LAHORE: Senior lawyer Irfan Qadir, who is also Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability, said on Saturday that the federal government did not want to undermine the judiciary, but rather strengthen the courts to pull the country out of multiple crises.
Mr Qadir’s remarks, made during a press conference at the Governor’s House in Lahore, came at a time when the government is trying to regulate the suo motu powers of the chief justice of Pakistan through legislation.
The government informed the Supreme Court last week that it wanted to harmonise some “overlapping provisions” of the Supreme Court (Practice & Procedure) Act 2023 and the Supreme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Act 2023 — a move welcomed by the top court.
Irfan Qadir says legislation privilege of parliament, not the job of courts
In another case regarding a commission formed to investigate audio leaks, CJP Umar Ata Bandial had remarked that the judiciary and the executive interact with each other, but it should not be done in a secret manner or through coercion, since a transparent manner would be beneficial to both parties.
Apparently referring to laws through which the government tried to regulate the affairs of the top court, Mr Qadir said legislation was the “privilege of parliament and it had nothing to do with the judiciary”. He, however, added that the judiciary had the right to point out whether any section of the law passed by the parliament was not in line with the Constitution.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Qadir said the government wanted to strengthen the courts and hoped that all institutions would work within their limits.
“We want the country to progress and all state institutions should work within their limits,” he said.
He said the “foremost duty of every citizen was to stay loyal to the state and show obedience” to the Constitution and the law.
Every person, he said. was subservient to the law and Constitution.
Speaking about the tenure of the National Assembly, he said the lower house of parliament was going to complete its tenure in August, and then general elections could be held in the country simultaneously.
Mr Qadir also argued that phase-wise elections were not financially feasible.
He said that “personal egos should be set aside and the Constitution should be respected” in the interest of the country.
Speaking about a proposed constitutional court, he said that establishing such a court would clear the backlog of cases and thus make courts efficient.
Some major political cases, as well as special cases, could be tried in the constitutional courts to lessen the burden of courts, he added.
To a question, he said that a judge could be appointed in accordance with the law and the Constitution, and they could be removed through the Supreme Judicial Council as well.—APP
Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2023