Is Media Intentionally Fueling Executive-Judiciary Tension?

Oct 15th, 2010 | By | Category: Aaj TV, ARY TV, Geo TV, Jang, The News

Is media generating court panic?Imagine how much could be done towards actually rooting out corruption, overhauling the tax system, and all the other issues supposedly important to the media intelligentsia if they would quite wasting time on rumours and conspiracy theories. Just last night there was another emergency that turned out to be a non-emergency only because of some media personalities reporting rumours and gossips and everyone’s complete unwillingness to think sensibly. I am talking, of course, about the rumour that the government was planning to withdraw the notification to restore the Supreme Court justices.

Sohail Khan reports today for The News that:

The issue became serious when a late night press release issued by the Supreme Court informed the nation that the SC had taken notice of the reports on TV channels and had registered a case which will be heard by a full 17-member bench of the SC on Friday. A notice had been issued to the Attorney General to appear before the bench.

There were strong speculations in the media in the evening that the government was considering the move to remove the SC judges by cancelling the notification which had been issued after the Long March of March 16 to restore the judges.

As a result of this “strong speculation”, Supreme Court judges and their staff rushed to the court to issue a press release and make emergency preparations for a hearing, summoning the Attorney General to appear and give some explanations. Explanations of what? The government never did anything. Nobody did anything except some media personalities who once again spread some rumours or “specualtions” with no basis in any evidence.

No matter that the Prime Minister himself issues a statement at 8:30 pm assuring that there was no such conspiracy and that such speculation was all non sense.

“These kind of reports are incorrect and baseless and there is no such thing, and through these kind of statements efforts were made to create misunderstanding between the institutions,” said the PM House spokesman while quoting Prime Minister Gilani.

The spokesman said the prime minister had stated that the government respected the judiciary as the PPP had struggled and given the sacrifices for the independence of the judiciary. “Those who spread such kind of reports do not want strengthening of institutions,” the spokesman said, quoting the prime minister. Gilani said all the conspiracies will be foiled regarding the confrontation between the government and judiciary.

Even Supreme Court Bar Association President Ali Ahmad Kurd has stated that the Supreme Court judges acted hastily and would have been better to wait until the light of day to determine the facts.

But the issue is not the actions of the judges, which may be understandable as they heard about this on the news. It raises the more serious question of the role of media in the affair.

According to a report on the Geo website today:

The Supreme Court in its short order in the case regarding withdrawal of judges’ restoration notification reports stated that the government has failed to satisfy the Court and any attempt to remove the judges would be tantamount to treason, Geo News reported Friday.

The apex court ruled that judges restoration notification cannot be withdrawn. The court said that the executive order of 16th March 2009, restoring the sacked judges has lost its effectiveness after the 31st July 2009, verdict and heads of all constitutional organs must abide by the judgement.

The order also restrained all the heads of constitutional organs of the country including the president from restoring it.

What the Geo article fails to report, however, is that the government immediately and explicitly stated that it had no plans to withdraw judges restoration and has made no move to do so.

With the group of nations known as ‘Friends of Democratic Pakistan’ meeting with Foreign Minister Qureshi in Brussels today and the PM and President meeting to discuss preparations for Pakistan-USA strategic dialogues, the timing of this media report must be considered.

As the government has issued a strong denial of this rumour and, in fact, no such withdrawal has taken place, perhaps the Court should inquire as to who is behind the “strong speculation” that was reported on TV and whether the media that reported the rumours took the time to check with government representatives before they reported such.

With the ongoing tensions between the judiciary and the executive, it is common to evaluate the intentions of the justices and the government officials. Perhaps it is finally time for an official evaluation of the intentions of media also.

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  1. MQM’S POINT OF VIEW ON “PCO JUDGES”

    A Riposte to Ansar Abbasi By Mustafa Azizabadi Member – Central Rabita Committee & In charge Central Media cell. MQM http://www.mqm.org/English-News/feb-2009/azizabadi-article07-02-09.htm

    Thursday, February 05, 2009; 2:44 AM….In the Urdu daily Jang of February 2, 2009 there was a column titled “Would Altaf Hussain participate in long march ?”, by the famous journalist Mr. Ansar Abbasi known for his research and investigative journalism. This column was a direct response to MQM’s Quaid Mr. Altaf Hussain’s address to MQM’s rabita committee in London on Jan 27, 2009. During the address Mr. Altaf Hussain put a simple question to Mr. Nawaz Shareef vis-à-vis PCO judges. that “what does the Charter of democracy’s article 3, clause (a) & (b) says about those judges who took oath under the PCO and if Mian sahib can answer this question then MQM too would diligently work with them towards the enforcement of Charter of Democracy.”. But in case Mian Nawaz fails to answer the question then it will be morally binding on him and an obligation to reconsider his decision to participate in long march.

