Directing the civilian and military branches of the executive not to take any step to subvert the democratic order following NAB chief’s letter of complaints against the judiciary to the president, the Supreme Court on Thursday issued a contempt of court notice to NAB Chairman Fasih Bokhari, asking him to appear in person on February 4 to explain his position.
The NAB chairman’s letter had called for presidential intervention against the judiciary’s pressure on NAB officials and the NAB chief had warned of resigning if his grievances were not addressed.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry passed the order during the hearing of the rental power projects (RPPs) scam implementation case on Thursday.
The court order said the parliamentary system was working according to the constitution and law in the country, adding that the next general election should be held according to the constitution.
“When the parliamentary system in the country is flourishing on basis of a democratic order in terms of constitutional provisions and the elections of parliament and Senate are likely to be scheduled shortly, it should be assured that the election should be held under the constitution and there should be no apprehensions about the derailment of democracy in view of the statements published in the media,” the court order said.
The bench also issued notice to the NAB chairman under Article 204 and Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 to appear in person on February 4 and submit his reply over the issue of writing a letter to the president.
The bench observed that whatever the NAB chairman expressed in his letter was tantamount to causing interference and obstructing the process of court and certain expressions were used to scandalise the court and its function and to undermine its authority and bringing it into ridicule.
It said if such a move was not noted properly, people would lose confidence in the Supreme Court as an institution. The Registrar’s Office was directed to convey the notice to the NAB chairman in due course of the day.
The bench reproduced certain paras of the letter written by Bokhari and made comprehensive observations.
The order referred to November 3, 2007 restraining order of seven-member bench against proclamation of emergency by General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, said that it was the duty of the apex court to preserve and protect the constitution and not allow its subversion for achieving certain objectives.
It said it was also ensured that the higher constitutional authority “of this court would not be undermined and to bring the respect and honour of this court under any hatred would also be not allowed”.
“This court undoubtedly enjoys confidence of the citizens of this country,” it said, adding that it was the confidence that gave trust to general public in the judicial system.
It said it needed to observe once again the court in its July 31, 2009 verdict and subsequently on several occasions insisted and continued to insist upon enforcement of the rule of law, supremacy of the constitution and continuity of the democratic order.
In its order in Watan Party case, it was observed loud and clear that there should be no delay in the forthcoming election which should be conducted in free, fair, transparent manner, strictly in accordance with laws and constitution, the bench added.
It said there should be no interference or obstacles from any quarter.
“Such is a clear stance of the judiciary and the judges are confident that there should be no delay in holding of elections on time,” it added. The bench also expressed its concerns as custodian of the constitution over press reporting and statements made by highly reputable personalities like Senator Raza Rabbani expressing his reservations about derailment of democratic order as reported by media on January 29.
It said there were analysis in various newspapers on a daily basis in which it had been apprehended that in view of the NAB chairman’s letter as noted by it, “a situation is being created after taking on the judiciary” and that elections would be delayed or some other ulterior motives were achieved.
Earlier during proceedings, NAB Prosecutor General KK Agha submitted an authentic copy of the chairman’s letter and the chief justice inquired about the objectives of writing it, to which Agha replied that he could not read another person’s mind.
He maintained that it might be possible that due to pressure exerted by the court for immediate implementation of its verdicts in high-profile cases, the chairman might have expressed his anguish.
Justice Sh Azmat Saeed expressed his displeasure and told Agha that if they were annoyed with the court’s proceedings, they should change the law in which corruption should no longer be treated as a crime.
The bench also expressed its strong reaction to certain paragraphs contained in the chairman’s letter that blamed the judiciary of “pre-poll ringing” and position of the Supreme Court on elections as “remained clouded”.
Further hearing was adjourned until February 4.
oh bokhari had you not taken those wads of cash in the Augusta submarine deal…
you could have been a man today….
and not a sorry delapidated wretch of a wimp
strip him of his position and jail him for life for any kick back if he'd received.
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