Unprecedented in legal history: Punjabi judges boycott their own courts



By Omar Khattab in Islambad

Yesterday (15 February 2010) all the judges of the Lahore High Court boycotted their own courts in condemnation of President Zardari’s assertion of his legal right of appointing Saqib Nisar as the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court and the elevation of the present Chief Justice of Lahore High Court Khawaja Sharif to the Supreme Court. Just because the Supreme Court Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has dubbed the presidential act void, the Punjabi judges of the Lahore High Court have shed the façade of decency and respect for law which they had been wearing for some time.

According to the Constitution of Pakistan (Article 177) on the appointment of Supreme Court judges” “The Chief Justice of Pakistan shall be appointed by the President, and each of the other Judges shall be appointed by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice.”

The constitution clarifies “consultation” thus: “consultation shall, save in respect of appointments of Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, mean discussion and deliberation which shall not be binding on the President.”

Thus President Zardari is not bound by the demands of Justice Iftikhar which are illegal and criminal.

Both Justice Nisar and Justice Sharif refused to accept President Zardari’s decision. Article 206 of the Constitution of Pakistan stipulates that: “A Judge of a High Court who does not accept appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court shall be deemed to have retired fro his office”

This means that Justice Nisar has technically retired. But Justice Chaudhry wants to retain him which is yet another constitutional violation on his part.

We must not forget that after General Musharraf sacked Justice Chaudhry, it was only the Punjabi judges of the Supreme Court and the Lahore High Court who refused to take a fresh oath. All the other judges, over 60 in number, joined their positions in the Supreme Court and all the High Courts other than the Lahore High Court. Thus when Nawaz Sharif had the Punjabi judges restored in collaboration of the Punjabi generals, it was obvious that there will be a Punjabi backlash against the People’s Party which stands for Pakistan and has always confronted Punjabi fascism.

By violating the Constitution of Pakistan the Punjabi judges have once again proved that the constitution is not more than a booklet which can be thrown away or exploited as and when it suits them. After all it was Aanjhani General Zia ul Haq who, cheered on by the Punjabi judges of the Supreme Court and the Lahore High Court, said infamously: “What is this constitution? A few stapled pages which I can tear at will!”


7 responses to “Unprecedented in legal history: Punjabi judges boycott their own courts”

  1. وکلاء کا بائیکاٹ تو اختلاف کا شکار رہا لیکن عدالتوں نے کہیں بھی مقدمات کی سماعت نہیں کی۔ تمام اضلاع میں عدالتوں کے سربراہ عدالتوں میں آئے ضرور لیکن اپنے اپنے چیمبر میں بیٹھے رہے۔

    بائیکاٹ کے حامی وکلاء تو عدالتوں میں آئے ہی نہیں لیکن بائیکاٹ کے مخالف وکلاء عدالتوں میں آئے اور انہوں نے پہلے مرحلے پر کوشش کی کہ عدالتیں مقدمات کی سماعت کریں ۔

    حیدرآباد میں بائیکاٹ کے مخالف تقسیم ہو گئے اور انہیں نے بند کمرے میں اجلاس کیا۔ پھر بھی معاملہ حل نہ وہ سکا۔ بعد میں بائیکاٹ کے مخالف وکلاءمیں سے ایک گروہ نے ججوں کے خلاف نعرے لگائے۔

    حیدرآباد با ر ایسوایشن کے نائب صدر عبدالخالق لغاری نے ججوں کے خلاف نعرے لگاتے ہوئے کہا کہ جج سیاست کررہے ہیں۔ ’انہوں نے کورٹوں میں نہ بیٹھ کر بائیکاٹ کامیاب کیا ہے ۔ ہم ایسے ججوں کی مذمت کرتے ہیں۔‘

    لاڑکانہ بار ایسوسی ایشن جس میں پیپلز پارٹی کے حامی وکلاءبھاری اکثریت رکھتے ہیں، عدالتیں کھلی تھیں لیکن جج حضرات عدالتوں کی بجائے چیمبر میں بیٹھے رہے ۔

    پنجاب

    لاہور سے ہمارے نامہ نگار عباد الحق نے بتایا کہ پنجاب میں لاہور سمیت صوبے کے چھوٹے بڑے شہروں میں وکلاء عدالتوں کا بائیکاٹ کر رہے ہیں۔

    لاہور ہائی کورٹ میں بار کے عہدیداروں اور سینیئر وکلاء نے پیر کو عدالتوں میں جاکر ججوں کو وکلاء کی ہڑتال کے بارے میں بتایا اور درخواست کی کہ مقدمات پر سماعت نہ کی جائے۔ وکلاء کی درخواست پر لاہور ہائی کورٹ کی انتظامی کمیٹی کا اجلاس ہوا جس کی صدارت چیف جسٹس لاہور ہائی کورٹ جسٹس خواجہ محمد شریف نے کی۔

