Tariq Iqbal Chaudhry Tuesday, November 22, 2011 ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Monday praised Interior Minister Rehman Malik for appearing before courts, facing charges and being acquitted through legal ways. The CJ said this during the hearing of the NRO case here on Monday. Addressing Rehman Malik, the CJ said the security situation in the country had improved because Malik paid proper attention to it. The CJ asked Babar Awan, the government counsel’s, why the Federation was now protecting the NRO while the government had earlier opposed the NRO in parliament. CJ Iftikhar told Babar Awan that the interior minister was also present in the courtroom and his cases were reopened due to the NRO but he did not seek a stay order or relief for being a minister. The CJ said Rehman Malik used to appear in the court regularly and in some cases, would appear before the court in Lahore early morning and face another case in Karachi the same afternoon. After adjourning the case and leaving the courtroom, the CJ told Rehman Malik: “Malik Sahib, the security situation has improved because of your serious efforts.” REFERENCE: CJ praises Rehman Malik Tariq Iqbal Chaudhry Tuesday, November 22, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-10443-CJ-praises-Rehman-Malik
JUNE 4, 2012: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Scam to Trap Story Disclosed By Shaheen Sehbai.Welcome to Washington Beat: A hard hitting talk show focusing on the latest news from Pakistan. This week host Dr Manzur Ejaz talks to Shaheen Sehbai, Group Editor The News International. A newly revealed scandal to influence the Chief Justice of Pakistan could mean trouble. W ashington: Renown journalist and Pakistan’s largest news group’s editor Shaheen Sehbai has revealed that soon a scandal is likely to surface against the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Ch’s son. On a famous video site Sehbai unveiled this shocking revelation while apparently giving an interview. He said “CJ’s son was given up to Rs400 million in a planned conspiracy. The conspiracy is now completed and can be brought to surface anytime.” According to Shaheen Sehbai CJ’s son received millions of rupees plus sponsored foreign trips with credit cards to be used abroad for him and his family from a famous business tycoon of Pakistan. “There are quite a few people in Pakistan whose earnings are in billions of rupees and who can easily invest in such conspiracy plans. The person who I am referring to has relationships with military and politicians likewise. Nowadays he is very close to government,” he added Sehbai further said “I received this info from a very credible source. The person, who gave money to CJ’s son, had accepted it. They have documented everything. CJ’s son has also accepted receiving money in his private gatherings. He is ready to go to jail if it requires.” However, Sehbai said that the details of the business for which this huge money was lended to CJ’s son is still unknown. “Few years back Musharaf (Former president of Pakistan) put charges on Iftikhar Ch that he misused his authority to provide his son a job. So how can a job seeker become such a brilliant businessman in just few years that people gave him millions? Therefore, it was a planned conspiracy,” Sehbai added. He also said that CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Ch is very angry on this matter. “CJ said to his close friends that he will sidelined his family,” Shaheen continued. The famous news group’s editor also said that famous journalists including Najam Sethi, Kamran Khan and Hamid Mir were aware of the whoel matter. He also said that Aitzaz Ahsan, Qamar-uz-Zaman Kaira and other Pakistan Peoples Party’s top leadership were also aware of this conspiracy but just could not ‘find courage to bring it up.’ Interestingly, according to Shaheen Sehbai Pakistan tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI)’s chief Imran Khan was among those few who knew about it. Not to forget that following the Prime Minster’s contempt of court verdict Imran Khan gave messages to Supreme Court and CJ in his speeches that nation will stand by him (CJ). REFERENCE Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry Family Gate Scandal Trap Story Disclosed By Shaheen Sehbai JUNE 4, 2012 Scam to trap Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry? Scam to trap Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry? http://www.wichaar.com/videos/scam-to-trap-chief-justice-iftikhar-muhammad-chaudhry/scam-to-trap-chief-justice-iftikhar-muhammad-chaudhry-video_60140b44c.html
Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry Family Gate Scandal Trap Story Disclosed By Shaheen Sehbai
Post Script: 2012: ISLAMABAD, June 9: ARSALAN SPEAKS OUT: In his statement, Dr Arsalan refuted in strongest terms any relationship, intimacy or acquaintance whatsoever with Malik Riaz, his daughter or son-in-law whose names were also not known to him and that he had never met them in relation to any business deal or for any purpose in or outside Pakistan. He said baseless, frivolous and unfounded allegations had been spread in the electronic and print media in the absence of any cogent and logical evidence acceptable under the law of evidence. Dr Arsalan cited a news item appeared on June 8 in an English Daily to prove that the stand taken against him by Malik Riaz had been denied by latter himself. Therefore, Malik Riaz was liable to be dealt with strictly for dragging Dr Arsalan in the court and maligning the august institution of judiciary, the statement said. Dr Arsalan argued that the statements of TV anchors brought to court record were nothing but “hearsay” as they were allegedly based on the statement of Malik Riaz and thus were inadmissible unless the property tycoon himself appeared before the court and produce admissible evidence. The claims of anchors like Kamran Khan and Hamid Mir and Group Editor of The News Shaheen Sehbai that some material had been shown to them by Malik Riaz suffered from serious contradictions, the statement