23 October, 2014 / 27 Zilhaj, 1435

Hubris as justice?

Updated Jul 30, 2013 06:46am

THE Election Commission of Pakistan should not have abdicated responsibility.

It should have definitively fixed a date for the presidential election, passed a reasoned order in response to the PML-N’s application seeking a date change on religious grounds and defended its position in court.

But notwithstanding the ECP’s failings, what the Supreme Court did was inexplicable. As the repository of infallible wisdom it instantly passed an order without even bothering to hear other interested parties. The manner in which the Supreme Court assumed jurisdiction and summarily exercised it highlights the apex court’s mindset under Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

The question is not whether the court is pro PML-N, but whether its perception of its own role and jurisdiction is leaving any room for it to function as a neutral arbiter of the law.

Leaving the good aside and at the risk of offending the mighty lords (and one’s livelihood as a lawyer), a few traits are evident in the manner our apex court has conducted itself since Chief Justice Chaudhry’s restoration that raises concerns about the quality of justice being meted out: populism; overt moralism; appropriation of functions of other institutions; and subjectivity injecting lack of consistency in the law being developed.

The populist streak first manifested itself when the Supreme Court suspended the carbon surcharge on petroleum products imposed by the Finance Act, 2009, and has gained momentum since.

Having been restored through a street movement, the Supreme Court leadership seems to view itself as a people’s court in two senses: that it shares representative credentials of an elected government; and that it must satiate public expectations by coming to the rescue of people whenever they feel wronged even if the matter involves non-justiciable political questions.

None of the modern democratic constitutions make the judicial arm of the state directly accountable to the masses.

Given that democracy is run by majority rule, it is the judiciary that acts as a safety valve and guards against tyranny of the majority by upholding fundamental rights even when a transient surge in popular opinion militates against such a role.

A politician might be beholden to popular opinion if lacking in foresight and the ability to build opinion instead of following it. But a judge is required to decide legal questions without taking into account considerations of fear or favour.

Popularity when actively sought is a consideration of favour. Judicial codes of conduct everywhere, including in Pakistan, require judges to eschew publicity and exposure to public. Is there another country in the world where the court dominates daily news feed?

Unfortunately a two-way demand-supply relationship has evolved between our media and the Supreme Court: the court creates news which the media reports prominently every hour and generates more demand for Supreme Court intervention; and the media appeals for the court’s intervention after breaking a scandal which then leads to more suo motus. It’s a vicious cycle. The Supreme Court’s populism seems to go hand-in-hand with moralism. Are courts supposed to be courts of law or enforcers of moral virtue? The question is not whether morality is desirable or not, but whether it is for the court to enforce morality or view itself as a social reformer and cleanser of vice.

Forget the sermons during court hearings that become headlines. Just read judgements from the last four years and you will find them littered with moral lectures that might have little or nothing to do with questions of law that form the subject matter of the case in hand.

This populism and moralism then encourages the court to not worry excessively about restraints embedded in the letter of the law, but focus instead on ‘doing good’. And thus we see exercise of suo motu in a manner that interferes with the role and function of other institutions.

Once the court takes suo motu cognisance of a matter based on press reports, it has already developed a prima facie view that a wrong has been committed that requires court intervention to be set right.

How can the court sit with an open mind and give parties a fair hearing as a neutral arbiter once it has already decided to intervene to correct a perceived wrong on the basis of media reports? What we end up witnessing is simultaneous judicial and media trials. Take the Employees Old-age Benefits Institution (EOBI) scandal.

If you sat in Court 1 during the first hearing, the bench knew from the word go that all involved were guilty and the only question was how they were to be arrested and the loot recovered. What about impartial determination of facts or recording of evidence etc.? Corruption is a cancer that must be removed surgically. But will culpability be determined on the basis of media reports? Defence Housing Authority and EOBI officials might be of the most rotten variety. But isn’t the right to a fair trial a fundamental right of all, including criminals?

Who will uphold it once the Supreme Court wipes out any distinction between the accused and the guilty? Can the Federal Investigation Agency dare furnish a report that refutes conclusions the court has already drawn?

