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Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The top judge of Pakistan Saturday took a suo motu notice of the last-minute legislation by the outgoing governments in Sindh and at the centre, in which they declared a lifetime of perks and privileges for certain government dignitaries, DawnNews reported.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry also has taken notice of an unprecedented security protocol being provided to ex-prime ministers and issued a notice to the Attorney General of Pakistan in this regard.

In a last-minute hurried legislation, the Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition governments in Sindh and at the centre, through bills and notices, had declared indefinite supply of perks and allowances for the office bearers of key government posts.

Former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, federal interior minister Rehman Malik, speaker Sindh assembly Nisar Khoro and chief minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah are also summoned, either in person or through a counsel, to appear before the court on April 16.

A Supreme Court bench, headed by the chief justice, will hear the case. The notice was taken on press reports of different newspapers containing the details that just one day before the end of the current National Assembly's term, PM Ashraf issued an order for an “unprecedented security protocol” for himself and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

“Prima facie, it seems that at the cost of public exchequer and in violation of Articles 3, 9, 14 and 25 of the Constitution, the order issued by former Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf and notification dated Mach 14, issued by Interior Ministry are without any lawful authority,” said the chief justice.

“Likewise two amendments made by the Sindh Provincial Assembly extending privileges to the former chief ministers, speakers, deputy speakers and the ministers at the cost of public exchequer being unconstitutional are unwarranted as no law can be promulgated, which is not in consonance with the Constitution,” he added.

The chief justice directed the attorney general, advocate general Sindh and IGP Sindh, to submit para wise comments and state as to whether at the cost of public exchequer the benefits extended to the former Prime Minister etc, can be provided to them by sparing contingent of police as per their choice and desire.

The chief justice also directed the interior secretary and secretary law to place on record copies of orders/notifications issued by the prime minister as well as the interior secretary, noted above.

The chief justice also directed the chief secretary, home secretary as well as secretary law, government of Sindh to submit reply in this regard on Tuesday.

The auditor general and accountant general of Pakistan were also directed to calculate the approximate financial burden, which the nation has to bear if the privileges conferred by the former prime minister upon himself and others as noted above are allowed to continue. – APP/DawnNews

