rule that he had immunity. In this case, as in many others, the judges have shown themselves to be able self-publicists. Their stance has won approving coverage. And on the country’s illiberal but widely popular blasphemy law, the Lahore High Court intervened to forbid the president from issuing an early pardon to anyone convicted by lower courts. Before the murder last month of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab and critic of the blasphemy law, Mr Zardari had told him he was planning such a pardon. The courts seem set on boxing him in.

Perhaps the most striking evidence of judicial activism is in economic policy. In a speech in India on February 6th Mr Chaudhry lashed out at the IMF and other international bodies for imposing what he said were hypocritical policies on poor countries. That seemed intended to play well at home, just as the IMF and the government are trying to increase the tax take (only 2% of Pakistanis pay tax) and cut subsidies—unpalatable but needed medicine. Judicial figures have meddled egregiously in economic affairs before. The courts have tried to fix the price of staple commodities such as petrol and sugar, to public cheers. But in 2009 attempts predictably missed their mark as producers hoarded stocks and the black-market price soared. It is not the court’s job, says Hasan Askari Rizvi, a commentator, to enter the executive’s domain. The judiciary’s various efforts suggest that Mr Chaudhry is as keen as any politician to curry public favour. He likes to talk up his part in pushing out the old military regime of General Pervez Musharraf, now in exile in London. (This week the general was named as an accused by investigators looking into the 2007 murder of Benazir Bhutto.) Yet for all the judge’s talk of his “commitment to the core values of democracy”, he first accepted his post from General Musharraf in 2005, some six years after democracy was overthrown.

Adaptability is matched by appreciably greater clout. In January the 19th amendment to the constitution was signed into law, giving judges a freer hand in making judicial appointments, at the expense of politicians. An independent judiciary is welcome, says Samina Ahmed of the International Crisis Group, yet it is striking how hard the judges fought to reject any elected oversight. Now Mr Chaudhry is out to settle scores with nine senior judges accused of contempt of court for accepting jobs late in Mr Musharraf’s rule. On one interpretation, all this may add up to nothing too sinister. A degree of judicial activism is needed if Mr Zardari’s government is not to enjoy an easy ride. The opposition pulls its punches, despite the government’s wretched failure in coping with huge floods last year, and its lack of progress in tackling widespread graft, reviving the economy or putting down extremist violence. Nawaz Sharif, the main opposition leader, seems not to want to bring down a civilian government before elections are due. Perhaps he does not want to rule yet, given Pakistan’s mess. Or perhaps he fears giving the army an excuse to meddle openly in politics yet again.

Another, and more troubling, interpretation is also plausible. Maybe, some observers say, the judges are getting too big for their wigs precisely because they have army support. Mr Chaudhry, witting or not, may be helping to create the conditions in which the men in uniform step in again one day. The example Pakistanis cite in private is Bangladesh’s stealthy coup in January 2007. At that time the army, fronted by technocrats, pushed aside corrupt party politicians and scrapped elections, with the tacit support of donors. Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani author, notes “extraordinary co-operation” between the judges and the army in recent years in Pakistan. He points out how rarely judges pursue cases of human-rights violations by soldiers, whereas cases that hurt the government fly into the courts. The army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, a more introverted figure than his predecessor, does not seem to want to take power right now. But a further collapse of order in Pakistan, which is increasingly described as a failing state, might encourage the soldiers to act. Mr Chaudhry should take care that he does not become their fall guy. REFERENCE: An overactive judiciary might undermine a fragile democracy – Pakistan’s populist judges Feb 10th 2011 | ISLAMABAD | from PRINT EDITION U.S. President Barack Obama sharply challenged a recent Supreme Court decision in his State of the Union address, prompting a soto voce rejoinder from Justice Samuel Alito, nobody was concerned that the contretemps would spark a blood feud between the judiciary and the executive. The notion that judges could or would work to undermine a sitting U.S. president is fundamentally alien to America’s constitutional system and political culture. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Pakistan.Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, the country’s erstwhile hero, is the leading culprit in an unfolding constitutional drama. It was Mr. Chaudhry’s dismissal by then-President Pervez Musharraf in 2007 that triggered street protests by lawyers and judges under the twin banners of democracy and judicial independence. This effort eventually led to Mr. Musharraf’s resignation in 2008. Yet it is now Mr. Chaudhry himself who is violating those principles, having evidently embarked on a campaign to undermine and perhaps even oust President Asif Ali Zardari.