Can a prosecutor refuse to file a case because he believes there isn’t enough evidence? Will a subordinate court grant bail to any accused after a suo motu?

What kind of justice is produced when the Supreme Court becomes investigator, prosecutor and adjudicator all at once? And what about consistency and lack of partiality in applying the law and principles?

If Musharraf is to be tried for high treason, why should judges who abetted him be retired with full pension and benefits? If use of all public funds is to be audited and scrutinised without exception, why is the scrutiny of Supreme Court expenses an exception? Should there be one set of principles for rehiring civil servants and another for rehiring officers that serve in the court registry?

Let us hope that post-December the Supreme Court’s new leadership will review the courts relationship with the media and the bar and rebuild its self-image as a neutral arbiter of the law as opposed to being a dispenser of morality and populism.

The writer is a lawyer.


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Comments (57) Closed


Khurram
Jul 30, 2013 08:19am

An article which definitely hits a nerve. I am shamed to confess that I supported too, like most people, the restoration of the judge. I am shamed to see the double standards evinced by the dear Justice on matters pertaining to his own self and others. Dispensing justice is one thing, being addicted to cheap publicity is another. The only reason the justice stood up for "justice" was when his own position was threatened, justice was a concept alien to him when he endorsed the PCO or when his son was brought into disrepute with some very palpable evidence. Really if he was a moralist he would not have had brushed his own and household's sins under the carpet.

It is sad since finally Pakistan changing when the court got its independence. It was the surest and fastest way to progress but alas even that is not to be because of the antics of a few men!! May justice be served and be seen to be served. Lets hope that when the press savvy justice retires the post Iftikhar judiciary is more low key and less media savvy.

Muhammad Akbar
Jul 30, 2013 09:03am

Home run Mr. Sattar 'us nay woh kaha jo meeray dil main hay"

Guest63
Jul 30, 2013 12:46pm

Bravo sir , you have hit the nail at the head with your views and questioning , I do hope you last prayer is also answered by the honrable CJP of the post December's ( post Hon Chowdhury) SCP

Fida Ahmed Advocate
Jul 30, 2013 01:01pm

Your other allegations apart, which are equally open to question, the one saying that the Hon'ble SC has appropriated functions of other institutions is far from true. The SC has tried to make sure the rule of law which those institutions did not like. Constitution empowered the SC to make all to abide by the law. Inability of other institutions to perform as per law compelled the Hon'ble Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chauhdary to act as he did. How was the performance of NAB, FIA and other such institutions under the PPP? Are you happy with that? Do you blame PPP for its mega corruptions,or not? Or you think the SC is to blame for that as well? Your 'logic' is really strange. I wish the SC plays the same role vis a vis the PMLN. You always seem to 'enjoy' criticizing SC. Do you want to stop it from eliminating corruption knowing well that we are on the verge of destruction due to it?

abdullah
Jul 30, 2013 01:10pm

Well written. Objective, elements of skepticism and probity in the article. A brave act indeed by Dawn and writer. And i must profess that this is for sure the public opinion of now, as the public continues to observe impartiality in apex court with there prejudiced judgemental hearing.

J Bashir
Jul 30, 2013 02:13pm

Brilliant piece.

As one of the supporters of the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice for his judicial activism, I was impressed by the reasoned arguments of the writer and alarmed at the obvious inconsistencies highlighted.

The recent hastily delivered verdict to change the date for presidential elections is an obvious error and should be challenged. More importantly, the practice of Suo Moto actions should be reviewed. On what basis does the court choose one issue to address and not the other. This appears to be the job of accountabilty bureau/cell, not the apex court. The practice of hasty popular verdicts on the basis of less than rigorous media investigations does not enhance the reputation of the Supreme Court either. There should be a summary lower civil court to deal with fraud and other financial irregularities, leaving the apex court free to concentrate on more important constitutional cases and appeals. Finally, the writer makes a very important point of universal accountability, including the courts.