said, adding that whatever Kamran Khan deposed before the court was an absolute contradiction to what he had said in his talk show on June 5. Similarly, Hamid Mir in his statement exonerated him (Dr Arsalan) by saying that the material shown to him was not worthy of acceptance. Thus these statements should be discarded straight away being inadmissible having absolutely no evidentiary value, Dr Arsalan said, adding that these statements were based on surmises and conjectures. Dr Arsalan also took pride for being the son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry whose integrity, he said, was beyond doubt. “Being a son of such a towering personality I have always been careful in my private and public life. I am a 32-year-old man; I earn my bread and butter through my own business and I submit my income tax returns regularly, which can be verified by any citizen of this country,” he said. The statement argued that the initial burden was upon Malik Riaz to establish the allegations along with explanations to the effect that what the motive was or object behind all the exercise which he wanted to achieve. It said if Malik Riaz had made investments for favouring him (Dr Arsalan) to achieve illegal ulterior motives, he owed an explanation to the court. Explaining his bona fide, Dr Arsalan said that in 2009 he had travelled on his own expense to London, along with his family, and hired a flat — a practice he repeated in 2010 and 2011 for which Rs4.5 million had been deposited through cheque No 1287353 of Standard Chartered Bank Lahore on Aug 15, 2011, by his cousin Muhammad Aamir Rana into Zaid Rehman’s account in Meezan Bank Gulberg branch in Lahore. Zaid Rehman was known to Dr Arsalan through Ahmed Khalil, a cousin of Zaid Rehman and employee of Bahria Town. Dr Arsalan said he did not know from whose credit card the rent of the flat which was around 3,200 pounds per week had been paid. Perhaps, he said, he had stayed for four weeks so that the total rent amounted to 10,000 pounds and when he reached London he had to sign an occupancy agreement by submitting the copy of his passport, therefore the formalities as per rules were completed, however the rent had already been paid. REFERENCE: Tycoon’s plea for larger bench rejected: Arsalan denies links with Malik Riaz BY Nasir Iqbal http://dawn.com/2012/06/10/tycoons-plea-for-larger-bench-rejected-arsalan-denies-links-with-malik-riaz/
Ansar Abbasi Sunday, March 11, 2007 ISLAMABAD: As is the culture, it is now time to spill the beans. Those in the government who until recently have been facilitating the son of the deposed chief justice of Pakistan in his pursuit of a police career are now ready to speak against Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. They were tight-lipped in the past, defending Dr Arsalan’s police training despite his not being a police officer. But today the situation has changed. Seeing the man falling, those who were silent in the past have started speaking out. Interior minister Aftab Sherpao, whose ministry had issued repeated orders to treat Dr Arsalan extraordinarily, right from his posting from Balochistan to the FIA, and then allowing him to get police training along with the probationers of the Police Service of Pakistan, said that the junior VVIP got special treatment because of his father. “How would have we known Arsalan had he not been the son of the (deposed) CJ?” said Sherpao when asked by The News here Saturday if Justice Iftikhar had ever used his influence to get extraordinary treatment for his son. Without commenting on the question if the interior ministry is not required to be charge-sheeted for doing the undoable for the CJ’s son, he said that his ministry did not violate any law as Arsalan was never inducted into the Police Service of Pakistan. Sherpao said that Justice Iftikhar was in full knowledge of what the government was doing for his son. To a question, the minister said that both the father and the son asked the government for the favour. “We had made it clear that Dr Arsalan could not be inducted into the police service,” the minister said, perhaps without recalling that the prime minister’s secretariat had entertained Arsalan’s request for his induction into the police service. However, it was not done as the PM secretariat’s move was reported by The News on August 10, 2006. Secretary interior Maj (retd) Syed Kamal Shah when approached was cautious about speaking on the matter. He said that the matter is subjudice so he should not speak until the case has been heard by the Supreme Judicial Council. Shah said that the Dr Arsalan case is one of the charges against Justice Iftikhar so it has become subjudice. When asked why the interior ministry should not be charge-sheeted for doing the undoable for Arsalan, he said that in every case (charge) there is a provider. When again probed on the dubious role of the interior ministry in Arsalan’s case and if Justice Iftikhar had exerted any pressure on the government in this respect, he said, “Things don’t happen without any reason. Obviously it has a background.” The secretary interior was also reminded of this correspondent’s discussion with him on the same subject more than a year back when Dr Arsalan had just joined the National Police Academy. Shah said that he would speak in detail on the issue once the case is disposed of by the Supreme Judicial Council. Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah when approached last year had said that Arsalan was appointed in the FIA on deputation after seeking the consent of the DG FIA. About the young man’s training in the National Police Academy (NPA), he had said, “I have always been pro-training even if it is offered to deputationists.” Justifying Dr Iftikhar’s training with the ASPs, Shah had said that training for deputationists is far more important for efficiency. He had also admitted that deputationists are being trained in the NPA on the interior ministry’s order, disclosing that the officer himself had volunteered for the training. The FIA Director General Tariq Pervaiz when contacted last year by this correspondent, was of the view that it was the interior ministry’s initiative that led to the appointment of the Balochistan official as assistant director in the FIA. About the deputationist’s training in the NPA, he said that it was also done on the written orders of the interior ministry. The then National Police Academy Commandant Asif Ali Shah, when contacted had confirmed to The News that the FIA official was being trained along with 21 police officers at the academy. He had disclosed that the 21 police officials included 16 ASPs belonging to the Police Service of Pakistan and five police officers from the Maldives. Shah was of the view that he did not know about Dr Arsalan’s background and whether or not he was a deputationist in the FIA. It should be mentioned here that in the evening of the same day when this correspondent had talked to the secretary interior, the DG FIA and commandant police academy on Dr Arsalan’s issue more than a year back, the then press information officer (PIO) approached this correspondent with a request that I should not file the story. The PIO did not share how he came to know about the story that was not even written by its author, but nevertheless he insisted that it must not be filed. The request was turned down but the story got stuck in the then editor’s desk. Meanwhile in the Geo Capital Talk show, Minister of State for Information Tariq Azeem said on Friday evening that the allegations levelled against Justice Iftikhar included his son’s case as well as the use of Mercedes and BMW cars by the deposed CJ. He proposed that if the federal and provincial authorities had violated the law of the land to favour Dr Arsalan they should also be taken to task. On the cars’ issue, Azeem said that under the law the CJ was authorized a 1600cc car. However, he did not elaborate on why the government provided the CJ the staff cars which were beyond the top judge’s entitlement. REFERENCE: Defenders turn detractors Ansar Abbasi Sunday, March 11, 2007 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=6437&Cat=13&dt=3/11/2007
Chief Justice Pakistan's son Dr Arsalan with Kamran Khan on GEO TV (2007)
Saturday, March 10, 2007 ISLAMABAD: The government had gone an extra mile to facilitate the appointment of the son of deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in the police department — the issue that is likely to form part of the charge sheet for his ouster. Different federal and provincial authorities have been formally issuing orders during the past one and a half year to favour Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, the deposed CJ’s son, in a manner that is unique in the history of the country. If Arsalan’s case is probed, it gives a much more serious charge sheet against the government authorities than the already charge sheeted Justice Iftikhar. On the official files, there is no evidence of any formal request from the deposed CJ seeking any favours from the government for his son or that Justice Iftikhar in any way had pressurized the authorities to do the ‘undoables’ for his son-Dr Arsalan Iftikhar. The facts of the deposed CJ’s son case show that the government extra-ordinarily and unprecedently facilitated Dr Arsalan for his training in the police department. As far as the documentary evidence is concerned Justice Iftikhar comes in the picture only for being the father of Dr Arsalan. There is nothing in the files to prove that Justice Iftikhar had written or verbally requested the authorities to favour Dr Arsalan. The Arsalan case was first reported by The News last year despite government pressure at that time that the issue should not be highlighted. Justice Iftikhar’s son as already reported had flunked thrice in the Central Superior Services (CSS). He had challenged in the Balochistan High Court the marking of his English paper in his last CSS written test. The Federal Public Service Commission presented the paper for the first time before the high court, which showed that Dr Arsalan got only 16 out of 100 in English, therefore, could not pass the CSS written. Dr Arsalan is a Balochistan health department employee, who in 2005 joined the federal investigation agency (FIA) on deputation from where he was immediately sent to National Police Academy to undergo specialized police training along with the CSS recruited probationer ASPs. Presently Dr Arsalan is serving as an under-training superintendent of police in Lahore. Last year, as already reported, he sought his regular induction into the police service of Pakistan from the prime minister. The PM’s secretariat referred his case to the Establishment Division to see if rules could be relaxed. But before any decision could be taken, this newspaper reported the matter in August last year that compelled the government to shelve the case.
In the light of the official documents, the following is the presentation of the case:
Fact 1. On September 5, 2005, Interior Ministry through an official notification placed the services of Dr Arsalan Iftikhar (Health/B-17), Section Officer Health Department Balochistan, at the disposal of Ministry of Interior for his posting as an assistant director FIA on deputation basis for a period of three year.
Fact 2. On September 18, 2005 Chief Secretary Balochistan K B Rind through an official notification referred to the Interior Ministry’s Sept 5 notification announces to relieve Dr Arsalan of his duties from the province with immediate affect.
Fact 3. On October 1st, 2005, the ministry issued yet another order to the commandant National Police Academy, Islamabad saying: “Dr Arsalan Iftikhar (Health/BS-17) Government of Balochistan, posted in FIA vide Notification No.3/1/2002-Estb (FIA) dated 5.9.2005 is hereby attached with the National Police Academy to undergo training with the C.T.P Batch for the period of nine (09) months w.e.f. 3.10.2005.”
Fact 4. On May 24, 2006, the ministry issued an order to allow Dr Arsalan for completion of remaining (field) training programme alongwith the 32nd batch of the PSP probationers.
