ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said he always had deepest regard and great admiration for the superior judiciary since the acceptance of their decisions with an open heart was the only course to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions.

The prime minister made these remarks during his meeting with Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawaid Khan.

The AGP briefed the prime minister about the significance of a number of pending cases, including the April 14 proceedings before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to consider should the council drop or proceed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa against the backdrop of the 164-page findings by Commissioner Inland Revenue and International Taxes Zone Zulfiqar Ahmed, imposing tax liability against Sarina Isa, the wife of Justice Isa, for three offshore properties in UK.

The prime minister praised the role played by the judiciary in ensuring fundamental rights of the citizens and said he was thankful to the judiciary for the guidance through decisions that helped the government in setting right its course towards development, the AGP quoted the prime minister as saying.

Praises its role for ensuring fundamental rights of citizens

It is incumbent upon everyone to show respect for the judiciary whether the decision rendered was in favour or against, the prime minister observed.

The March 25 Supreme Court verdict also came under discussion during the meeting in which the court had ordered restoration of the local government institutions in the Punjab after declaring their dissolution unconstitutional.

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, a three-judge Supreme Court had issued the directions on a petition moved by Asad Ali Khan through his counsel Mohammad Nawazish Ali Pirzada challenging the dissolution of the local governments with a plea that the elected LG members were entitled to complete their term on Dec 31, 2021.

Since the 2017 census has already been approved by the Council of Common Interest (CCI) on Monday, it is expected that the exercise to conduct the delimitation of the constituencies in Punjab has to commence as early as possible.

But a source told Dawn that the Punjab government may prefer institution of a review petition before the Supreme Court against the March 25 order.

A number of revenue and price related matters which were pending before the Supreme Court also came under discussion as the review petitions before the 10-judge bench against the June 19, 2020, judgment in the Justice Isa case.

Moreover, cases related to petitions moved by PPP stalwart Farhatullah Babar, right activists Afrasiab Khattak, Bushra Gohar and Rubina Saigol challenging the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Action in Aid of Civil Powers Ordinance 2019 and federal government’s appeal against the Oct 17, 2018, Peshawar High Court (PHC) declaration of the ordinance as ultra vires were also discussed. Also, the federal government’s appeal against Peshawar High Court’s declaration of the ordinance as ultra vires besides holding illegal the KP continuation of laws in the erstwhile Fata and Pata Act 2018 were discussed.

Justice Isa on April 4 while hearing a case had ordered the registrar of the Supreme Court to solicit directions from the chief justice and club cases relating to erstwhile Fata and Pata so that it should be decided together.Similarly, a set of appeals challenging the Jan 13, 2020, Lahore High Court (LHC) ruling of declaring as unconstitutional the decision of awarding capital punishment to former president Pervez Musharraf by a special court also came under discussion.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2021

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