The perception of justice is equally important as the justice itself and a perception of arrogance is deeply corrosive to the long term reputation of the court

Javed Iqbal Butt
Jul 30, 2013 02:14pm

We have become a nation of champions of critics of everything & anything, Supreme court is a faint ray of hope among political personalities,anchors & some V VIPs real or imagined I rather err with the judges than the judged. I would like to see good in all, I would like to see the whole country as safe,secure & fridges stocked like that of Raiwind-Jati umra,Naudero,& Nine Zero Our Martyrs past & present did not loose their lives for the benefit of the few.

MariaM.
Jul 30, 2013 03:17pm

Bravo! A very well analyzed article. Very courageous too, considering the possible professional repercussions for the writer.

Imran
Jul 30, 2013 04:36pm

Brilliant piece, spot on

Waqar Rana
Jul 30, 2013 04:57pm

I am glad that our friend Babar Sattar has found the way to the truth. All what is happening around and in the Supreme Court in a way vindicates the history particularly the events of 9 March 2007. He should also show the courage to admit that his uncle Mr Justice Ramday was the one man who brought the worthy Chief Justice back to his office through his famous judgement of 20 July 2009 and who still enjoys large clout in the Supreme Court and the buildings around it.

Saleem
Jul 30, 2013 05:42pm

Very well written. The current judgement of SC on GST was also wrong. However, we must not be disppointed as we are in the very early phase of democracy and it will take time for institutions to find a balance. Media is no exception as many stories are published with authors having no clue of the subject

Shoaib Mir
Jul 30, 2013 06:04pm

Babar Sattar has put it in a nutshell. Period.

Amir Khan
Jul 30, 2013 10:06pm

I agree. The EOBI case is a perfect example where the Supreme Court has become a trial court. The FIA is having a field day extorting large sums for their selection of words that are being used on reports for the Supreme Court. This being the highest Court of law and also a trial Court means that anyone accused(abused) cannot appeal and the FIA investigating officers can and are extorting large sums of money to show deals done with EOBI as right and wrong! Shame on the SC.

Amir Khan
Jul 30, 2013 10:11pm

Just as an addition to the earlier comment. I believe the SC lost all its credibility when Justice Khawaja very hastily let the Chief Justice's son off the hook without much of an investigation and frankly nothing will come out of the EOBI case.

Nadeem Abbas
Jul 30, 2013 10:43pm

Class! I am impressed.

Nadeem Abbas
Jul 30, 2013 10:50pm

@Fida Ahmed Advocate: What about Arsalan Iftikhar's corruption? Look at the speedy trials of their desired cases vis-a-vis ever pending low impact public cases. Have the courage to stand up for the courageous who wrote the article or is this some professional jealousy ? :P No harsh feelings.

Sikander Mirza
Jul 30, 2013 11:59pm

@Khurram: Agree 100% with the article and views of the writer. Hope the judges of court no.1 read and try to be more balanced and not react to every news written by a set of journalists with their own agendas.

danial tariq
Jul 30, 2013 11:59pm

As said in Kamran Khan show aswel, the points identified do look right so an experienced commission of the best lawyers from the country should be set up, only to further strengthen the institution of justice. In this country, we do have people who might use this media argument to their advantage.

Aftab Kenneth Wilson
Jul 31, 2013 01:27am

This is straight talk. Voice of the majority. What will happen if he is given further extension? He looks like a wild goose whom no one can catch. Babar, you have done which others failed to pen down. I would also thank Dawn news paper to publish the truth..

Yasir
Jul 31, 2013 01:47am

Absolutely mind blowing genius

aamir
Jul 31, 2013 01:48am

@Fida Ahmed Advocate: when will SC deliver justice in the case of Arsalan Iftikhar? or is he Sadiq and Ameen just like our honourable CJ? you sure seem like CJ's pithoo.. shame on you

aamir
Jul 31, 2013 01:56am

Forgot to mention that I truely hate this narcissistic love relationship between Media and CJ. Media praises him and in return, CJ praises media. CJ also sent flowers to Hamid Mir when he staged that drama of being attacked by Taliban. Was just wondering if CJ sent flowers to IK when he fell of the lift? Can we imagine a suo moto notice taken on defaults of Jang Group? ofcourse not, what am I thinking

