The responsibilities and powers of Supreme Court of Pakistan – by Ali Asad

Judiciary in Pakistan has historically allied with army generals to malign democracy and politicians

The SCP draws its powers and responsibilities from the chapter JUDICATURE of The Constitution of Pakistan. Let us see what this chapter says:

Part VII: The Judicature [Articles 175-212B]
Chapter 1: The Courts [Article 175]
Chapter 2: The Supreme Court of Pakistan [Articles 176-191]

I wonder the most trumpeted expression “Interpretation of The Constitution is the responsibility (some even replace responsibility with RIGHT) of Supreme Court” is nowhere found in the Constitution.

Then the clause 190 simply says ” All executive and judicial authorities through out Pakistan shall act in aid of the Supreme Court.”. This article is given the wildest implication ” The order of Supreme Court or even a single judge is binding on all citizens without any exception”. Both of the above myths seem to be extra-constitutional.

The myth that interpretation of Constitution is the sole responsibility of the supreme court has been a dirty spot on our society. Being ext-constitutional it is used by the judges with malafide intentions and mostly results in creating anarchy and instability. The judges use this as a weapon against the executive authority and often rewrite the constitution in guise of interpretation. Al-Jihad trust case is the most conspicuous example of overstepping the powers by the court.

A few days back the SCP ruled appointment of Prosecutor General NAB as void on the grounds that the tenure of the post is “THREE YEARS NOT EXTENDIBLE” as given in the NAB ordinance. This ruling is absolutely unlawful and against the facts. The appointment of Mr. Irfan Qadir was not a matter of extension by any logic. It had nothing to do with his previous tenure.

At the same time The Constitution of Pakistan says “A Judge of the Supreme Court shall hold office until he attains the age of sixty-five years, unless he sooner resigns or is removed from office in accordance with the Constitution”. We daily see The Lord Chief Justice sitting between two people who have crossed this limit of age. This is an example of double standard of our lordships.

I hereby refer the SCP report 2004 compiled by the then Chief Justice

SCP Report 2004

Even in this report there is no mention of responsibility of interpretation or orders being binding on all.

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