Any involvement in politics by a sitting judge, not to mention a chief justice, is utterly inconsistent with an independent judiciary’s proper role. What is even worse, Chief Justice Chaudhry has been using the court to advance his anti-Zardari campaign. Two recent court actions are emblematic of this effort. The first is a decision by the Supreme Court, announced and effective last December, to overturn the “National Reconciliation Ordinance.” The NRO, which was decreed in October 2007, granted amnesty to more than 8,000 members from all political parties who had been accused of corruption in the media and some of whom had pending indictments. While some of these people are probably corrupt, many are not and, in any case, politically inspired prosecutions have long been a bane of Pakistan’s democracy. The decree is similar to actions taken by many other fledgling democracies, such as post-apartheid South Africa, to promote national reconciliation. It was negotiated with the assistance of the United States and was a key element in Pakistan’s transition from a military dictatorship to democracy. Chief Justice Chaudhry’s decision to overturn the NRO, opening the door to prosecute President Zardari and all members of his cabinet, was bad enough. But the way he did it was even worse. Much to the dismay of many of the brave lawyers who took to the streets to defend the court’s integrity last year, Mr. Chaudhry’s anti-NRO opinion also blessed a highly troubling article of Pakistan’s Constitution—Article 62. This Article, written in 1985, declared that members of parliament are disqualified from serving if they are not of “good character,” if they violate “Islamic injunctions,” do not practice “teachings and practices, obligatory duties prescribed by Islam,” and if they are not “sagacious, righteous and non-profligate.” For non-Muslims, the Article requires that they have “a good moral reputation.”

Putting aside the fact that Article 62 was promulgated by Pakistan’s then ruling military dictator, General Zia ul-Haq, relying on religion-based standards as “Islamic injunctions” or inherently subjective criteria as “good moral reputation” thrusts thePakistani Supreme Court into an essentially religious domain, not unlike Iranian Sharia-based courts. This behavior is profoundly ill-suited for any secular court. While Article 62 was not formally repealed, it was discredited and in effect, a dead letter. The fact that the petitioner in the NRO case sought only to challenge the decree based on the nondiscrimination clause of the Pakistani Constitution and did not mention Article 62 makes the court’s invocation of it even more repugnant. Meanwhile, the decision’s lengthy recitations of religious literature and poetry, rather than reliance on legal precedent, further pulls the judiciary from its proper constitutional moorings. The second anti-Zardari effort occurred just a few days ago, when the court blocked a slate of the president’s judicial appointments. The court’s three-Justice panel justified the move by alleging the president failed to “consult” with Mr. Chaudhry. This constitutional excuse has never been used before. It is well-known in Islamabad that Mr. Zardari’s real sin was political, as he dared to appoint people unacceptable to the chief justice. Since consultation is not approval, Mr. Chaudhry’s position appears to be legally untenable. Yet Mr. Zardari, faced with demonstrations and media attacks, let Mr. Chaudhry choose a Supreme Court justice.

There is no doubt that the chief justice is more popular these days than the president, who has been weakened by the split in the political coalition which brought down Mr. Musharraf. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is now a leading opponent of the regime. There is a strong sense among the Pakistani elites that Justice Chaudhry has become Mr. Sharif’s key ally. The fact that Mr. Chaudhry was a victim of an improper effort by former President Musharraf to replace him with a more pliant judge makes his current posture all the more deplorable. His conduct has led some of his erstwhile allies to criticize him and speak of the danger to democracy posted by judicial meddling in politics. The stakes are stark indeed. If Mr. Chaudhry succeeds in ousting Mr. Zardari, Pakistan’s fledgling democracy would be undermined and the judiciary’s own legitimacy would be irrevocably damaged. Rule by unaccountable judges is no better than rule by the generals. REFERENCE: Judicial Coup in Pakistan – Once a democratic champion, the Chief Justice now undermines the elected government. by DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. AND LEE A. CASEY FEBRUARY 23, 2010, 7:51 P.M. ET Messrs. Rivkin and Casey, Washington, D.C.-based attorneys, served in the Department of Justice during the Ronald Reagan andGeorge H.W. Bush administrations.