Naushad Shafkat
Jul 31, 2013 02:34am

It seems Mr. Babar has taken leave from his profession - at least until December. What bothers one is why has it taken so long to speak out against this attitude since it is now being said that this has been going on since the 'restoration'? I know Mr. Babar has always been outspoken but not like he is now. Each instance quoted by Mr. Babar is spot-on but there is a much larger issue at stake; who will set aside the almost fatal damage done to our legal structure - our jurisprudence? And how long will it take to bring back some sanity to our judicial system? One is tempted to ask these questions because in our country, unfortunately, it is not easy to set aside wrongs committed for selfish ends. The Blasphemy laws and the judicial murder of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto come instantly to mind. And then the murder of judicial axioms; any man can now be condemned unheard, one can now make the Chief Justice's residence the Head Office of a limited company and be exempt from scrutiny by the Tax or any other authority. On the other hand it is difficult to fathom the reasons for the optimism (and prayer I must add) of Mr. Babar that things would get better post December. Many of the legally bankrupt decisions on highly important issues were taken by the full court with not even a separate note by a single judge what to speak of a dissenting note! Yes not a single judge had even a slightly different view of the law even while reaching the same conclusion. Reminds one of the day when General Zia the hypocrite, allowed judges to wear Sherwanis (to show the people that they would get 'Islamic Justice") as court dress. Next day DAWN had a front page picture of Chief Justice Sindh High Court Mr. Justice Abdul Hayee Qureshi alongwith all his fellow judges standing on the steps of the High Court Building attired in Sherwanis. A senior lawyer made an apt comment on seeing the picture; "Abdul Hayee Qureshi and Hamnawa." Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry will go down as the most morally corrupt judge (remember his swearing on The Quran when he was hearing the case of his own son to justify his sitting on the bench), the most publicity hungry judge (decisions were scheduled to be announced at 3 p.m. were finally announced around 10 p.m. and all the while we were forced to bear live media coverage) and the judge whose judgments will be quoted as examples of how not to write judgments! It will take a revolutionary judge to set things right. Alas we have none in sight.

Adal Pasand
Jul 31, 2013 03:30am

A brilliant commentary on the reality of our justice system by a brilliant Babar Sattar. It is breath of fresh air when at least one from the black coat fraternity has the guts to point out the failings of our judiciary. Bravo Babar Sattar! The manifestation of the 'hubris' was at its peak when our tiger CJ announced that he would head the bench hearing his son's case! What arrogance and misplaced confidence in the intelligence, or lack of, of the nation, that he has vowed to serve justice!! I am glad someone could force him to let better sense prevail. If more people do not stand up to this ill conceived justice system, no government will be able to deliver anything to us- the people. A large part of the failure of the previous government can be attributed to unnecessary interference of the judiciary. We cannot take away the discretionary powers of the brilliant people the government brings in to manage our national assets, just because our 'know all' judiciary finds some law to prevent them from functioning. This judiciary has done damage to its own image by their over zealous activism. I hope the change due in the coming months is able to restore the lost prestige of this eminent institution.

Faraz Ahmed Jan
Jul 31, 2013 03:39am

OMG, doesn't it sound like the letter of Naeem Bukhari in 2007? History has the habit of repeating her self. Valid questions. Nothing has come to conclusion just hue and cry.

Muhammad Muneer Khattak
Jul 31, 2013 03:48am

It was a brilliant and neutral analysis by Babar Sattar Sb. The suggestions gave by him in this piece are no doubt very important.

Ashir
Jul 31, 2013 05:29am

Babar Sattar Advocate! Honestly I have not found such a relevant and apt piece of fact based intellect ever since judiciary started functioning ruthlessly under miso recieved notion of self styled reformer of society. All was done at the behest of media just to earn publicity. You made it feel to every body . Well done and excellent Job!

Abrar Ch
Jul 31, 2013 09:01am

Excellent Article. The biased Chief justice was first exposed openly when he rejected TUQ's petition. it seems we are in phase of judicial martial-law.

