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Senators accuse judiciary of eroding parliament’s power

Published Oct 08, 2012 09:22pm


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A view of the Senate in Islamabad. — File photo

ISLAMABAD, Oct 8: Senators criticised on Monday directives of the Election Commission to parliamentarians to sign fresh declarations about their nationality in line with the Supreme Court’s decision and termed it part of “a systematic plan to ridicule politicians and erode parliament’s authority”.

A number of senators, mostly from the ruling coalition, during their fiery speeches on the opening day of the session, attacked the judiciary and accused it of “encroaching upon parliament’s domain”.

The harshest criticism on the judiciary and the EC came from Senator Farhatullah Babar, who is also spokesman for President Asif Ali Zardari.

Speaking on a point of order, Mr Babar questioned under what law the MPs were being directed to file fresh declarations since they had already submitted these at the time of elections.

“If the declaration already signed is proved wrong, the legislator concerned must be punished in accordance with law but it is not lawful to ask all MPs to submit fresh declarations and that too in a humiliating manner,” he said.

He said the EC through the letter had asked the Senate secretary to summon the members individually in his office to get signature on the affidavit, verify it and then get it re-verified by a notary public.

He criticised the Supreme Court for overturning the ruling of the National Assembly speaker in the case of disqualification of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

He said on one hand the SC annulled the contempt of court law enacted by parliament and on the other hand it had resurrected the law given by military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf.

He said that parliament never had criticised the judiciary as an institution just because some of them had taken oath under the PCO. Similarly, he said, parliament should not be ridiculed for the wrong done by some of its members.

Hitting out at the chief justice, Mr Babar said the legislators did not raise the question of Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, allegedly involved in a bribe scam.

“We did not raise it and will not raise in parliament the question whether the honourable CJ knew about Arsalan’s activities,” he said.

“The parliament must wake up. We must stand up and say enough is enough,” he said.

Senator Saeed Ghani of PPP said the judges were not ready to accept recommendations of the parliamentary committee formed under the 18th Amendment for appointment of judges in the superior courts.

He suggested dissolution of the committee, if the appointments of the judges were to be made by the judges themselves.

Senator Kamil Ali Agha of PML-Q said that verification of declarations submitted by candidates at the time of elections was responsibility of the EC.


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Comments (6) Closed

Michael Malcolm Oct 09, 2012 07:02am
Parliament is not supreme but Supreme Court is Supreme and that is why it is called SUPREME COURT to correct and disregard or overrule any such matters that is not within the constitution and is not in the interest of the country.Same ruling within the jurisdiction of EC can ask for re-submission and declaration from members of the Parliament.
ramshankerdubey Oct 09, 2012 02:16pm
senators are crossing their limits and ignoring the house that is why court is bound to decide the matters. Not only pakistan, india is also passing through this phase, politicians must follow the the dignity of the house and public wishes
Saadia Oct 09, 2012 08:02pm
Shame on us who have chosen such a bunch of illiterates to rule us. Its not their fault as its their caliber , Its our fault who have elected these parasites.
Cyrus Howell Oct 09, 2012 03:24pm
Nothing will ever be accomplished in Pakistan if these senators don't stop spending all their time tripping each other in the aisles and laughing.
khan Oct 09, 2012 01:12pm
Michael I dont know your place of origin, but you seem to be a open-eyed and sensible observer.
Ali Abbas Oct 10, 2012 03:35pm
Current parlaiment has been most productive parliament in our history. It has passed many land mark laws and mostly with consensus. You are free to have your opinion but try to have an objective analysis of the current parliament. You cant deny record.