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CJP Issues a Statement to SJC

Credit: Pak Law Blog

Start of Statement

The SJC on having gone through record passed an order detrimental against my interest and against the interest of institution whereby I have been restrained to work as supreme court judge and chief justice of Pakistan.

Such powers are not available at all to a facts finding inquiry commission/council as such powers are available to courts and can be derived only from the constitutional provisions and the law.

In my understanding and as per the interpretation of the constitution under article 209 no such powers are available to the council as it is not exercising the power of the court.

Be that as it may by passing restrained order by the council as well as the earlier order notified in notification no 529/(2)/2007 issued by the president of Pakistan which is equally contrary to the

constitution I have suffered as under

  • (A) Detained for all intend and purpose with my family members including my infant child of 7 years from the evening of march 9th, 2007 uptill now. My official residence is seiged with heavy contingent comprising police and member of other agencies. For which there is no justification.
  • (B) The vehicles which were in my use have been taken away by means of a lifter. Out of which one has been brought back by a lifter without its keys.
  • (C) Staff of Supreme Court attached with me is reportedly missing and had been kept at an unknown place. I believe that they have been detained just to fabricate evidence against me. I have also learned reliably that my chamber was also sealed and reportedly files lying there in have been removed and some of them had been handed over to ISI under the supervision of newly appointed registrar. Such act is contrary to all norms and practices. I being CJP is entitled to occupy my chamber along with my staff.
  • (D) On account of deployment of heavy contingencies I am not allowed to go outside nor my family members are allowed to do so. Similarly no one is allowed to meet me freely. In as much as my colleagues have no access to me and whenever they want to visit me they have to wait on the gate for a considerable period during which permission is sought from high ups. example of Mr Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed can be quoted as on one occasion he has to go back without meeting me. Similar treatment was offered to Mr Justice (Retd) Munir.A Sheikh.
  • (E) My children are not allowed to go to school, college and university.I am not getting facility of telephones, cable and DCL. Similarly I along with my family members have been deprived from basic amenities of life i.e medicines and doctor etc.
  • (F) No panel of lawyers is available to discuss the legal and factual issues involved in this reference. This fact I have already highlighted on the notice received on march 10th,2007.
  • By noting the above agonies which are being suffered by me I do not want to seek any relief from the council except that an unconstitutional order dated march 9th,2007 passed by the council has persuaded me to show distrust on the formation of the council because the manner in which I have been dealt with. I do not expect a fair inquiry particularly for the following reasons with reference to the Chairman and 2 other members.

    Justice Javed Iqbal

    He has been appointed as acting Chief justice contrary to article 180 of the constitution of Islamic republic of Pakistan which provides that acting Chief justice can be appointed when the office of the Chief justice of Pakistan is vacant or the Chief justice of Pakistan is absent or is unable to perform the functions of his office due to any other cause. The cause could be that if the Chief justice is incapable of properly performing the duties of his office by a reason of physical or mental incapacity, which is not the case over here.

    Therefore he should not have taken oath of the office of the acting Chief justice not withstanding that whosoever has issued his notification.

    As per the mandate of article 209 of the constitution if the reference is to be heard against the Chief justice of Pakistan the judge of the supreme court who is next in seniority would head the council BUT without being appointed as acting Chief justice.

    Mr Justice Rana Bhagwandas is admittedly the senior most judge therefore on account of his temporary absence from the country up to March 22nd,2007 there was no urgency to convene the meeting of SJC during night/after office hours and by ensuring presence of 2 Chief justices by making arrangements by a special plane. Such actions on his part speak volumes as it has been reported in international The News. Extract of which is appended here with as annex-B.

    Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar

    He administered oath to Justice Javed Iqbal on march 9th,2007 for the office of acting Chief Justice disqualifying himself to be Judge of the supreme court knowing well that office of the Chief Justice is not vacant as he is not incapable to perform his duties physically or mentally.

    Justice Iftikhar Hussain Chaudhry

    I have serious objection on his being member of the council and I do not have expectations of fair inquiry from him.

    Thus his name should be excluded from the panel in the interest of justice and fair play.

    In view of above objections I am of the opinion that SJC is not duly constituted and is incapable to hold inquiry against me.

    Without prejudice to above I reserve my right to raise any other objection at the time of submitting my reply to charge sheet because so far no documents have been supplied to me nor I have any facility to consult panel of lawyers because no one has been allowed to accompany me.

    Therefore I maybe supplied precis of oral evidence and documentary evidence.

    I will be submitting a list of documents in support of my defence, which shall be summoned by the SJC as I have no access.

    PUBLIC INQUIRY

    The contents of notice indicates camera inquiry but I am of the opinion that charges against me are not sustainable being unfounded.

    Therefore to vindicate my honour I would prefer for a public inquiry, so whole of the world may know the nature of allegations and my defence, and I am confident that I will be exonerated of the charges if fair inquiry is allowed. As for as the rule 13 of conducting inquiry is concerned it pertains to the inquiry in respect of which a direct complaint has been received by the SJC and powers are to be exercised by the council under the article 209(5),but in my opinion for the reference received from the President of Pakistan the SJC can follow any other procedure including public inquiry.

    The necessity of public inquiry is also called for because the reference is based in a letter and spirit of open letter written by Mr Naeem Bokhari which has already been publicized widely.

    Therefore there should not be any objection/observation in holding public inquiry. As a question of my and institutions prestige is involved therefore I volunteer for open inquiry so the public of this country may have more respect and confidence in the institution of the higher judiciary.

    Thus for the above reasons the council maybe reconstituted accordingly excluding the members in respect of whom objections have been removed here and above and to negate the impression nationwide and to save the countrys image internationally that this is one sided biased dummy and command performance.

    The copies of requisite document be supplied to me along with the copy of the rules of SJC.

    A panel of the lawyers ready to defend me and the judicial system of this nation is present outside the court building since they are not being allowed to enter in the court premises against all norms and ethics as well as the principle of access to justice and justice for all.

    Therefore lawyers should be allowed inside to argue these objections because the building of the Supreme Court belongs to bench and bar both.

    At the end I say that the order dated march 9th,2007 restraining me from functioning as the Judge of the supreme court and the Chief justice of Pakistan be recalled being contrary to the provision of the constitution.

    Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry
    (Chief Justice Islamic Republic of Pakistan)

    Start of Statement
    Credit: Pak Law Blog

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    One Comment

    • Pak Law |

      The Daily Times version contains an extra paragraph at the beginning of the statement as follows:

      Reference before the Supreme Judicial Council (constituted against the provisions of Article 209 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan) (Application for obtaining copies of documents/evidence and raising objection on the constitutionality of the SJC)

      The above noted reference came up for hearing on March 9, 2007 after 6pm in indecent haste, as is evident from news published in daily Nawa-i-Waqt dated March 10, 2007, where it has been published that the chief justices of Lahore and Karachi were brought to Islamabad in a special flight.