    Principally & professionally speaking the answer should have come from Mian Nawaz Shareef. Alas it never came; nevertheless Mr. Ansar Abbasi took upon himself to issue a rejoinder.

    Peoples Party’s Shaheed Chairperson Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Shareef put their signatures on the Charter of Democracy (COD) comprising of 7 pages, 4 important topics and 36 articles in London on May, 14, 2006. But here we will only talk about the relevant points brought up by Mr. Ansar Abbasi, explained and deliberated upon in the aforementioned column. Mr. Abbasi says that COD’s article 3(a) explains the procedure for appointment of new judges and that Article 3(b) addresses the already appointed judges of higher courts with relevance to their oath taken under PCO.

    Indeed this is true that Article 3 (b) addresses the oath taken by superior courts judges under the PCO and this is exactly said in the COD that “No judge shall take oath under PCO and nor shall he take any oath whose language stands at odds with the 1973 constitution’s defined language for oath of judges”.

    Let’s read the exact text of the relevant Article from the COD. Under Article 3(a) it says “The recommendations for appointment of judges to superior judiciary shall be formulated through a commission, which shall comprise of the following: (i). The chairman shall be a chief justice, who has never previously taken oath under the PCO.”

    Ansar Abbasi in his column translates it as “The recommendations for the appointment of judges for the superior courts shall be undertaken through a Commission. This commission will comprise of following individuals.

    1) The Commission’s chairman shall be a Chief Justice, who has never previously taken oath under PCO”. Mr. Ansar Abbasi himself mentions that “according to this Article Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry (deposed) Chief Justice cannot become the chairman of this commission which has been entrusted with the task of making recommendations for the appointment of new judges. And for this any chief justice who in past did not take oath under PCO stands eligible to become chairman of this commission”. Our question to Mr. Ansar Abbasi when he openly admits that according to COD’s Article 3(a) Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry (deposed) CJ cannot become chairman of the commission that will make recommendations for the appointment of judges to superior courts and is not eligible for the task then how can he according to Article 3(a) be eligible to hold the highest and honorable office of the superior court? Knowing this reality in its totality and fully well would it be right and legal to demand his restoration?

    A very amusing point that MR Ansar Abbasi brings forth with regards to Article 3(a) in his column; it says “this sub-article has nothing to do with the current judges and that few people according to a well thought of plan are interpreting Article 3(a) in such a way so as to make the restoration of Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry controversial and create confusion in common people”. But after explaining Article 3(a) he says “the authors of COD after much thought did not use the word “The Chief Justice” of Pakistan but used “a chief justice” since they knew that the chief justice of that time and those who will follow as chief justice will be those who took oath under the 2001 PCO”.

    Quite strikingly Mr. Abbasi accepted the fact that in May 2006 this particular Article in the COD was specially included for the chief justice in office at that time and his brother justices who had taken oath under PCO so that Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry and other justices who took oath under General Pervez Musharraf’s PCO will stand disqualified for appointment as superior court judges. Moreover this is absolutely true that on May 14, 2006 when Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed and Mian Nawaz Shareef signed the COD, both the leaders had no clue and nor did the senior leadership of two parties knew anything or for that matter the leaders of lawyers movement had any idea that on march 9 a reference would be filed against Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry the sitting chief justice of Pakistan, that on November 3 General Musharraf would again impose emergency in the country and that judges would again be required by him to take new oaths under the PCO. As for making Mr. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry controversial, it is those parties who are dragging him into political rallies and processions that are to be blamed. As a justice Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry deserves the respect and protocol that comes with the office. Sadly & with due respect the chief justices and judges of superior courts are not only and strictly prohibited from public appearances, attending or endorsing political rallies and agendas, but even barred from attending private functions of such nature. But the honorable justice thought it right to go ahead with attending political rallies and processions and let the exalted office of chief justice go to the street and let himself become a spectacle on top of being controversial.

    PML (N) leadership came up with the ludicrous argument that PCO’s mention in the COD is with reference to those judges who took oath on November 3, 2007. The question is that when the signatures were being put on charter of democracy on May 14, 2006 it was way before November 3, 2007, then whether PML (N) leadership got the premonition that on November 3, 2007 judges will take oath under the PCO? As per Ansar Abbasi if Article 3(a) of COD has no relevance with current judges or of any consequence to them then who are these particular PCO judges mentioned in the COD, since before January 2000 the PCO came in General Zia-ul-Haq’s martial law in 1977 and none of those PCO judges from General Zia’s time were present in the judiciary of 2007. Accordingly it proves that in the COD announced on May 14, 2006 the very mention of PCO refers to the PCO of General Musharraf introduced in January 2000 and those who took oath on it.

