Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges in the courts consider the constitution of Pakistan to be supreme, and the Chief Justice is determine to punish those who have looted the national wealth, whereas PM Gilani and his cabinet consider the National Assembly of Pakistan as supreme and that he, as the chief executive of the country, has the power to suspend, transfer any bureaucrat anytime, anywhere and this power is being drawn from the constitution.
The real cause of the tussle between the judiciary and the federal government is that the PM’s son Abdul Qadir is suspected to be involved in the Hajj scam and Moonis Elahi, son of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi — senior minister in the PPP-led coalition, is charged in the NICL land scandal. One of the reasons for PML(Q) joining the PPP government was to save the future political heir of the Chaudhry dynasty.
It is a fact that 70% of the population being illiterate doesn’t even know the constitution. Even majority of the peoples’ representatives sitting in the National and Provincial Assemblies have never read the constitution and don’t know what the working powers of state organs as given in the constitution are.
The superior judiciary has the right to interpret the constitution and it is binding on the government and all state institutions to follow that interpretation. The superior courts are empowered under Article 184 and 199 of the constitution to keep an eye on the government and state institutions so that they don’t violate the constitution and law. In case of violation, it is the judiciary’s job to make them accountable and to declare that violation unconstitutional. If anyone refuses to obey the order of the courts, it amounts to contempt and the courts had the power to punish such violators. The fact is in Pakistan the real power is with the establishment and it is the ‘Supreme’ state institution.
S T HUSSAIN