Fuad
Jul 31, 2013 10:38am

Readers should keep in mind that Mr. Babar Sattar was the legal advisor to EOBI and morally responsible for rape of an Institution. His critique of the CJ reeks of bias and prejudice.

Raja Rizwan
Jul 31, 2013 11:52am

Well some points are good but don't forget the basic issue, why CJ started taking Suo Mottu actions. It was the corruption & incapability or previous governments (PPP & Pervaiz Musharaf). Previous Governments were just trying to salvage their power and in PPP's case was involved in corruption at all levels. It was not doing its part and Supreme Court started Suo Mottu actions on cases like blatant corruption, Missing persons etc. Some actions were good but some not so good but in general I think the government provided reason to Supreme court to start taking Suo Mottu actions. Regarding Presidential judgement and not taking any action on election fraud, I think Supremet court is at fault and one can always agree or disagree on decisions. But in general Supreme Court's Suo Mottu actions were justified. In a good democracy, government should have taken actions (on corruption allegations, lawlessness) and Suo Mottu were not required but previous governments (especially PPP) were not doing anything except corruption, so it provided reason to the CJ. I think currently CJ is not taking Suo Mottu actions as it is giving time to the new government. One has to give benefit of doubt to both sides. As I said I don't like that Supreme Court is not hearing the case filed by PTI on election rigging, but I don't think all actions that CJ took were wrong as the writer was trying to say. The onus is on previous governments for failing to do anything that was remotely fair to the people so Supreme court stepped in. Even though it was less than ideal for supreme court to step in, but still it was a better option to reign the government. Otherwise who would/should have taken action, military like before? There were so many issues of corruption, lawlessness (missing person) etc that PPP government was involved in and people welcomed when someone took notice of it.... Babar Sattar's point are valid only if he criticize PPP government too and say that they should have done their part & should have taken fair actions on corruption and other charges... I think it was a better scenario that CJ stepped in with Suo Mottu actions, otherwise things would have been even worse. It's hard to imagine that PPP would have done more bad things, but I think it's true, PPP would have done even more bad things for the country had CJ not acted and put a check, some what, on PPP government.....

Muhammad adil
Jul 31, 2013 01:11pm

Very nice baber sattar.you hundred percent right.we appreciate you.keep doing this allaha give you reward.

Dr. Farhan
Jul 31, 2013 01:44pm

You and many more lawyers supported him for his job. At that time you were not aware that hippocrates never turn to Momin? U did wrong and your did just for a single job. Now we are harvesting the crop of your movement.... If Iftakhar Ch is committing any sin they you people are equally responsible for all his sins.

Dr. Farhan
Jul 31, 2013 01:46pm

@Khurram: If you supported then please continue to support him because u did wrong at the revocable stage and to withdraw a support at irrevocable stage, don's t not make any difference.

Naveed Hasan
Jul 31, 2013 03:40pm

You tried to make it heard loud and clear respected Babar Sattar sb, probably asking for another suo-motu? Self righteousness is swallowing us all, be that the courts of justice or a layman of our society. Though the CJP and his MEN came into question by extra-pushing cum phishing of 48-2b. I don't mean that culprits be left alone but the legalities must be adhered to. Who else if not the apex court of the country be looked at then? CJP and his MEN have been intervening on samosas by exercising a MONSTER suo-motu but what did the nation get out of it? We have been hurled deeper into despair. The only hope SCP has died down long ago and faded away from the hearts of every single person who has a bit of sense and uses it reasonably. Thanks DAWN for publishing this article. Buck up Bahar Sattar sb.

Abu Saad Malik
Jul 31, 2013 03:49pm

Bravo Sir' "KHAIR HOU AAP KI" Sub kuch kah dala.Zong ka ad tou nahin dekh liya tha article likney sey pehley k "Sub Kah Dou." jokes apart Sir you have highlighted a major issue which must be resolved on priority for the betterment of Judiciary, my beloved country Pakistan and so call "Jumhooriyat" which still needs to grow.May Allah bless you for your courage.