Fact 5. On June 27th 2006, the National Police Academy issued an order saying, “Vide Govt. of Pakistan, Ministry of Interior letter No. 3/4/2006/Estb/(FIA), dated 24.05.2006, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar (DD FIA), is hereby relieved on 27th June, 2006 (A.N) for completion of remaining training programme of 32nd CTP, and directed to report to Elite Police Training School, Bedian Lahore on 02.07.2006 for six weeks Orientation Course. After completion of the said course he will report to CPO Punjab, Lahore for Phase-III part of training which is six month Field Attachment.
Fact 6. On 19.08.2006, the Inspector General of Police Punjab issued order for Dr Arsalan’s attachment with Superintendent of Police Cantt. Division, Capital City District, Lahore for field training phase-III.
Fact 7. On 30.08.2006, the police department Punjab issued Dr Arsalan’s detailed schedule attachment for 24 weeks.
Fact 8. On October 19, 2006, Punjab Police issued yet another order announcing that along with seven other regular serving police officers, Arsalan Iftikhar is nominated for a foreign short training course in combating international terrorism and organised crime. The same order added: “Ministry of Interior, National Police Bureau, Islamabad has approved the nomination of following officers (that include Dr Arsalan) for the subject course scheduled to be held from 30-10-2006 to 03-11-2006 in Istanbul.”
None of the notified facts, reflected above, referred to the deposed CJ in any case. The man treated in a unique fashion is Dr Arsalan Iftikhar and the authorities that have extended police training opportunities to a non-police officer are the federal and provincial offices. The issue of Dr Arsalan was “forbidden” for the media almost a year back but in the recent weeks media houses in Pakistan were fed with contemptuous material against the deposed chief justice, and the journalists were encouraged even by certain official circles to write on the issues that were blocked in the past. It was evident from the vilification campaign launched against Justice Iftikhar by latent forces that there is a serious move afoot to besmear the name of the country’s top judge. REFERENCE: Case of CJP’s son to be part of charge sheet Saturday, March 10, 2007 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=46325&Cat=6&dt=3/10/2007
Kamran Khan Exposes CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry - P 1 (GEO TV March 2007)
Naeem Bokhari’s letter to the chief justice Saturday, March 10, 2007 Islamabad: The following is the open letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry from Supreme Court advocate Naeem Bokhari.
Mr. Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Subject: Open letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan
I write this letter as an Officer of the Supreme Court, as an Advocate enrolled in the apex court since 1984 and in the High Courts since 1972, as an Attorney who has paid more income tax from his earnings in the legal profession than many of my friends, colleagues and seniors elevated to the Bench and as a stake holder in the dispensation of justice, intimately and vitally interested in the functioning of the Supreme Court. Many judges who adorn the Bench in the Supreme Court and the High Court know me over decades, as a person endowed by nature with a pleasant disposition and acceptance of human failings. Towards the courts, my approach has always been of consistent and continuous display of respect and humility. I bow out of conviction, not compulsion. I use the words “My Lords”, because I want to, not because I have to. As an Attorney, I look up to the court and want to see it on a high pedestal of dignity, compassion and justice, tempered with mercy. I have seen my Supreme Court headed by Justice Hamood-ur-Rehman, Justice Yaqoob Ali Khan, Justice S. Anwar-ul-Haq, Justice Haleem Ahmed and how the court functioned under them in the seventies / eighties. I witnessed the proceedings for the ouster of Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, became aware that the then Prime Minister of Pakistan had ‘worked’ on some judges of the Supreme Court and saw the physical assault on the court.
I was appalled at the manner in which Justice Irshad Hasan Khan led the Supreme Court and pained at the insinuations against Justice Sheikh Riaz, when he was the Chief Justice. I was horrified by the establishment of a Bench of five judges constituted by Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui to determine whether reduction in the retirement age for judges was constitutional or not. This was clearly designed to block your appointment. I was against the idea of Mr. Amirul Mulk Mengal being made the Chief Justice before you. Within the limits of my influence (which I readily admit to be very limited), I was totally for you to become the Chief Justice. Justice Javed Buttar is aware of my position, as is the Attorney General for Pakistan. The accelerated issue of the notification appointing you the Chief Justice put Justice Siddiqui’s move to rest. I believed that you were vigorous, capable of lifting up the Supreme Court, creating an espirit-de-corps among your brother judges, restoring the dignity and grandeur of the apex court, particularly considering the long tenure before you.
Alas this has not come about.
I am not perturbed by your insistence on protocol (despite my belief that the Chief Justice would rise in the eyes of everybody if he walked from his residence to the court and hooters, police escort, flags is just fluff not the substance of an office).
I am mildly amused at your desire to be presented a guard of honour in Peshawar. I am titillated by the appropriation of Mercedes Benz car or is it cars, the use of the Government of the Punjab’s plane to offer Fateha in Multan, to Sheikhupura for Fateha on a Government of the Punjab helicopter, to Hyderabad on a Government of the Sind’s plane for attending a High Court function, the huge amount spent in refurbishing the chamber and residence of the Chief Justice, the reservation for yourself of a wing in Supreme Court Judges guest house in Lahore, the permanent occupation by the Supreme Court of the official residence of the Chief Justice of Sind, who per force lives in the basement of his father’s house. As his class fellow in the Government College, Lahore, I can vouch that living in the basement will do him no harm.