Comments (41) Closed

M J Syed Apr 13, 2013 07:45pm
Thank you CJ. There has to be and end to it
Syed S Shere Apr 13, 2013 07:47pm
The PPP boasts in being a party of the ordinary citizen. ZA Bhutto, when he created this party, never wanted it to become a party of robbers that it has become now. We may now have a proactive CJ, but after he retires the politicians may promote one of their own ilk to watch out for them. History has ample examples of rulers, like in France and Russia of yester years, who were stealing from the masses were thrown out in bloody revolution. The politicians should take heed of the citizens anger before it is too late.
Ravian Apr 13, 2013 07:52pm
They are all sons-of-law of this poor nation and have every right to enjoy the "hospitality" of SUSRAAL.
Ali Apr 13, 2013 07:55pm
Thanks God..I was expecting from Honourable Chief Justice to take notice of the unlawful passing of the declarations just one day before the completion of the tenure of the parliament..
Ali Apr 13, 2013 07:58pm
In fact shame on the politicians who are bent upon the looting of the nation's wealth.....
Naveed Apr 13, 2013 08:03pm
CJ,know your role.... Micro Managing day to day affairs of the country isn't it....
Kamal Apr 13, 2013 08:05pm
Why there was no hue and cry from so called educated, non feudal Pakistani citizens to begin with? Why SC had to take suo motu even in this case? Why self proclaimed progressive parties supported Zardari League and helped them pass this unprecedented legislation?
Naveed Apr 13, 2013 08:06pm
What wealth?
Kamal Apr 13, 2013 08:09pm
You are correct. But this is NOT PPP any more and has nothing to do with ZA Bhutto. A few old faces like Aitzaz and Jahangir Badr from ZA Bhutto era who were then just ordinary party members. This is Zardari League. Gilani was a Zia Minister and comes from feudal Muslim league..same goes for many others. Can we expect better from this ilk?
Immad Apr 13, 2013 08:11pm
Mr Chief Justice are you aware that residence of Nawaz Sharif, the famos 10 star Raiwind Palace woth 10s of billion of rupees, is guarded by 700 elite force members round the clock on public money! Strange you took notice of illegal perks and benefits for so many others but delibrately left Nawaz Sharif!!!
joiya Apr 13, 2013 08:20pm
thses politicians have no repention upon their acts whereas they take pride on such legislation.we are responsible for it bcz we are the people who elect them and send them into assemblies so that they can decide our future fate as they like and wish.but they just address their desires unlike the grievances of masses.we should shut the door of power corridors for them by electing good,righteous and honest it is the high time to play our role as a responsible,sensitive and loyal citizen of this country.
Agha Ata (USA) Apr 13, 2013 08:32pm
If these people are taken to the task, imagine how many times the next outgoing dignitaries would think before robbing the national treasure. Besides the punishment now, none of their children and siblings and their children should ever be given a responsible post in the future. It is hard to believe that they did not carry the germs of this cruel cheap and characterless nature. Let them all suffer for they, too, have caused the suffering of millions.
bkt Apr 13, 2013 08:38pm
The same thing was done by the caretaker Prime/Chief Minister Mr. Soomro when he decided he wanted perks for life, just before the PPP government took power. It is very heartening to see these corrupt acts being challenged and hopefully curtailed.
bkt Apr 13, 2013 08:51pm
It was taken notice of yesterday by the ECP
MMS (USA) Apr 13, 2013 08:55pm
The only reason the CJ took suo motu action is because he was not included in the list of 'hard working' people of Pakistan. Lets see, hmmmm. WIll they get away with it. Yes they will as the CJ will be getting his reward very soon. You see!!! in the rush they forgot to inform him. The only problem is the PPP, PML-N and leaders of the MQM who does not have the courage to come back to Pakistan, have looted the country to a point that there is nothing left to give. By the way, if anyone is listening if I am included in the list I promise to retract everything I have written. This is our little secret. (What a country).
Siddiqi Apr 13, 2013 09:13pm
Why the Election Commission not disqualify from being candidates in the next election ,all those who were part of doing this unlawful act. Why the opposition parties in Federal and Sind assembly not protest ? Do all those deserve getting votes from the public. Election Commeission of Pakistan to act and act NOW. The public do not deserve to get these candidates on the voters list
iqbal Hadi Zaidi Apr 13, 2013 09:34pm
It is our sheer bad luck that our rulers think themselves as our rulers even when they are no more in power otherwise it had not been even thought of what to talk of issuing orders to enjoy perks for life.Truly speaking if rulers had even slightest morality in them then something like had never ever even happened but in our case fools are ruling the fool. I totally disagree with MMS (USA) who imputes that CJP took suo moto because he is not one of those to enjoy lifelong perks. We must be quite judicious in our comments. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait /
Xulf Apr 13, 2013 09:52pm
What do you do? Wait for whom to take any actions these vermin's??
Syed Ahmed Apr 13, 2013 09:53pm
This was very much expected of the CJ and the SC. May Allah bless them all.
Sohrab Apr 13, 2013 09:56pm
Ha Ha...the same CJ whose registrar refused to bring accountability of the supreme court's fiduciary responsibility for discussion to any parliamentary committee. The pot calling the kettle black.
khalil Apr 13, 2013 10:44pm
I salute the CJ. These bandits in suites must be brought to justice.
AAK Apr 13, 2013 10:49pm