Naushad Shafkat
Jul 31, 2013 04:40pm

It seems Mr. Babar has taken leave from his profession - at least until December. What bothers one is why has it taken so long to speak out against this attitude since it is now being said that this has been going on since the 'restoration'? I know Mr. Babar has always been outspoken but not like he is now. Each instance quoted by Mr. Babar is spot-on but there is a much larger issue at stake; who will set aside the almost fatal damage done to our legal structure - our jurisprudence? And how long will it take to bring back some sanity to our judicial system? One is tempted to ask these questions because in our country, unfortunately, it is not easy to set aside wrongs committed for selfish ends. The Blasphemy laws and the judicial murder of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto come instantly to mind. And then the murder of judicial axioms; any man can now be condemned unheard, one can now make the Chief Justice's residence the Head Office of a limited company and be exempt from scrutiny by the Tax or any other authority. On the other hand it is difficult to fathom the reasons for the optimism (and prayer I must add) of Mr. Babar that things would get better post December. Many of the legally bankrupt decisions on highly important issues were taken by the full court with not even a separate note by a single judge what to speak of a dissenting note! Yes not a single judge had even a slightly different view of the law even while reaching the same conclusion. Reminds one of the day when General Zia the hypocrite, allowed judges to wear Sherwanis (to show the people that they would get 'Islamic Justice") as court dress. Next day DAWN had a front page picture of Chief Justice Sindh High Court Mr. Justice Abdul Hayee Qureshi alongwith all his fellow judges standing on the steps of the High Court Building attired in Sherwanis. A senior lawyer made an apt comment on seeing the picture; "Abdul Hayee Qureshi and Hamnawa." Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry will go down as the most morally corrupt judge (remember his swearing on The Quran when he was hearing the case of his own son to justify his sitting on the bench), the most publicity hungry judge (decisions were scheduled to be announced at 3 p.m. were finally announced around 10 p.m. and all the while we were forced to bear live media coverage) and the judge whose judgments will be quoted as examples of how not to write judgments! It will take a revolutionary judge to set things right. Alas we have none in sight.

Shahzad Sadiq
Jul 31, 2013 04:45pm

Very well written Sir Sattar - No doubt Supreme court has lost its credibility, especially after these elections. They were well exposed by rejecting the petition of Dr. Tahir ul Qadri against ECP.

kashif
Jul 31, 2013 09:18pm

what an article...!! marvelous sir...!

dr mustafa
Aug 01, 2013 12:09am

Excellent article good job some one courage to spoke against C J

dr mustafa
Aug 01, 2013 12:13am

Excellent article good job

Javed Iqbal
Aug 01, 2013 12:23am

A very candid and apt analysis. It is so unfotunate that we expect to find angels in our morally rotten society. How can u have honest and just judges when u have corruption and injustice all around in our society. We have to be honest and just ourselves and then we can expect justice from custodians of justice.

Umair Alam
Aug 01, 2013 01:50am

Mr. Sattar has drawn a neutral image of the policies of Supreme Court under the leadership of CJ Iftikhar Chaudhary. Though the media reports are not considered evidence in courts but the present sitution of Media and SC relationship is pathetic. Interfernece in the matters of executive is too much. SC has moved out of its jurisdiction. Instead of interpretating the constitution, SC has decided to rule over the other two pillars of state. Its good that the apex court is strict in its decisions but it should be neutral.

Umair Alam
Aug 01, 2013 01:50am

Mr. Sattar has drawn a neutral image of the policies of Supreme Court under the leadership of CJ Iftikhar Chaudhary. Though the media reports are not considered evidence in courts but the present sitution of Media and SC relationship is pathetic. Interfernece in the matters of executive is too much. SC has moved out of its jurisdiction. Instead of interpretating the constitution, SC has decided to rule over the other two pillars of state. Its good that the apex court is strict in its decisions but it should be neutral.