I am not perturbed that Dr. Arsalaan (your son) secured 16/100 in the English paper for the Civil Services Examination, that there is some case against him in some court in Baluchistan, that from the Health Department in Baluchistan he has shifted to FIA, that he has obtained training in the Police Academy, that he reportedly drives a BMW 7-Series car, that there is a complaint against him with the National Accountability Bureau.
My grievances and protests are different.
I am perturbed that the Supreme Court should issue a clarificatory statement on his behalf. I am perturbed that Justice (Retd.) Wajihuddin Ahmed should be constrained to advise you on television that “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others”. I am perturbed that the Chief Justice should summon Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman to his chambers on Dr. Arsalaan’s account.
I am appalled that you announce decisions in Court, while in the written judgment an opposite conclusion is recorded.
In the Petition for leave to appeal filed by Dr Sher Afghan Niazi, Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs (in which Respondent’s Counsel were Mr Khalid Anwar and Mr Qadir Saeed), you refused to grant leave in open Court and yet in the written order, leave was granted to Dr Sher Afghan Niazi.
On 15.2.2007, Mr Fakurddin G. Ebrahim complained that, in open Court you had accepted his appeal but dismissed the same in the judgement, subsequently recorded.
If Mr Khalid Anwar, a former Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Mr Fakrhuddin, Senior Counsel are treated in this manner, the fate of lesser known lawyers would certainly be far worse.
My grievances also concern the manner in which the last and highest court of appeal is dispensing justice, under your leadership.
My Lord, the dignity of lawyers is consistently being violated by you. We are treated harshly, rudely, brusquely and nastily. We are not heard. We are not allowed to present our case. There is little scope for advocacy. The words used in the Bar Room for Court No. 1 are “the slaughter house”. We are cowed down by aggression from the Bench, led by you. All we receive from you is arrogance, aggression and belligerence. You also throw away the file, while contemptuously announcing “This is dismissed”.
Yet this aggression is not for everyone. When Mr. Sharifuddin Pirzada appears, your Lordship’s demeanour and appearance is not just sugar and honey. You are obsequious to the point of meekness. So apart from violating our dignity, which the constitution commands to be inviolable, we suffer discrimination in your court.
I am not raising the issue of verbal onslaughts and threats to Police Officers and other Civil Servants, who have the misfortune to be summoned, degraded and reminded that “This is the Supreme Court”.
The way in which My Lord conducts proceedings is not conducive to the process of justice. In fact, it obstructs due process and constitutes contempt of the Supreme Court itself.
I am pained at the wide publicity to cases taken up by My Lord in the Supreme Court under the banner of Fundamental Rights. The proceedings before the Supreme Court can conveniently and easily be referred to the District and Sessions Judges. I am further pained by the media coverage of the Supreme Court on the recovery of a female. In the bar room, this is referred to as a “Media Circus”.
My Lord, this communication may anger you and you are in any case prone to get angry in a flash, but do reflect upon it. Perhaps you are not cognizant of what your brother judges feel and say about you.
My Lord, before a rebellion arises among your brother judges (as in the case of Mr Justice Sajjad Ali Shah), before the Bar stands up collectively and before the entire matter is placed before the Supreme Judicial Council, there may be time to change and make amends. I hope you have the wisdom and courage to make these amends and restore serenity, calm, compassion, patience and justice tempered with mercy to my Supreme Court. My Lord, we all live in the womb of time and are judged, both by the present and by history. The judgement about you, being rendered in the present, is adverse in the extreme.
Supreme Court of Pakistan.REFERENCE: Naeem Bokhari’s letter to the chief justice Saturday, March 10, 2007 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=46327&Cat=6&dt=3/10/2007
Kamran Khan Exposes CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry - P 2 (GEO TV March 2007)
Muhammad Saleh Zaafir Saturday, March 10, 2007 ISLAMABAD: Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Javed Iqbal has said that the question of senior most judge of the Supreme Court Justice Rana Bhagwandas' inclusion in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), hearing the reference against the chief justice in abeyance, will be taken up on his return to Pakistan. Justice Rana Bhagwandas is presently abroad. Immediate after swearing in as acting Chief Justice in the Supreme Court building here Friday, Justice Javed Iqbal, to a question by The News, said the Supreme Judicial Council is already in existence and the apex body will decide about the reference. Federal Law Secretary Justice Mansoor Ahmad was also present on the occasion. Meanwhile, this scribe has gathered through sources that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary has made up his mind to step down from the office instead of facing the reference. His resignation may come at any time before the conclusion of the reference. Sources have indicated that the senior most judge of the Suprme Court Justice Bhagwandas is on leave till 23rd of this month as he has gone to India. He may proceed on further leave. According to legal experts the Supreme Judicial Council that will be headed by Justice Javed Iqbal will submit its report (findings) to President General Pervez Musharraf under Clause (6) of Article 209 of the Constitution, which says: if, after inquiring into the matter, the council reports to the president that it is of the opinion,-(a) that the judge is incapable of performing the duties of his office or has been guilty of misconduct, and (b) that he should be removed from office.