    The fact is that in the COD the issue of judges taking oath under PCO has been dealt with utmost seriousness and in Article 3(a) clause (2) with reference to procedure for appointment of judges in superior courts that it clearly says commission that makes recommendations for the appointment of judges, its members shall be Provincial High Court Chief Justices who have never taken oath under PCO. In case the criteria are not met then it will be senior most judges who will be members of the commission and those who have never taken oath under PCO. If in January 2000 there had been no PCO by General Musharraf and Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and his brother justices not taken oath under the PCO and provided constitutional protection to General Musharraf’s dictatorship, then it is our firm belief that in COD the mention of judges who took oath under PCO and their appointment would not have been mentioned as an Article in order to disqualify them. But on the contrary this would not have been an issue at all.

    Mian Nawaz Shareef, Qazi Husaain Ahmed, Imran Khan and their like minded political leaders, lawyers, Ansar Abbasi and others of same thought look down on the current Supreme Court Chief Justice Mr. Abdul Hameed Dogar and judges appointed under the PCO after the emergency of November 3, 2007 and don’t spare a moment in maligning them and consider them unconstitutional. Mian Nawaz Sharif has taken the extreme position of not recognizing them and has not hesitated in using derogatory and uncouth language such as “anti-state elements”, “traitors” and ”anti-Pakistan” and keeps using it in public. We have one question to all the above mentioned personalities and with all due respect we ask if Mr. Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and other judges taking oath under PCO on November 3, 2007 in their eyes was a serious and punishable crime then Mr. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s oath on January 4, 2000 under General Musharraf’s first PCO too falls in the category of a serious and punishable crime. Then why do they present this one judge who committed the same unconstitutional act as a hero and the other as a traitor? Was General Musharraf’s PCO in 2000 was correct and in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan? If this is true then the Chief Justice of that time Mr. Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui, Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, Justice Wajeehuddin Ahmed, Justice Kamal Mansoor Alam, Justice Mamoon Kazi, and Justice Khalil-ur-Rahman would not have said no to taking oath under PCO and would not have said that we have already taken oath under the constitution of Pakistan and therefore we will not take a second oath under the PCO. These were the true heroes of judiciary those who demonstrated strength of character and were brave enough to not to take oath under PCO and instead submitted their resignations. This most important chapter in Pakistan’s legal history went unnoticed by Mian Nawaz Shareef and by the leadership of PML (N) who are always at the forefront of all kinds of foul and malicious attacks on Supreme Court. Rather they never came out on streets at that time, nor protested or bothered to become champions of judiciary. Nor did the lawyers who are ardently campaigning for restoration of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and equate it with freedom of judiciary ever bothered to come out at that time and launch protests. Neither did Mr. Ansar Abbasi custodian of the pen and freedom of expression bothered to come out and lodge angry protests and columns. The sad irony is that lawyers and those political leaders who are at the forefront of long marches, waving angry fists and raging in fury never bothered to come out for Chief Justice of that time Mr. Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui, Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, Justice Wajeehuddin Ahmed, Justice Kamal Mansoor Alam, Justice Mamoon Kazi, and Justice Khalil-ur-Rahman. Not even a mild protest or statement from these lawyers was registered or launched in favor of these true heroes of judiciary. Why this dual approach and where was the civil society then? And what were the prominent members of ex-servicemen’s society doing at that time or were they hiding in some hole? Where was their sense of democracy at that time? Had Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry taken the honorable and brave step of siding with the judges who refused to take oath under General Musharraf’s PCO in 2000 then MQM too would have been at his side, as MQM’s demand and stand is principled, MQM questions as to why is only the restoration of the Nov 2 2007 judges being demanded & why not the judges who refused to take oath under PCO in 2000 and are true heroes who stood up like true men and should all be restored.

    MQM strictly adheres to the principled stand that if Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s taking oath in 2000 under General Musharraf’s PCO is acceptable and correct according to Ansar Abbasi and his confidantes and like-minded then how is that judges who took oath on November 3, 2007 under General Musharraf’s second PCO could be illegal ? If one judge who took oath under one PCO is judiciary’s hero, protector and flag bearer of the constitution and considered champion of law then how is it so that another judge who took oath under second PCO can be declared as the villain of judiciary ? and one who abrogated constitution ? If the oath taken on November 3, 2007 by judges was wrong then how is that oath taken earlier in 2000 under the first PCO by General Musharraf by justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was legit and right in the eyes of law ? Asking to restore judges appointed under the first PCO and taking out long marches in their support and when it comes to judges who took oath under second PCO showing utter and abject disregard , calling them as unconstitutional and demanding for them to be removed is nothing short of blatant dichotomy in the character and logic of those who are espousing Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s restoration. If the PCO of January 2000 was right and legit then how that is the PCO of November 3 2007 was wrong and illegal? If the second PCO was wrong and illegal then how can the first PCO be declared as right and legit?

