Parliamentary proceedings cannot be challenged: Justice Khawaja | Pakistan Today

Parliamentary proceedings cannot be challenged: Justice Khawaja

The Supreme Court on Thursday resumed the hearing of petitions against the recently passed contempt of court law.
A five-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and including Justice Shakirullah Jan, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jilani, was hearing 27 identical petitions challenging the Contempt of Court Act, 2012.
According to a private TV channel, petitioner Ahsanuddin Sheikh who is also president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) of Rawalpindi said the parliament had passed the new contempt of court law in a rush and that it did not have the authority to curtail the judiciary’s freedom.
Sheikh also read out the record of the parliamentary debate over the law before the bench.
In his remarks, Justice Khawaja said that the bench could review the debate held in the parliament.
He moreover said that parliamentary proceedings could not be challenged in any court of law and that they enjoyed protection under Article 69 of the Constitution.
However, he inquired regarding the rationale behind the drafting of the law, adding that the parliamentary debate was revealing with respect to the new law’s legislation.
Earlier during Wednesday’s hearing, dropping a hint that the controversial contempt of court act would not be struck down in toto, the Supreme Court observed that the opposition should have resisted the passage of the law in the parliament instead of walking out of the house. The opposition should have stayed in the parliament to resist the ruling party’s move, said Chief Justice Iftikhar.
Justice Khilji Arif Hussain described walkouts as an injustice with the electorate.
Only two clauses of the new law – one pertaining to immunity for holders of public office against contempt of court proceedings and the other about an automatic stay on the filing of an appeal – appeared to be areas of concern for the court and during the proceedings judges spoke about their respect for the parliament.
Legal experts are of the opinion that the two controversial clauses may be sent back by the court to the parliament for review.
Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja was the only judge who rejected the theory of parliament’s supremacy and recalled that the court had struck down statutes in the past as well.



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5 Comments

  1. hussein shabbir said:

    JUDICIARY HAS NEVER ONCE OBJECTED TO ZARDARI-MQM-ALTAF WRONGS AND PUNISHED THEM FOR THEIR DAYLIGHT DAILY CRIMES TO CONSTITUTION,ECONOMY,CORRUPTION,HUMAN LIFE.EITHER THEY ARE SCARED OF THEM OR POLITICAL ALIGNED TO ZARDARI-ALTAF BY GIVING THEM SOFTEST CORNER AT THE COST OF COUNTRY

  2. zafar said:

    The opposition is part of the goverment's alliance-no wonder it has not played its proper role entrusted by the public!

  3. Dr.M.M.Khan said:

    To pass such a law the proper things a wise Govt. does is 1)to sensitise the public about its thinking.2)To encourage the public to participate in discussion.3) Make a consequent analysis because such decisions are going to affect future generations!
    In the contempt Law suddenly it was a fait accompali. Was it for vested interests. I doubt the common man in the street kows what is it al about.

  4. Wajid said:

    The members of the parliament and government are unable to perform their duties if a sword of contempt law keeps hanging over their heads. The way Supreme Court has been using contempt laws has basically replaced the whole constitution, Even Nawaz Sharif is worried about the dictatorial nature of Iftikhar Chaudhry. Supreme Court is running amok bringing affairs of state on brink of destruction. Such constitutional and political impasse adding insult into the injuries of people, as Govt can not fight on several fronts on one time at all. Opposition is already getting callous, Supreme Court trying to pull rug under the feet of executive and terrorist are trying to halt life affairs, and until Government is allowed to work smoothly it can not resolve grave issues Pakistan facing today. Nowhere in the world is a court yielding so much power as in Pakistan Alll intellectuals in media are criticizing CJ for overstepping it’s mark If this new law of struck down then virtually judiciary has taken over the powers of parliament Common sense should prevail.

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