Interestingly, the Clause (7) deals with the removal of the judge/judges of the Supreme Court and high court. It says that a judge of the Supreme Court or of a high court shall not be removed from office except as provided by this Article. The Clause (8) deals with the procedure of the council and says that the council shall issue a code of conduct to be observed by judges of the Supreme Court and of the high courts. Yet the same article while dealing with the authority of the president on the issue in question speaks under Clause (5) that if, on information received from the council or from any other source, the president is of the opinion that a judge of the Supreme Court or of a high court, (a) may be incapable of properly performing the duties of his office by reason of physical or mental incapacity, or (b) may have been guilty of misconduct, the president shall direct the council to inquire into the matter.
The legal experts are of the opinion that the council in Pakistan has more stringent authority while dealing with the misconduct cases in comparison with the laws prevailing in India. India has a five member national judicial council, headed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. The other members of the proposed commission are two senior-most judges of the SC and two chief justices from the high courts. The law concerned has empowered the council to look into inquiries against SC and high court judges on receipt of specific complaints. The council also examines references made by Parliament. While the council does not have powers to impeach judges, it makes specific requests such as earlier retirement and withdrawal of assigned work. The law has kept retired judges out of the ambit and has been drawn up in consultation with senior members of the judiciary.
In case of discord among the members of the SJC in Pakistan, the verdict is given on majority's finding basis. The member of the council have authority to get their views recorded in the procedure as the council functions on the pattern of hearing of the Supreme and high courts. Pakistan has the record of impeachment history through the SJC once only when in 1958 a judge of the West Pakistan High Court, Justice Akhlaq Hussain, was impeached under the allegation of misconduct. He proved to be guilty under the clauses of misconduct of the Constitution of 1956. The 1956 Constitution also had the provision of having Supreme Judicial Council. Justice Akhlaq's conduct was declared as unbecoming of a judge and he was deprived of benefits of the retirement.
Under the Constitution of 1973, the SJC constitution has been given in Article 2 as under: The council shall consist of (a) the chief justice of Pakistan, (b) the two next most senior judges of the Supreme Court; and (c) the two most senior chief justices of high courts. The article has given the explanation as under:
For the purpose of this clause, the inter-seniority of the chief justices of the high courts shall be determined with reference to their dates of appointment as chief justices [otherwise than as acting chief justice], and in case the dates of such appointment are the same, with reference to their dates of appointment as judges of any of the high courts.
Yet another clause deals with the judge entitled to be on the SJC and it says: if at any time the council is inquiring into the capacity or conduct of a judge who is a member of the council, or a member of the council is absent or is unable to act due to illness or any other cause, then (a) if such member is a judge of the Supreme Court, who is next in seniority below the judge referred earlier. (b) if such member is the chief justice of a high court, the chief justice of another high court, who is next in seniority amongst the chief justices of the remaining high courts, shall act as a member of the Council in his place. The article while dealing with the verdict says that if, upon any matter inquired into by the council, there is a difference of opinion amongst its members, the opinion of the majority shall prevail, and the report of the council to the President shall be expressed in terms of the view of the majority. The appointment came in the wake of filing the reference on Friday found yet another proviso 'available'. REFERENCE: Iftikhar may quit before SJC proceedings Muhammad Saleh Zaafir Saturday, March 10, 2007 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=6419&Cat=13&dt=3/10/2007
Kamran Khan Exposes CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry - P 3 (GEO TV March 2007)
Mayed Ali Saturday, March 10, 2007 LAHORE: Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry missed the much-cherished protocol in Lahore after having been suspended by the president on Friday. The former CJP was scheduled to visit Lahore on Friday and his requested cavalcade of bullet-proof BMW and escort BMW jeep was ready to pick the honourable judge up. It was learnt the former CJP had a knack for ensuring excellent protocol, while visiting the provincial metropolis. The official record of his visit revealed that Assistant Registrar Muhammad Bashir Janjua had been frequently ‘directed’ by the honourable former CJP to ensure his protocol while he visited Lahore each time. Ironically, Janjua had been either communicating with the chief secretary or with the principal secretary to the chief minister for not only ensuring top-class vehicles for the CJP’s cavalcade, but also directing the principal secretary to upgrade it on different occasions. Through a letter No AR(L)-SC(121)/200 dated July 18, 2005, Janjua asked the CS to provide Honda Civic (Black) or a Toyota Camry for the follow-on duty for the CJP during his stay in Lahore on the same date.