    Ansar Abbasi and his like minded political and religious leadership, members of legal community curse and accuse General Musharraf for breaking the constitution, twice introducing PCO, keeping both President & Army Chief offices, fighting elections in uniform and distorting the constitution of the country. Alongside they also demand the restoration of the judiciary of November 2, 2007. Basically they want the restoration of the judiciary whose Chief Justice was Iftikhar Chaudhry. For those with short memories let me remind them with great respect that General Musharraf’s takeover on October 12 1999 and his non-democratic step and his chief executive’s position was validated under doctrine of necessity by whom? In 2000 General Musharraf was allowed to postpone elections for two years by whom? Again in 2002 and in 2005 General Musharraf had both the offices of Chief of Army Staff as well as President and a constitutional writ that was filed against it in Supreme Court was rejected by whom?

    Yet again on September 28th 2007 who gave permission to General Musharraf to fight elections in uniform? Was it the Dogar Judiciary as cynically put by Nawaz Shareef or was it the judiciary of November 2, 2007 that rejected the constitutional writs against General Musharraf regarding his Chief of Army Staff uniform, these writs according to Article 184(3) were declared as non maintainable and rejected by whom?

    If Mr. Ansar Abbasi and his like minded friends and cronies call General Musharraf a dictator and usurper then who gave sanctuary and constitutional protection to this dictator’s extra-constitutional steps?

    In due consideration and full acknowledgement of these facts and in light of this evidence Mr. Ansar Abbasi should sincerely ponder and seriously reflect as to whom is the true violator of the Charter of Democracy? Whether it is MQM or was it Nawaz Shareef and his political allies and confidantes who in demanding the restoration of PCO judges are standing accused of violating their own charter of democracy? If Ansar Abbasi and his confidantes and like minded political friends think and view the COD as that sacrosanct document that if its is not practiced then the entire judiciary, parliamentary system and democracy can be declared as non constitutional and can lead to the turning of tables on democracy and its lynching then principled approach and scruples tell us that if one has faith in COD then one should not talk of restoration of an individual who took oath under a dictator’s PCO, someone who provided full protection to the dictators extra constitutional transgressions. And if one only wants to talk out loud on the COD and not to practice it in spirit , then those who talk out the loudest on the COD should instead of long march go to the Constitution Avenue in Islamabad and burn this COD in the presence of public and in their court and to stop fooling people and pray for their forgiveness.

    Would Mr. Ansar Abbasi exhibit moral courage to seek nation’s forgiveness for supporting Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry a person who took oath under General Musharraf’s PCO, a person who provided constitutional protection on many occasions to General Musharraf’s extra-constitutional steps? MQM’s leader Mr. Altaf Hussain sacrificed his party’s interest in lieu of the sensitive national security situation, the perils that democracy is facing today and for its survival in Pakistan. But is that what Mr. Ansar Abbasi would like to see that we put the entire country at stake for one person’s ego arrogance and his employment? Would MR Ansar Abbasi like to sacrifice the entire country, throw democracy in tailspin and put it to the torment of long marches, shutter-down strikes, chaos and lawlessness in these perilous times? Is MR Ansar Abbasi ready to back a long march and sit-downs that aims to destabilize the elected parliaments and to rock democracy’s boat and only to lead to have it trampled under some new dictator’s boots?

    Mr. Ansar Abbasi and his confidantes and like minded friends will for the sake of democracy have to select between an individual and our country’s democratic system. Is Mr. Abbasi he ready to do it?

  2. Daily Jang [Pakistan] Misquote Washington Post [Read after Jang Clipping] Thursday, October 14, 2010, Zi Qad 05, 1431 A.H
    http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/oct2010-daily/14-10-2010/u49248.htm

  3. “QUOTE”

    Pakistan’s emboldened judiciary threatens government stability By Karin Brulliard Washington Post Foreign Service Wednesday,October 13, 2010 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/12/AR2010101205922.html

    ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN – After this country’s then-military dictator deposed the Supreme Court chief justice in 2007, a boisterous movement of protesting lawyers took to the streets and ushered in the return of democracy. Now that same court may be poised to bring about a premature end to Pakistan’s elected government.

    Since its December judgment striking down an amnesty that shielded President Asif Ali Zardari and other officials from old criminal allegations, the top court has pressed the government on corruption, in particular a dated money-laundering case against Zardari. The stakes have risen as repeated government delays have stoked frustration within the army and the political opposition. Another showdown is scheduled for Wednesday, when the court could hold the prime minister in contempt or indicate that it will reconsider Zardari’s presidential immunity from prosecution.