Why do we forget that Lawyers Movement was basically a game to ease out Pakistan Army from the mess which was the creation General Pervez Musharraf and Military Establishment. CJ basically attained a lot from 2000 to 2007 [March to be precise]. I wonder how an Incommunicado CJ was issuing statement often published in The New York Times/Washington Post “during his days in Bastille” - [I still fail to understand that when CJ was sacked in March 2007, he and the press said the CJ is under house arrest and held incommunicado whereas the very next day Air Marshal [R] Asgher Khan “successfully” met him As per Daily Dawn dated March 12, 2007 Monday Safar 22, 1428

"ISLAMABAD, March 11: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has demanded that the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) should hold open proceedings on the reference against him sent by President Gen Pervez Musharraf. This was stated by seasoned politician Air Marshal (retired) Asghar Khan after a meeting with Justice Chaudhry here on Sunday. The demand made by the suspended chief justice indicates that he is not ready to resign and is determined to contest the allegations levelled against him. - But one day earlier the CJ was held incommunicado - “There is no other way to describe the situation as no one is being allowed to meet him,” he said after police officials stopped him and other lawyers from going inside the chief justice’s residence. REFERENCES: Justice Iftikhar seeks open SJC proceedings: Asghar By Iftikhar A. Khan March 12, 2007 Monday Safar 22, 1428 CJ held incommunicado; lawyers slam ‘arrest’ By Nasir Iqbal

"One wonders how an Incommunicado CJ was issuing statement often published in The New York Times/Washington Post and "successfully" telecast on CNN "during his days in Bastille"

Reality of Lawyers Movement in Pakistan.

URL: Judges of the higher judiciary are making up their minds about cases after reading newspaper headlines and watching TV shows, former president Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Ali Ahmed Kurd said on Tuesday. Describing the present situation as “justice hurry and justice worry”, Kurd deplored the fact that the judges were visiting and addressing the bars and said they would have to “prove themselves worthy of their positions”. According to Kurd, judges in the United States neither read newspapers nor watched TV programmes, but focused only on their work. – ISLAMABAD: Ali Ahmed Kurd, the firebrand leader of the lawyers’ movement and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, who has been keeping quiet for quite some time, surprised a lot of people on Tuesday with his blunt criticism of the way the Supreme Court was behaving. Judges should “behave like judges”, he said. Speaking during a talk show on “Challenges facing the judiciary”, he said that people had reservations about the verdict handed down by the Supreme Court on petitions challenging the National Reconciliation Ordinance.

According to him, the judgment appeared to be based on newspaper headlines and talk shows of private TV channels. Mr Kurd said that an independent judiciary had been restored after a great struggle, adding that the country would become stronger if the judiciary acted in the manner expected by the nation during the struggle. “If it does not happen, it will cause a blow to national security.” He said he had been invited by various bar councils after the restoration of the judiciary, but he preferred to keep quiet. He said he did not attend functions where the chief justice had been invited and quit his practice as a lawyer in the Supreme Court. It was astonishing to see judges visiting bar councils, he added. Mr Kurd described the National Judicial Policy as detrimental to the judicial system. He pointed out that a deadline of Dec 31 had been set for courts to decide cases. He said the maxim of ‘justice hurried is justice buried’ would turn out to be true in many cases because these, including cases of murder and dacoity, and the rights of defence and the practice of producing evidence of many people would be compromised due to paucity of time. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Chairperson Asma Jehangir also criticised the Supreme Court’s judgment on the NRO and said it appeared to be a decision pronounced by a ‘jirga’. She was of the opinion that the NRO could have been declared null and void by merely declaring it as repugnant to Article 25 of the Constitution, but a Pandora’s box had been opened by the court. Syed Iqbal Haider and Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood also spoke on the occasion. REFERENCE: Kurd unhappy over SC verdict on NRO By Iftikhar A. Khan Wednesday, 23 Dec, 2009–bi-09 Judges deciding cases on media lines: Kurd Daily Times Monitor Wednesday, December 23, 2009\12\23\story_23-12-2009_pg7_12

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