Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. — File photo

ISLAMABAD, July 26: Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan sharply reacted on Thursday to remarks made by some Supreme Court judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, about opposition’s role in parliament during the adoption of a bill to amend the contempt of court law and said the observations were “disappointing, unfair, unjust and beyond comprehension”.

“The honourable judges venting their feelings against the opposition should enlighten us where exactly the opposition erred in coming up to their expectations,” a statement issued by the PML-N leader from London said.

Chaudhry Nisar expressed the hope that the judges would “review” their comments. “Such sweeping and one-sided statements do not strengthen the dignity of the Supreme Court nor do they ensure fairness and justice in an environment where justice is the need of the hour.”

He said: “While making these observations, the honourable judges should also have the trouble to elaborate how the opposition with 90 members in a house of 342 could have stopped the passage of the bill short of snatching it from the minister’s hands and creating a violent scene.”

He particularly “expressed his amazement” at the reported comments of a judge that the opposition had violated the people’s mandate by staging walkout.“How can such a statement be made about a party which has over the years often single-handedly raised aloft the banner for a free judiciary and rule of law in Pakistan?”

He said the PML-N being the only opposition party not only “stood steadfast against the government’s efforts to amend the contempt law but used every political, legal and parliamentary avenue to prevent the government from bulldozing the bill through the assembly”.

While hearing 27 identical petitions challenging the Contempt of Court Act, 2012, the Supreme Court had observed on Wednesday that the opposition should have resisted the passage of the law in parliament instead of walking out.

The chief justice, who is heading the five-judge bench, said the opposition should have stayed in parliament to resist the ruling party’s move.

“Have you ever heard of a walkout from the US Congress; what kind of conduct is this,” Justice Tasaddaq Hussain Jilani said.

Justice Khilji Arif Hussain went to the extent of describing walkouts as an injustice with the electorate.

“Our members made speeches, filibustered, protested, shouted and did everything short of taking up bamboo sticks in their hands to prevent the passage of the bill,” the opposition leader said.

“If the government, having the support of over 200 members, is hell-bent on bulldozing a bill at all costs, there is little the opposition can do more than walking out.

“For the information of honourable judges, walkout is the ultimate and most extreme form of dissent in parliamentary practice.

In most developed countries the government does not carry out legislation in the absence of the opposition,” he said.

The PML-N leader explained that the opposition had no option but to walk out and disassociate itself from the “entire unethical exercise” when the government was not willing to give time to it for normal discussion on the bill and was insisting on passing it the same day through its brute majority. “By all parliamentary and democratic standards, legislation carried out in the absence of the opposition is more questionable and controversial than legislation bulldozed in the presence of the opposition in a house,” he said.

“For honourable judges to pass sarcastic and less than accurate comments over the walkout without understanding parliamentary norms and practices is not only unfair and unjust, but also beyond comprehension.”

Chaudhry Nisar said that in an environment where the government was engaged in single-minded propaganda against the judiciary for interfering and trying to manage everything under the sun, “these comments by the judges will play right into its hands”.

More From This Section

SC has learnt to bolster democracy, says chief justice

Authority of SC may be extended to a number of areas from which it has historically maintained a distance, said CJ.

Quetta violence claims at least four lives

Armed militants killed a police officer and critically injured his son on Quetta's troubled Sariab road area.

Musharraf likely to travel to Karachi today

Sources said Musharraf's likely visit to Karachi is on account of security issues and to continue of his treatment.

Nation standing firm beside armed forces: PM

The prime minister was addressing the passing out parade of the 129th Pakistan Military Academy Long Course on Saturday.

Comments are closed.

Comments (36)