    The standoff has cemented the Supreme Court’s position as a central player in Pakistan’s nascent democracy. But it has also highlighted questions about the solidity of that system.

    To many here, the drama represents progress: In a nation with a history of military coups, an independent judiciary has emerged as the major threat to the unpopular government. To others, including some government critics and lawyers’ movement stalwarts, the court and its chief justice are on a warpath against Zardari that threatens a fragile democracy that needs an elected government – even a bad one – to complete a term in office.

    “This judge and the court have embarked upon politics,” said lawyer Khurram Latif Khosa, whose father, also a lawyer, advises Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani. “The lawyers who were chanting slogans in their favor are now burning effigies of their idols.”

    Pakistan’s stability is vital to the United States, which depends on this South Asian nation to support the war in Afghanistan and combat a vigorous Taliban insurgency on its own soil. U.S. officials express concern that the government’s foot-dragging is weakening its credibility and distracting it from urgent issues such as the fallout from recent flooding and a collapsing economy.

    Some analysts say the standoff is unlikely to imperil the democratic order. They call it just another act in the performance art of Pakistani politics, in which protagonists jockey for power while the masses await leadership that will improve their lives. The government insists that the cases against Zardari were politically motivated and that a hostile media are sensationalizing the court’s wrangling.

    From 2007 to 2009, scores of lawyers rallied for the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry. He was removed by military dictator Pervez Musharraf but not restored by Zardari’s civilian government until several months into its administration.

    The lawyers’ movement dissolved after it achieved its goal, and the lower judiciary is still plagued by complaints about corruption, sluggishness and bias. But the Supreme Court has surfaced as one of Pakistan’s most respected institutions. After decades of deference to presidents, prime ministers and, especially, military rulers, it has doggedly pursued cases involving the Zardari government.

    “That the problems of governance were not highlighted in the past seems to suggest that the court is more aggressive on a democratic government than it was on an authoritarian government,” said Munir Malik, a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

    “But that’s the way to move forward.”

    The court has also gained popularity by regularly taking up the grievances of ordinary citizens, often after Chaudhry has read about them in the newspaper. Small and thickly mustached, Chaudhry ranks in polls as one of the nation’s most esteemed figures.

    “He is the only person standing firm against the unlawful practices of the government,” said Ibrahim Rasheed, among a group of lawyers sipping tea recently at the Islamabad bar association office.

    On Monday, after rejecting a government plea to postpone Wednesday’s hearing, Chaudhry and his colleagues moved briskly through the morning docket. One case involved a man who said policies at the federal medical institute where he worked had unfairly blocked his promotion, while another dealt with “lady health workers” allegedly being paid less than minimum wage by a provincial health department.

    Later, the judges harangued the Islamabad police chief over a failure to arrest a suspect in the months-old slaying of a former attorney general – an “eminent man,” in the words of one justice, Khalil Ramday.

    Court detractors, who include Pakistan’s top human rights lawyer, point to the court’s cap on the price of sugar and the nullification of a carbon-tax law as crowd-pleasing but overreaching rulings.

    The court has not taken kindly to such grumbling. Last week, after a federal minister accused it of activism and interference, the court released a statement criticizing “unwarranted and uncalled for comments” on its judgments.

    Some legal experts say they are disturbed that the court rarely pursues matters involving non-ruling-party politicians or the military establishment. Under Musharraf, Chaudhry was a vocal advocate for cases involving suspects who disappeared, allegedly at the hands of Pakistan’s intelligence services. The cases have made little progress since last year.

    “The court can be faulted not for what it is doing, but for the omissions,” said Babar Sattar, a constitutional expert who supports the court’s efforts to pursue government corruption cases.

    The high court has focused on 13-year-old allegations that Zardari, the widower of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, stashed $60 million in kickbacks in Swiss bank accounts. Swiss authorities closed the case in 2008, after a 2007 Pakistani amnesty deal.

    When the Supreme Court nullified that amnesty, it instructed the government to write a letter informing the Swiss authorities about the development. A Swiss prosecutor has since noted publicly that Zardari has presidential immunity, and many Pakistani legal experts say the government could calm the judiciary by simply sending the letter.

    The government says it should not have to do so.

    Legal experts say that defiance could prompt the court to hold the prime minister or the law minister in contempt or trigger it to review the constitutionality of Zardari’s immunity. Either could threaten the Zardari administration, endangering the coalition it depends on to govern and – in an extreme scenario – spurring the military to seize control.

    Special correspondent Shaiq Hussain contributed to this report.

