Kurd unhappy over SC verdict on NRO

Published December 23, 2009

The judgment appeared to be based on newspaper headlines and talk shows of private TV channels: Ali Ahmed Kurd.—P
The judgment appeared to be based on newspaper headlines and talk shows of private TV channels: Ali Ahmed Kurd.—Photo by APP
ISLAMABAD Ali Ahmed Kurd, the firebrand leader of the lawyers' movement and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, who has been keeping quiet for quite some time, surprised a lot of people on Tuesday with his blunt criticism of the way the Supreme Court was behaving. Judges should “behave like judges”, he said.

Speaking during a talk show on “Challenges facing the judiciary”, he said that people had reservations about the verdict handed down by the Supreme Court on petitions challenging the National Reconciliation Ordinance.

According to him, the judgment appeared to be based on newspaper headlines and talk shows of private TV channels.

Mr Kurd said that an independent judiciary had been restored after a great struggle, adding that the country would become stronger if the judiciary acted in the manner expected by the nation during the struggle. “If it does not happen, it will cause a blow to national security.”

He said he had been invited by various bar councils after the restoration of the judiciary, but he preferred to keep quiet. He said he did not attend functions where the chief justice had been invited and quit his practice as a lawyer in the Supreme Court. It was astonishing to see judges visiting bar councils, he added.

Mr Kurd described the National Judicial Policy as detrimental to the judicial system. He pointed out that a deadline of Dec 31 had been set for courts to decide cases. He said the maxim of 'justice hurried is justice buried' would turn out to be true in many cases because these, including cases of murder and dacoity, and the rights of defence and the practice of producing evidence of many people would be compromised due to paucity of time.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Chairperson Asma Jehangir also criticised the Supreme Court's judgment on the NRO and said it appeared to be a decision pronounced by a 'jirga'.

She was of the opinion that the NRO could have been declared null and void by merely declaring it as repugnant to Article 25 of the Constitution, but a Pandora's box had been opened by the court. Syed Iqbal Haider and Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood also spoke on the occasion.

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