Rule of law, supremacy of Constitution to be maintained: CJP

ISLAMABAD: 15 Oct 2010.  Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Friday observed that he pledged to uphold the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution in the country.
A 17-member bench of the apex court is hearing the suo moto notice of news of withdrawing the notification/executive order, dated March 16, 2009, regarding restoration of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, other judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and chief justices/judges of the High Courts.
The CJ lamented that “whenever the court takes up any important case, rumour mills starts running”. “Derogatory remarks have been used against the judiciary, but we are showing patience against it”, the CJ observed. During the hearing, Attorney-General Maulvi Anwarul Haq said the news reports to this effect were baseless and should be investigated. However, the apex court directed the Attorney-General to submit a written statement from the government on the matter. The statement should be signed by the chief executive, the court said. Justice Ramday asked the Attorney General to tell the court how the notification could be withdrawn while Justice Javed Iqbal stated that “we are as much patriotic as those at the helm”. On the other hand, Chairman Supreme Court Bar Association Qazi Anwar stated that judiciary seemed to be on the same position as it was on November 2. He deplored that instead of rooting out the prevalent corruption the rulers are confronting the judiciary and called upon the latter to act sanely in the larger interest of the nation.
Some private TV channel on Thursday alleged that the Government was considering to withdraw the notification/executive order dated March 16, 2009 of restoration of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, other judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and chief justices/judges of the High Courts. Some newspapers have already reported this issue as well. Earlier on, a few months ago, a similar statement was made by one of the high constitutional office holders in the Parliament. As the news item was flashed by other TV channels, some channels have also telecast denial on Thursday (14.10.2010) from the Government, saying that there was no truth behind the said news. PM Gilani said that he had taken notice of the issue of withdrawal of notification of judges’ restoration and such news could widen gulf between the Government and the Judiciary. Terming the reports of media as baseless, the PM said that the Government respected constitutional institutions and PPP always respected the judiciary and gave sacrifices for its independence. He said that every conspiracy against the Government and Judiciary would be foiled. Elements behind this conspiracy want to destabilise the country but they cannot be succeeded, he added.

Govt cannot retract Executive Order: Kurd
Former chairman Supreme Court Bar Association Ahmed Ali Kurd has said that the government could not withdraw any Executive Order.
Kurd said that the judiciary and the government seemed to be heading towards a confrontational path; however on the same breath he added that the judiciary should not have sit till late night for deliberation over the news reports.
He ruled out having any clashes with the judiciary, saying that he came from Quetta to submit his report regarding a case.

Executive Order has no legal status: Justice (r) Siddiqui
Justice (r) Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui, while talking to Dunya News, said that the Executive Order at which the PM hinted in the National Assembly does not have any legal status for the apex court has struck down the Nov 3 actions thereby depriving the notification of its legality.
He said that the denial by the PM left no room of debate on the issue. He maintained that such news are meant to trigger confusion among the people and that is why the SC sought a written reply in this respect.

Govt indifferent to public issues: Sh Rasheed
Chief of Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rasheed has said that the government is trying to detract the people and the judiciary to cover-up the prevailing corruption. He lamented that the country is passing through multiple crises while those at the helm are busy in having clashes with the judiciary.
He enlisted lack of wisdom, competence and indecisiveness on part of the government that led to the problems facing the country. He said that the rulers are indifferent to the public miseries as they are just busy in sorting out their inter-institutional issues.

Govt wants to harass judiciary: Ahsan Iqbal
PML-N senior leader Ahsan Iqbal, while talking on the issue, said that the government’s stance to retract the notification is deplorable and aimed at harassing the judges only.
It has been made clear in the 18th amendment that the November 3 decision were illegal and did not have any constitutional status and hence the notification by the PM in this regard also lost any status. The parliament has also ratified the 18th amend. He warned the government against any such action saying that its not Musharraf’s Pakistan where the judges were sent packing.