    “UNQUOTE”

  4. Judges deciding cases on media lines: Kurd Daily Times Monitor Wednesday, December 23, 2009 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\12\23\story_23-12-2009_pg7_12

    LAHORE: Judges of the higher judiciary are making up their minds about cases after reading newspaper headlines and watching TV shows, former president Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Ali Ahmed Kurd said on Tuesday.

    Describing the present situation as “justice hurry and justice worry”, Kurd deplored the fact that the judges were visiting and addressing the bars and said they would have to “prove themselves worthy of their positions”.

    According to Kurd, judges in the United States neither read newspapers nor watched TV programmes, but focused only on their work.

  5. Kurd unhappy over SC verdict on NRO By Iftikhar A. Khan Wednesday, 23 Dec, 2009 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/12-kurd-unhappy-over-sc-verdict-on-nro–bi-09

    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.

  6. ’عدلیہ کی آزادی کے باوجود کچھ نہیں بدلا‘

    شہزاد ملک
    بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، اسلام آباد
    آخری وقت اشاعت: Monday, 7 September, 2009, 12:58 GMT 17:58 PST
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2009/09/090907_kurd_hit_judiciary_rr.shtml

    ججز کیس کو ختم کرنےکو زیادہ اہمیت دے رہے ہوتے ہیں بجائے اس کی کہ انصاف کی فراہمی کی جائے:علی احمد کرد

    سپریم کورٹ بار ایسوسی ایشن کے صدر علی احمد کُرد کا کہنا ہے کہ عدلیہ کی آزادی کے باوجود ابھی تک کچھ نہیں بدلا اور حالات اُسی طرح کے ہی ہیں جو نو مارچ سنہ دو ہزار سات سے پہلے تھے۔

    علی احمد کرد نے عدالتی سال شروع ہونے کی تقریب سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ ایسا محسوس ہوتا ہے کہ ’فرعونوں‘ کےسامنے پیش ہو رہے ہوتے ہیں جو کیس کو ختم کرنےکو زیادہ اہمیت دے رہے ہوتے ہیں بجائے اس کے کہ انصاف کی فراہمی کی جائے۔

    انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ یہی رویہ نو مارچ سنہ دوہزار سات سے قبل اعلٰی عدلیہ کے ججوں سے لےکر مقامی عدالتوں کے ججوں کا تھا۔

    واضح رہے کہ سابق ملٹری ڈکٹیٹر جنرل ریٹائرڈ پرویز مشرف نے نو مارچ کو چیف جسٹس افتخار محمد چوہدری کے خلاف سپریم جوڈیشل کونسل میں ریفرنس بھیجا تھا۔

    ماتحت عدالتوں کے فیصلوں کے خلاف ایک سو پچاس کے قریب پٹیشنز ریلیف کے لیے دائر کی جاتی ہیں جس میں سے بہت کم کو سول یا فوجداری اپیلوں میں تبدیل کردیا جاتا ہے جبکہ باقی رد کردی جاتی ہیں
    علی احمد کرد
    یہ پہلی مرتبہ ہے کہ ججوں کی بحالی کی تحریک کی کامیابی کے بعد وکلاء کے کسی سرکردہ رہنما نے کُھل کر ججوں کے رویے کے بارے میں تنقیدی کلمات کہے ہیں۔

    علی احمد کُرد نے کہا کہ ججوں کی بحالی کے لیے شروع کی جانے والی تحریک میں نہ صرف وکلاء نے ان کا ساتھ دیا بلکہ سول سوسائٹی اور انسانی حقوق کی تنظیموں نے بھی اس میں بڑھ چڑھ کر حصہ لیا۔

    انہوں نے کہا کہ اس تحریک میں وکلاء نے اپنی قیمتی جانوں کے نذرانے بھی پیش کیے۔ سپریم کورٹ بار کے صدر کا کہنا تھا کہ لوگ اُن سے یہی سوال پوچھتے ہیں کہ اس تحریک کی کامیابی کے کیا اثرات سامنے آئے ہیں۔

    انہوں نے کہا کہ مشاہدے میں آیا ہے کہ وکلاء نے جو پٹیشنز دائر کی تھیں اُن میں سے بہت کم درخواستوں کو دیوانی یا فوجداری اپیلوں میں تبدیل کیاگیا ہے۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ ماتحت عدالتوں کے فیصلوں کے خلاف ایک سو پچاس کے قریب پٹیشنز ریلیف کےلیے دائر کی جاتی ہیں جس میں سے بہت کم کو سول یا فوجداری اپیلوں میں تبدیل کردیا جاتا ہے جبکہ باقی رد کردی جاتی ہیں۔