What a useless and unfounded comment..Lets atleast appreciate what is right even if it does not get implimented.
AAK Apr 13, 2013 10:53pm
When the governament cannot even macro manage...then CJ has no choice but to micro manage.. What else should be done? leave them to their cooruption???
AAK Apr 13, 2013 10:54pm
The tax payers money..
Naeem Ahmed Apr 13, 2013 11:33pm
By the way Where is the case of CJ's son who took 90 crore from a builder to enjoy life in Europe. Before praising SC some should also write about Junior Iftikhar. Naeem Ahmed
Husain Jan Apr 14, 2013 01:09am
The shameless rulers via their counsels and the Attorney General will try to justify all the illegal privileges but hope the Chief Justice will not succumb to the volley of their arguments and will cancel all...repeat all the notifications in this respect. A little bit of security is ok but all the lifetime privileges must be done away with ...and on immediate basis. The nation would be pleased to hear the good news.
Nasir Mehmood Apr 14, 2013 01:10am
Judiciary has remained the only organ of state taking care of national interest, but it is very unfortunate to say that all time political leaders create mess in the system by introducing such shamful legislation in the parlimant which sole responsibility to protect interest of 18 crore people of pakistn and not a few so called leaders of PPP and coalition. Such disgracing and shamful practices have demoralized the true spirit of democreacy among the public of Pakistan and a big chunk of people say that Musharaf was better than present corrupt democrates. Expression of such remarks at the end of successful five year terms of elected government is very discouraging.
Moiz Apr 14, 2013 01:18am
By the way when CJ is retiring ?. Can he become next President ?
Malik from Australia Apr 14, 2013 02:14am
Good on you, Your Lordship. You have every right and responsibility to take suo muto action against immoral and illegal practices, whether they are micro or macro. Please do not take any notice of your critics. Forget about the establishment, feudal lords, and corrupt politicians. The general public of Pakistan is with you. Please do as much as you can to help Pakistan get back on its feet. May God give you strength and long life.
Zafar Apr 14, 2013 03:12am
Good luck electing righteus people. Such people do not bother to enter in politcs. In wadrra system politics, twent year old boy who spent all his life outside of country gets preferential treatment. Uneducated masses make choices wrong for country.
asim Apr 14, 2013 03:40am
not every one is like you. There are a lot many who will do different what you have said for yourself.
Azhar Apr 14, 2013 05:13am
If all the past CJ's had done their duties like he is then the current CJ did not have to do this all.
Amer Apr 14, 2013 05:33am
Will he be brave enough to take notice of the similar perks enjoyed by the real rulers the generals? I don't think so.
Anwar Qureshi Apr 14, 2013 07:37am
The act of bestowing uncalled for perks and privileges by the outgoing top functionaries and ex-parliamentarians is prima facie robbing the public exchequer. The Supreme Court of Pakistan should also take into account the similar act of Speaker of the National Assembly; the lady seems to be arrogant and holding herself unaccountable to the Returning Officers. For this uncalled for and unjustified plundering of the national wealth, all the concerned politicians must be disqualified and banned to take part in the national or provincial politics and to hold any public office. All these corrupt politicians were ameliorating their poverty instead of the poor general masses. It is suggested that the Supreme Court of Pakistan should place these politicians names on Zakat Fund and Benazir Income Support Fund!!!
Amanullah Apr 14, 2013 09:14am
CJ is just one bit of hope and has done a great job in his individual capacity but the fate of nation cannot change unless Pakis people in masses do not change their behavior and have the courage to stand head-on against evil people in rule in all spheres of life be it judiciary, police, bureaucrats, politicians etc............i heard yesterday the biggest culprits are bureaucrats however there is no mention of these people anywhere in the media and these beucrates are the masterminds of what we see in the form politicians.
Bashir Apr 14, 2013 01:53pm
Well done, CJ. You are the only one bringing such people to task. Laton Kay bhoot baton say nahi mantay. This time put the govt officials behind the bars also. They are the tools of such corrupt people
Bashir Apr 14, 2013 01:56pm
Absurd thought
Azhar Apr 14, 2013 11:57pm
Correction. This was no ordinary builder. He tried to buy the CJ by showering the son with gratifications. Did'nt the CJ took suo muto action on that as well. It was a shameful attempt to malign the integrity of this CJ who refused to sell himself to Asif Zardari.
Naseem Altaf Apr 15, 2013 03:11am
Sure these self-serving individuals deserve all our contempt .They proved themselves to be the scum of earth. But how can we ask the Election Commission to disqualify them ,under what law. There is no law on the books of statutes covering this disgusting activity. Voters are the real authority, under the present circumstances, to reject them and boot them out of assemblies. I mean to suggest that despite your very justified indignation ,we must play by the rules,and follow the system.(Next try to improve and upgrade the system through your elected representatives)
Naseem Altaf Apr 15, 2013 03:18am
True, but still such shameful self-indulgence by the governing elite has to be challenged. Better it should be done by the electorate ;but till then the superior judiciary will have to carry the burden.
Bilal Apr 15, 2013 10:08am
It is perhaps not related to lack of bravery, but rather "clear understanding" that he will be booted out if he meddles with armed forces bigwigs....