July 27, 2012 1:21 pm
I think opposition did not protest at all, it just supportted that bill but in a non conventional manner
azmat Shah
July 27, 2012 11:25 am
I think the Supreme Court’s remarks are justified in a way that it sees Walkout to be tantamount to abstaining from a vote. Now abstaining does not necessarily mean that you disagree with the Bill but can well be because of political expediency, similar to the one showed by our great Mualana sahib when he abstained from voting to elect the new prime minister- keeping the PPP and his voters both happy at the same time. N League should have casted the vote against the bill instead of abstaining to document their oppositions to the bill
July 27, 2012 6:54 am
Opposition should have stayed in and recorded NO against the Vote rather than helping the Governments job by walking Out.
July 27, 2012 9:59 am
SC is going beyond its limits. It has no business to tell the opposition how they should do their work in this regard. Ch Nisar's response is well justified
July 27, 2012 7:27 am
hahahaha... the same judges have been hounding PPP and you people were rejoicing, and now just a few comments (not verdicts) and you are feeling the pain... have fun man, and stand by the Supreme Court ..
Abdul Waheed
July 27, 2012 8:19 am
It recalls the attack on SC by Nawaz League when Nawaz was summoned by SC of Justice Sajjad Ali Shah on a notice of Contempt. There is marked difference between the behaviour / reaction of PPP and Nawaz League. PPP has been accepting all humiliation by SC with patience and tolerance even the humiliation of their Prime Minister and Speaker National Assembly but only light remarks of judges infuriated Ch Nisar. What reaction is expected from Nawaz Leaguers if the same such of humiliation being done to PPP is done to Nawaz Leaguers.
July 27, 2012 11:47 am
Iftikhar chaudry (probably no supreme court) will never go against PML(N) as both swim in the same river and are fed by the same hands.
July 27, 2012 12:07 pm
DEAR NISAR nobody can speak against supreme court. it means contempt. SC IS SUPREME, MIND YOU
July 28, 2012 12:51 pm
Agree. But he made sure that the bill of immunity is passed and can now do anything. Simply brilliant :)
Siddique Malik
July 27, 2012 2:08 pm
A great comment! Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
July 27, 2012 1:50 pm
“How can such a statement be made about a party which has over the years often single-handedly raised aloft the banner for a free judiciary and rule of law in Pakistan?” Same dialogs as like PPP i.e. when these parties are on the receiving end they claim to freed the judiciary & rule of law secondly they want discrimination on basis of their 'efforts' not realizing that there is no license for doing wrong thing or to have immunity once you have done a good deed. Here PML-N allegedly opposing the contempt law & battling against 'ruthless immunity' just in JAZBAAT showed their hunger for same....................
July 27, 2012 10:15 am
Judges should only be heard through their judgments. It does not behove them to make political statements, comment on parliament or policy or to appear partisan in any way. They should be indifferent to anything but the Law.
July 27, 2012 10:15 am
I agree with Ch. Nisar. Opposition with just 90 cant do anything to stop the bill. So walkout is the best option in retaliation to the unjust bill brought by the govt parties.
July 27, 2012 6:47 am
very nice observation one should tell Nisar sb. that opposition should follow Supreme Court injuntions with all heart and soul anything like this is contempt.
July 27, 2012 8:41 am
Mr Nisar is amazing. He is trying to remind judiciary that as we helped you so dont point fingers towards us. I believe that Judges are absolutely right in making this remark. Over the time PMLN has staged walkout on all occassions when a controversial bill is on table, making it just more easy for the government to pass. PMLN is also supporting government by doing so. I must say we dont have opposition at all.
July 27, 2012 8:23 am
Calm down nisar. You don't know what is usual in parliament.don't retaliate to judges the are your savior and you guys gained from them politically and high jacked lawyers movement
July 27, 2012 8:34 am
People who live by the judiciary's sword will die by the judiciary's sword one day. To weaken the PPP, if PML-N barters away all the power and dignity of the parliament, the speaker, the PM and the President, come 2013 and when they are the ruling party, all these shortsighted actions will come home to haunt them!
July 27, 2012 8:45 am
Walkout is acceptance of the bill!!!!
July 27, 2012 5:57 am
Chaudhry Nisar in London, to watch Olympics Opening Ceremonies at exchequer's expense. Walk out from Pak assembly and run a marathon in London.
Iftikhar Husain
July 27, 2012 11:13 am
I agree with all the comments made by the people that opposition did not protest strongly.
akhter husain
July 27, 2012 7:46 am
Walk outs are part of the game,accepted.What about lashing out judges for their normal remarks?Friendly.
umer bhatti advocate
July 27, 2012 7:47 am
According to my perception firstly it is the duty of the opposition party to make healthy debate over any of the issue or bill which is presented in to the parliament for its formation.if the opposition party will sustain the habit of walking out from the house then every such kind of erronious and unjustifiable laws shall be passed without hesitation and bothering towards the will of people as well as the consultation needed through opposition. ( Umer Rafiq Bhatti....Advocate)
July 27, 2012 6:22 am
Ch Nisar Sahib everybody knows that PML N and PPP are in behind the scene cooperating fully to protect Punjab Government and Central Govt. You scratch my back I scratch your back........ both PPP PMLN are protecting each other for the sake of clinching to power in Punjab and center... call spade a spade
Ijaz Ahmad
July 27, 2012 6:27 am
I wonder what will happen if the same judges ever ruled anything against the Opposition, be it legal or moral?
July 27, 2012 9:01 am
I guess Ch. Nisar will now walk out of London in protest of these remarks....................NAAAAaaa....neeeever gonna leave London.
July 27, 2012 9:24 am
well done, Honorable SC Judges, Don't spare anyone, above all, Almighty ALLAH is with you and the whole nation stands with you. I am not in fact can never be a supporter of PPP led government but, Dear Ch. Nisar whenever SC passes some judgement against either the PPP government or any PPP individual and if he/they try opposing it you and your party threatened walkouts and a long march.
July 27, 2012 9:31 am
Ch.Nisar Ali performance as Leader of Opposition has been disappointing.All along he has been acting in a manner which ensured the continuation of Punjab govt.PML Nand PPP are engaged in famous NOORA WRESTLING SHOW in order to keep the people engrossed in their so called political show.Any remarks from wise people like Honourable judges of SC do not amuse them and they do not accept them in positive manner.How long this show should contnue. It is a question we all have to answer.
Sh Jawid-ur-Rahman,
July 27, 2012 9:52 am
Syed Ahmed
July 27, 2012 2:56 pm
Apprently it is.
July 27, 2012 3:30 pm
Walk out is simply a way of giving up fight. We in Pakistan are not taught to fight our rights but to give in.
ali abbas
July 27, 2012 3:34 pm
Typical paranoid Pakistani thought process. Always looking for behind the doors conspiracies.
anwaar zeb
July 27, 2012 7:48 pm
our apex court has become used to pass unnecessary comments since its restoration. Passing comments is not Judges job. Just focus on speedy trials and verdicts.
July 27, 2012 9:05 pm
It looks that judges of S.C. in Pakistan are more interested in passing the remarks on other peoples job than doing their own job which is only to dispense justice in the limits of law made by people's representatives.
July 28, 2012 4:51 am
Nissar has just committed contempt of court?
gran badshah
July 28, 2012 5:51 am
Opposition..... but where is it? It;s been always the "rule " of a few people over majority ... so these " fe" ones can't oppose one another in the real sense .. They just waiting for their own" turn" now to rule ...the country and masses . and that's it.
Muhammad Alvi
July 27, 2012 7:51 am
I am always in favor of independence and supremacy of SC, but it's remarks about the Opposition are not understood. How could the Opposition help by staying and opposing the bill? Walking out is a bad practice, but that's what they have been doing in Pakistan.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
From The Newspaper