    علی احمد کُرد کا کہنا تھا کہ وکلاء ذمہ دار افراد ہیں اور کوئی بھی یہ نہیں چاہے گا کہ کوئی ایسی بےمقصد پٹیشن دائر کی جائے جس سے عدالت کا قیمتی وقت ضائع ہو۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ عدالت کا یہ فرض ہے کہ وہ وکلاء کو تحمل کے ساتھ سنے۔

  7. SC clarification Monday, September 20, 2010 Shawwal 10, 1431 A.H. http://www.thenews.com.pk/20-09-2010/Top-Story/712.htm

    ISLAMABAD: Terming the headline —’CJs express concern over judges security; threats from admin’ — of a news report, regarding the security related meeting, that appeared in The News on Sunday as misleading, the Supreme Court office, in its press release issued here, has clarified the same as under: “It is clarified that the above-mentioned caption is misleading in so far as it gives the impression that the judges of the Superior Courts have direct clear threats from administrative officials, which is not the true reflection of the issue discussed in the above mentioned meeting nor the press release issued in this regard refers to any such threats. In fact, the meeting discussed the security related situation in view of the purported information ‘emanating from administrative authorities’ in relation to the alleged plot to target the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Lahore High Court as mentioned in the report of the Special Branch of the Government of Punjab.

    “Unfortunately, your above-mentioned captions portray the totally different message as if the Hon’ble judges of Superior Courts are being threatened by the administrative officials, which is not the case. It is expected that an appropriate clarification may please be published prominently, preferably at the same spot on the front pages of the two newspapers in order to set the record straight.”

  8. During the course of the proceedings, the acting AG informed the SC that despite the court’s orders, some TV channels were still conducting talk shows on the NRO. The chief justice again directed TV channels not to conduct talk shows on the NRO which is sub judice. “TV channels should not debate the matter which is sub judice: otherwise, we would issue an order in black and white in this regard,” the CJ remarked.

    According to a news report in The Nation on 8 December 2009: The Chief Justice advised the media not to discuss the matter with regard to NRO in television programmes until the case was disposed off. However, he said media could report the proceedings openly.

    For the Reference: JANG GROUP/GEO TV: Contempt of Court, Media Trial & EX. Senator Saifur Rehman.
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/12/jang-groupgeo-tv-contempt-of-court.html

  9. MUHAMMAD SALEH ZAAFIR, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT OF JANG GROUP OF NEWSPAPERS/GEO TV & CONTEMPT OF COURT

    ISLAMABAD: The 13-member full court of the Supreme Court on Tuesday accepted the unconditional apology of a newsman for filing a report pertaining to the alleged preparation of references against four senior judges of the said bench.

    Following is the text of the order issued by the 13-member full court of the Supreme Court after unconditional apology by journalist Muhammad Saleh Zaafir:

    “Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, editor special reporting of daily Jang and The News, has entered appearance on our call in connection with the news items appearing in the Rawalpindi edition of the daily ‘Jang’ and daily ‘The News’ on 11th June, 2007, regarding some references being made against four senior hon’ble judges of this Court who, presumably also happen to be the members of this bench. The said news item appeared to be open to further serious exception because such a news item had been published, more than boldly, on the front pages of the said two newspapers on the day when the bench was expected to announce its decision on the maintainability of the petition filed in this court questioning the presidential reference against the chief justice of Pakistan. It may be added that certain insinuation have been made in the said news items pointing towards some alleged misconduct committed by the four un-named senior judges of this Court.

    2. Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, who is the reporter of the said news items, when confronted with the same, frankly and honestly conceded that he had made no effort to verify the veracity of the allegations levelled in the said news items before publishing the same nor did he have any proof in support of the contents thereof. He, however, added at the very outset that he had utmost regards and respect for not only the said hon’ble judges of this Court but for the entire judiciary; that he did not have even an iota of doubt about their integrity and character and that reporting the said news items was a grave mistake on his part.

    3. He tendered verbal unconditional apologies in open Court and also placed on record his statement to the above noted effect, in writing.

    4. The regrets offered by Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, reporter/editor, appear to be sincere and the remorse expressed by him appears to be genuine. In this view of the matter, we do not consider it necessary to proceed with the matter any further except warning him to be careful in future.

    5. On our call, Muhammad Afzal Butt, president of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists, also entered appearance for assistance.

    6. The reporting of the proceedings which have taken place in Court in connection with the matter in question shall be made only to the extent that the apology tendered by the said Muhammad Saleh Zaafir shall be published in full and so would be published this order passed thereon. The daily ‘Jang’ and daily ‘The News’, which have published the news items in question, shall publish the apology and this order, prominently, on their front pages. Muhammad Saleh Zaafir undertakes to do the same and has been ordered accordingly.”