Rais
Aug 01, 2013 05:02am

Babar Sattar is spot on here. It is very fair and balanced analysis. I worry about the intellectual level of the CJ and whether he has the capacity to understand such a high quality critique. I suspect that his Registrar will tell him " Sir Ji, Babar is writing against you in an English Akhbar".

Amjad Rafi Khagga
Aug 01, 2013 08:33am

Sir you made a good analysis, now let me make a conclusion: 1- that court must follow rules of the game that means rule of law in letter and spirit. 2- law should always and everywhere be (equally) applicable to everyone (no exception, no exemption) unless otherwise stated in law itself. ????? ??????? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???

A.M. Awan
Aug 01, 2013 03:38pm

Whatever is written is a truth and nothing but the truth. Keep it up.

A.M. Awan
Aug 01, 2013 03:49pm

Whatever is written is a truth and is nothing but the truth. But the question is whether there is anybody ready to hear it?

Mashiqkhan
Aug 01, 2013 06:04pm

Very well written though too late. Impartial judiciary and free and fare elections were the hopes of poor masses for their betterment. Unfortunately we are loosing hopes which in return is creating Intelectual space for Talibanisation, which is sad and dangerous too. We have to correct this trend.

Mohammad Azhar Siddique
Aug 01, 2013 06:29pm

Dear Baber,

Your Article is ill founded and based on misinterpretation of law. Before a Petition in a Supreme Court only Election Commission of Pakistan was party and under the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 under Article 41 read with Second Schedule and Part VIII of the Constitution, Commission is charged with the duty to hold elections to the seat of President of Pakistan and nobody had the power to alter/amend the Schedule of Elections. Supreme Court upon application of an elector with the sanction of Commission and revised the Schedule. Mr. Sattar knows the date of hearing, all political parties, Ms. Asma Jahangir and every street hawker knows the date of hearing and had the authority to approach the SC as intervenor. Even after the decision of 24th October, when decision of SC was announced, nobody had filed the nomination papers, so on that date nobody was effected. Thereafter the candidate had the authority to file a Review, Intra Court Appeal to amend/vary or rescind the orders.

This is another aspect that your the counsel of EOBI and had some personal gains. Be aware to discus the issues in which you don't have any direct nexus.

Please withdraw your ill-founded views, in public interest and tender apology to the Nation.

Umair Alam
Aug 01, 2013 06:49pm

Neutral --- Good Opinion. Today, media and court is calling Mr. Sattar an advocate of EOBI. This things prove Mr. Sattar's words in his opinion that there is two-way demand-supply relationship between media and court.

Omar
Aug 01, 2013 07:01pm

wow Babar:)

Jamil
Aug 01, 2013 08:43pm

@Naushad Shafkat: Excellent analysis, couldnt agree more

Omar
Aug 01, 2013 09:13pm

An excellent article. As I read it, it occurred to me, will the author be accused of contempt? No superior court in the Commonwealth (that describes itself as democratic and based on the rule of law, and separation of powers) does this. Pakistan may have many problems and its politicians may be lamentable, but that does not excuse the approach of the court. One of the likely problems and consequences of itsapproach (there are many), is that eventually it will do something 'wrong' in the eyes of those whom it seeks to 'please'. What then? Hardly worth thinking about. I suspect Pakistan will have another government-parliamentary-judicial clash: the previous Nawaz Sharif-Supreme Court will seem like a tea party in comparison.

chali
Aug 01, 2013 10:30pm

It was a brilliant and neutral analysis by Babar Sahibb.

MoidK
Aug 02, 2013 12:32am

Interesting. When the suo motu action involves Defense Housing Authority all hell breaks out and media joins the battle against judiciary.

Fatima
Aug 02, 2013 02:13am

This is a remarkable piece.

Hamza khan
Aug 02, 2013 03:01am

The selective justice being meted out to general Musharraf by our esteemed SC is sufficient even for a fool to realize that our judges are no good. Since this 'azaad adliya' came back it has done nothing to ameliorate the poor mans condition. Grind the axe seems to be the modus operandii. Glad more ppl realizing, albeit 6 yrs too late. If only we had listened to Musharraf back then and not aitzaz ahsan.