|Updated at: 1555 PST, Monday, May 31, 2010
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday rejected the objections of the Federation against the bench constituted to hear the constitutional petitions against the Eighteenth Amendment, Geo News reported Monday.
Earlier, the SC reserved the verdict after completing the hearing of objections against the bench constituted to hear the constitutional petitions against the Eighteenth Amendment.
It should be mentioned that the SC announced to declare the verdict at 1130am; however, the apex court delayed its verdict after receiving a letter from the President’s Principal Secretary Salman Farooqui and left from the courtroom-1.
The SC’s larger bench heard the objections of the federation; of them, the first related the non-inclusion of Justice Zahid and the second was about the CJ’s presence on the bench.
After hearing again in the afternoon, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry read the detailed ruling, saying that all the objections of the Fedetaion regarding the bench formation have been set aside.
Also, the court issued show-cause notice to Dr Abdul Basit to mislead the court on intention.
Earlier, the SC Registrar received Farooqui’s letter and handed it to the judges sitting in the courtroom, where everyone read it one after the other.
In his letter, Salman denied the objections attributed to him regarding the bench formation. On this occasion, the Federation’s counsel Abdul Basit rose up and said he was on mistake in connection with his client; and hence, he should be punished.
Basit pleaded he be heard afresh. The court affirmed he would be given the chance. Now, the court will resume its proceedings again today.
The SC today resumed hearing of petitions challenging certain provisions of the 18th amendment, particularly the formation of a judicial commission for appointment of judges to the superior courts.
The government’s representative Abdul Basit said that the chief justice, who is a part to the Judicial Commission for the judges’ appointment, should not be hearing the 18th amendment case and objected to the formation of the full court bench headed by the CJ.
When the court asked Basit about the objections, he said he talked to President’s Chief of Staff Salman Farooqui, not the President, adding that he (Farooqui) objected to bench formation.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry queried him why the President was contacted instead of the Prime Minister, urging him to put everything in black and white.
The CJ said this is a case of great note; hence, its hearing would be open, which would invite no furrowing of brows.
The federation’s counsel said, ‘To proceed with the case would be tantamount to trample the Constitution.’
The petitioner Counsel Akram Ssheikh said in defence, ‘The leveling objections to the bench is aimed at scandalizing the CJ office and the apex court.’
Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq said the objection of the federation on the SC bench is not up to the mark; however, the objection relating the CJ might hold water.
On one occasion, the CJ said he could be benefited from the case only when his son or any of his relatives could be made judge, asking whether Farooqui would even now object to the formation of judicial bench.
The CJ Chaudhry said the case of this magnitude and import might not come again with so many judges hearing it.
Fifteen constitutional petitions were filed against some clauses of the 18th amendment.
In particular they challenge the formation of the judicial commission under the 18th amendment to be against the basic structure of the constitution and independence of the judiciary.
On the last hearing on May 24, the bench directed the lawyers for the federation to file a concise statement in response to the petitions.
The court had also directed Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq to place proceedings of the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms before the court.