The same gentleman wrote another letter No AR(L)-SC(4) 2006, dated January 7, 2006 to the principle secretary for providing a Mercedes for the use of the CJP along with a Toyota Camry for the follow-on duty. It is important to note the cars were being obtained from the CM’s pool for the use of the CJP and from the Punjab government’s pool for the escort purpose. More interesting is the fact there is just one Toyota Camry in black colour with the Punjab government pool, and the CJP asked for it. Again on January 21, 2006, Janjua wrote a letter No AR(L)-SC(18)/2006 to the principle secretary, requesting provision of the bullet-proof Mercedes for the CJP and the Toyota Camry for the escort. Later in March, through letter No AR(L)-SC(73)/2006, Janjua requested the principle secretary to provide the same combination of cars for the CJP’s protocol during his visit on the same date. The CJP enjoyed the same protocol the next day, which was ensured by the Assistant Registrar through letter No AR(L)-SC(81)/2006.
Interestingly, the CJP directed his Assistant Registrar in Lahore to ensure even better protocol in April 2006. The Assistant Registrar requested the principle secretary via letter No AR(L)-SC(99)/2006 dated April 21, 2006 to ensure the CJP got a BMW for the follow-on duty with the existing Mercedes. The Punjab government complied, providing a grey BMW to the CJP from the CM’s pool. The same combination of cars was requested again in May 2006 via letter No AR(L)-SC(117)/2006, dated May 5, 2006. The CJP enjoyed the same protocol during his visit on June 1, 2006 as Janjua had ensured it via letter No AR(L)-SC/2006, dated June 1, 2006. In August 2006, the former CJP wished he had a BMW for his use, while a BMW Jeep for the escort. Janjua again wrote a letter No AR(L)-SC(221)/2006, dated August 18, 2006 to the principle secretary. The request was honoured and the honourable former CJP was provided these expensive vehicles for his protocol in Lahore. The same combination of cars was provided to the former CJP on December 7, 2006 as Janjua had ensured the same through letter No AR(L)-SC(303)/2006, dated December 7, 2006.
Later during the same month, the former CJP was scheduled to visit Bahawalpur with four other SC judges. The deputy registrar in Islamabad requested the principle secretary to the chief minister through letter No DR(M)/2006 SCG, dated December 7, 2006 for ensuring one Mercedes with double flag rod and foolproof security during the former CJP and judges’ visit to Bahawalpur on December 10, 2006. The same exercise continued till the suspension of the former CJP on March 9, 2006. Between December 14 2006 and March 9, 2007, Janjua wrote five letters for request to the Principle Secretary for ensuring the protocol, comprising BMW car and BMW Jeep for the CJP. Janjua wrote letter No AR(L)-SC(311)/2006/dated December 14, 2006, letter No AR(L)-SC(5)/2007/dated January 10, 2007, letter No AR(L)-SC(18)/2007/dated January 23, 2007, letter No AR(L)-SC(39)/2007/dated February 17, 2007 and letter No AR(L)-SC(48)/2007/dated March 7, 2007 for ensuring the protocol of the former CJP. REFERENCE: The Merc and BMW question Mayed Ali Saturday, March 10, 2007 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=6414&Cat=13&dt=3/10/2007
Kamran Khan Exposes CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry - P 4 (GEO TV March 2007)
Ansar Abbasi Monday, March 12, 2007 ISLAMABAD: Three members of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), which is all set to try Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry following a presidential reference, themselves find the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. Reliable sources told The News that some government authorities in knowledge of these facts are reviewing the situation to see if the judges facing allegations themselves could sit in the SJC. These sources said that two of the three judges are already faced with references pending before the SJC. A third judge is said to have had his two daughters admitted to a medical college on the basis of special seats offered by a chief minister. A son-in-law of the same judge was also appointed deputy secretary in the provincial secretariat of the same province on deputation.
The pending references against the two judges, who along with three other members of the Supreme Judicial Council will decide the fate of the recently rendered “inactive” Chief Justice of Pakistan, pertains to alleged corruption and embezzlement. One of these two judges is facing allegations of involvement in a land corruption case while the other is accused of being involved in financial embezzlement. The SJC that has summoned the Chief Justice of Pakistan on March 13 comprises acting Chief Justice Justice Javed Iqbal, who is the chairman of the SJC, the two most senior judges of the Supreme Court and two most senior chief justices of the high courts. The two most senior SC judges, who will sit in the SJC, are Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar and Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan. The two provincial chief justices, who by virtue of their seniority would sit in the council, are Lahore High Court Chief Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar Hussain and Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed of the Sindh High Court.
Apart from what is under review about the “pending cases” of the judges who will sit in the SJC, some legal minds have already raised the important question of whether the acting Chief Justice Javed Iqbal could sit in the SJC. Babar Sattar, an Islamabad-based lawyer, has pointed out, “The inclusion of Justice Javed Iqbal in the Supreme Judicial Council creates a conflict of interest. Only finding the chief justice guilty of misconduct would enable Justice Javed Iqbal to become the chief justice of Pakistan or otherwise he would retire prior to expiry of the term of the current Chief Justice.” Sattar wrote in his article, published in The News on Sunday, “There is scant possibility of a fair inquiry being conducted by a council of peers led by a judge who has a personal interest in the outcome of the inquiry. Further, his appointment as acting chief, if made permanent, will also be a violation of the principle of seniority as Justice Rana Bhagwandas is the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court after the chief justice.”