    Meanwhile, the following is the text of unconditional apology tendered by Muhammad Saleh Zaafir before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

    “I, Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, do hereby tender an unconditional apology to the hon’ble court in relation to the contents of the story that appeared in daily The News/daily Jang on June 11, 2007.

    “I have been directed by the hon’ble court to submit any proof in relations to the contents of the said items. I would humbly submit that I have no proof whatsoever in relation to the matter discussed in the said story.

    “I keep this hon’ble court in the highest esteem and respect. I can never ever think of bringing about a bad name to the hon’ble court or to any learned judge of the hon’able court. I would submit that I can never think of committing contempt of this hon’ble court.

    “I undertake to be careful in future and am ashamed for the publication of the story. I would humbly seek pardon in relation to the grievous lapse. “I pray to the hon’ble court that no further action may kindly be proceeded in relation to the matter. I would entreat that my unconditional apology may graciously be accepted.” REFERENCES: SC warns newsman, accepts apology Wednesday, June 13, 2007 http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=8458 Reporter apologises to SC for ‘baseless report’ Wednesday, June 13, 2007 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20076\13\story_13-6-2007_pg7_3

  10. […] « Is Media Intentionally Fueling Executive-Judiciary Tension? […]

  11. One question that should be asked and is being ignored “who aired the news” and CJ “orders” government to find out about the news, but what does Law says about “Burden of Proof” and since the Judiciary has become suddenly fond of Islam so lets have a look,

    ““The burden of proof is upon the plaintiff and the taking of oath is upon the defendant.” (Al-Bayhaqi)”

    Guilty by Suspicion is against the Spirit of Islamic Law because when you raise finger then it’s the responsibility of those who allege to produce witness. Benefit of doubt is always given to those who is under trial.

    الْبَيِّنَةُ عَلَى الْمُدَّعِى وَالْيَمِينُ عَلَى الْمُدَّعَى عَلَيْهِ

    The burden of proof is upon the plaintiff, and the oath is upon the one who is accused (Tirmidhi)

    Therefore the ruler is forbidden from imposing a penalty on anyone, unless they perpetrate a crime which Shari’ah considers to be a crime, and the perpetration of the crime has been proven before a competent judge in a judiciary court, because the evidence could not be admissible unless it is established before a competent judge and in a judiciary court.

  12. Breaking News: The News (Jang Group) removes its 19 January 2010 false story to escape legal action 16 October 2010 http://criticalppp.com/archives/26153

    Why? The reason is simple. The Supreme Court has ordered an inquiry to investigate those who created and disseminated the rumour; the court has asked Geo TV / Jang Group to produce their record as a part of that inquiry. By removing a culpable piece of evidence, Geo TV / Jang Group are trying to play smart. Ain’t they?
    However, we have been able to retrieve the removed story (which was reported by none other than the Ansar Abbasi / Muhammad Saleh Zaafir duo) from another website (which thankfully copy-pasted this report from The News):

  13. How Jang Group/GEO TV Played with Fire?
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-jang-groupgeo-tv-played-with-fire.html

  14. Standard of “The News International” and Infighting amongts Jang’s Reporters

    “QUOTE”

    “In conclusion, I regret that a newspaper of your standing and record sought fit to make the aforesaid scandalous allegations without even the courtesy of a phone call to consider the version of the person Mr Klasra so callously sought to defame.” Yours sincerely Fakhruddin G Ebrahim

    Karachi judge denies president’s defamatory allegations
    Saturday, October 02, 2010 Shawwal 22, 1431 A.H. By Ahmad Noorani http://www.thenews.com.pk/02-10-2010/Top-Story/1030.htm

    “UNQUOTE”

    “QUOTE”

    Neither Zardari misquoted nor ‘retired judge’ named
    By Rauf Klasra Sunday, October 03, 2010 Shawwal 23, 1431 A.H.

    Dr Abbasi said, “Mr Klasra, your story is 99.9 percent correct. This is what I had said in the meeting and this was the response of the president.” After Raja Pervez Ashraf, this is second case in which a person has volunteered to confirm something without being named or asked to. I simply followed the ethics of journalism by not quoting any judge’s name in my story as I will repeat not because I was afraid of someone. I did so simply because Mr Zardari did not name the unknown judge, who according to him had trapped and deceived him. Had he quoted anyone name, I might have used his name even in the start of my story and also took his version.

    “UNQUOTE”

  15. […] Khan Pitafi takes the media to task in his column for Daily Times today over the recent rumour mongering by certain newspapers and TV stations which fueled an unnecessary tension between the executive and judiciary. He also makes the point […]

  16. […] events have already suggested that there are some media elements fueling the executive-judiciary tensions. Ansar Abbasi has just given more evidence. It is time for the media to stop playing games and […]

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