Meanwhile, a source pointed out that SHC Chief Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed should also not sit in the SJC for the reason that the much-condemned open letter of a supreme court lawyer also included an allegation against the chief justice regarding the use of the official residence of the Sindh CJ by Justice Iftikhar. The government has not yet shared the details of the charges that make up part of the reference filed by the president before the SJC against the chief justice of Pakistan. However, the government functionaries mostly refer to the open letter of the lawyer (who is at present, widely being denounced by members of the lawyer’s community for his work), as the basis of the charge sheet against the CJ. Meanwhile, according to a report published in an English daily, ahead of the presidential reference against the chief justice, there are already 23 references/complaints pending for a hearing with the Supreme Judicial Council against several judges. “These complaints include serious charges against several senior judges of the high courts,” the report said, adding that one sixth of these complaints are against just one individual judge. The report said that some of these complaints, which range from corruption to misconduct, are pending adjudication for the last several years. Quoting Habib Wahabul Khairi, a senior lawyer and one of the complainants, the report said, the fate of complaints filed before the presidential reference must be adjudicated ahead of the charges against the Chief Justice of Pakistan. REFERENCE: Do SJC members have impeccable credentials? Ansar Abbasi Monday, March 12, 2007 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=6455&Cat=13&dt=3/12/2007
Kamran Khan Exposes CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry - P 5 (GEO TV March 2007)
Wednesday, March 14, 2007: ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on Tuesday cautioned the electronic and print media to refrain from indulging in a media trial of a subjudice matter before the council. The SJC in this behalf has directed the Ministry of Information and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to advise the electronic and print media not to arrange in or produce talk shows and other similar programmes concerning issues pending before the SJC, said a press release issued by the SJC. The Supreme Judicial Council is hearing a reference under Article 209 of the Constitution against Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. According to the press release, the council has noted with grave concern that the electronic and print media is engaged in a media trial on a subjudice matter whose proceedings are being held in-camera and are not to be reported except as directed or authorised by the council. The Supreme Judicial Council is committed to upholding the freedom of the press and information and the right of every citizen of the State of Pakistan to be kept informed of the proceedings of the reference through the media, the press release stated. “In this regard, an appropriate mechanism is being put in place so that the people are kept informed and updated of the day-to-day proceedings,” it maintained. The council, to ensure transparency and fair procedure in the matter, directed the attorney-general for Pakistan to ensure that the respondent will have access to his counsel, said the press release. REFERENCE: SJC warns against media trial Wednesday, March 14, 2007 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=6497&Cat=13&dt=3/14/2007
Kamran Khan Exposes CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry - P 6 (GEO TV March 2007)
Monday, March 12, 2007 ISLAMABAD: The suspended chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was not called by the president on Friday. On the contrary, the chief justice himself requested the meeting to discuss with him a complaint lodged by a Peshawar High Court (PHC) judge with whom the chief justice wanted a reconciliation through the good offices of the president. The complaint was addressed to the prime minister and the judge sent the copy to the chief justice as well. The prime minister had already forwarded it to the president. The meeting took place in the camp office of the presidency (Aiwan-e-Sadr) Rawalpindi and not in the Army House. President General Pervez Musharraf had to change his schedule for his other engagements of the day for the meeting. This was revealed by Federal Law Secretary and former Justice Mansoor Ahmad on Saturday here while talking to The News exclusively. The sitting judge of the Peshawar High Court came out with a clear threat that if his submission was not heard he would resign from the office. He complained that Justice Iftikhar Muhammad deliberately harmed him by sitting on his case regarding a family property dispute. He was of the view that it was a vindictive act on the part of the suspended chief justice, the law secretary said. The chief justice asked the president to play a role for mediation with the Peshawar High Court judge. The president declined and advised him to handle it by himself. The president informed the chief justice about the heap of complaints he had already received against him. The chief justice was shown the complaints consisted of hundreds of pages while he was present at the camp office. All these complaints constituted the basis for the reference, Justice Mansoor Ahmad said.
“The president had no role to play in the matter. He has not acted in extra-constitutional manner in any way. The authority to appoint the chief justice is vested with the president and it gives him inherited jurisdiction to place the person under suspension since the chief justice would never allow a reference to be heard as long he is still in office. This could defeat the cause of justice,” the federal law secretary added. He said Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Khan visited the president with high hopes and expecting that the president would interfere and help him in reconciliation with the PHC judge in question. The president politely declined to play any role in it as he already had received a reference forwarded to him by the prime minister for further action. Instead, the president informed him about the complaints that the government was constantly receiving about him from various people. “In fact, the president was bound to act upon the advice of the prime minister, who had earlier referred the matter to the president with his advice for the reference to the SJC,” the law secretary said. The secretary said the president tried to gather the chief justice point of view about the complaints but Justice Iftikhar could not offer any satisfactory explanation on account of the allegations pertaining to the misconduct. REFERENCE: CJP sought meeting with president, not summoned Monday, March 12, 2007 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=46551&Cat=6&dt=3/12/2007