    اجلاس میں وکلاء کی جانب سے ہڑتال کے باعث مقدمات سماعت موخر کرنے کی درخواست پر غور کیا گیا اور یہ فیصلہ کیا گیا کہ ہائی کورٹ میں صرف ہنگامی اور فوری نوعیت کے مقدمات کی سماعت ہوگی جو جج صاحبان اپنے چیمبر میں کریں گے۔

    ضلعی بار کے اجلاس میں موجود وکیلوں نے صدراتی احکامات کے خلاف ریلی نکالنے کا مطالبہ کیا جس کی لاہوربار کے صدر ساجد بشیر نے مخالفت کی تاہم اجلاس میں موجود وکیلوں نے صدر بار کے فیصلے کو مسترد کر دیا اور ضلعی بار سے ریلی نکالی
    لاہور میں ضلعی بار ایسوسی ایشن اور ہائی کورٹ بار کے الگ الگ اجلاس ہوئے ۔ہائی کورٹ بار کے اجلاس میں اس وقت ہنگامہ آرائی سے صورت حال پیدا ہوگئی جب پیپلز پارٹی کے حامی وکیلوں نے صدر آصف علی زرداری کے حق میں نعرے لگانے شروع کردیئے جس پروہاں موجود دوسرے وکلاء نے چیف جسٹس پاکستان کے حق میں نعرے لگائے۔

    پیپلز پارٹی کے حامی وکلاء نے صدر آصف زرداری کے احکامات کو معطل کرنے والے سپریم کورٹ کے تین رکنی بنچ کے عبوری حکم کی علامتی نقول کو بھی نذر آتش کیا۔

    پنجاب

    لاہور سے ہمارے نامہ نگار عباد الحق نے بتایا کہ پنجاب میں لاہور سمیت صوبے کے چھوٹے بڑے شہروں میں وکلاء عدالتوں کا بائیکاٹ کر رہے ہیں۔

    لاہور ہائی کورٹ میں بار کے عہدیداروں اور سینیئر وکلاء نے پیر کو عدالتوں میں جاکر ججوں کو وکلاء کی ہڑتال کے بارے میں بتایا اور درخواست کی کہ مقدمات پر سماعت نہ کی جائے۔ وکلاء کی درخواست پر لاہور ہائی کورٹ کی انتظامی کمیٹی کا اجلاس ہوا جس کی صدارت چیف جسٹس لاہور ہائی کورٹ جسٹس خواجہ محمد شریف نے کی۔

    اجلاس میں وکلاء کی جانب سے ہڑتال کے باعث مقدمات سماعت موخر کرنے کی درخواست پر غور کیا گیا اور یہ فیصلہ کیا گیا کہ ہائی کورٹ میں صرف ہنگامی اور فوری نوعیت کے مقدمات کی سماعت ہوگی جو جج صاحبان اپنے چیمبر میں کریں گے۔

    ضلعی بار کے اجلاس میں موجود وکیلوں نے صدراتی احکامات کے خلاف ریلی نکالنے کا مطالبہ کیا جس کی لاہوربار کے صدر ساجد بشیر نے مخالفت کی تاہم اجلاس میں موجود وکیلوں نے صدر بار کے فیصلے کو مسترد کر دیا اور ضلعی بار سے ریلی نکالی
    لاہور میں ضلعی بار ایسوسی ایشن اور ہائی کورٹ بار کے الگ الگ اجلاس ہوئے ۔ہائی کورٹ بار کے اجلاس میں اس وقت ہنگامہ آرائی سے صورت حال پیدا ہوگئی جب پیپلز پارٹی کے حامی وکیلوں نے صدر آصف علی زرداری کے حق میں نعرے لگانے شروع کردیئے جس پروہاں موجود دوسرے وکلاء نے چیف جسٹس پاکستان کے حق میں نعرے لگائے۔

    پیپلز پارٹی کے حامی وکلاء نے صدر آصف زرداری کے احکامات کو معطل کرنے والے سپریم کورٹ کے تین رکنی بنچ کے عبوری حکم کی علامتی نقول کو بھی نذر آتش کیا۔

    پیر کو پشاور ہائی کورٹ کے بار روم میں وکلاء کی جنرل باڈی اجلاس میں ہنگامہ آرائی اس وقت پیدا ہوئی جب پیپلز لائرز فورم کے صوبائی کنوینر بیرسٹر مسعود کوثر نے کہا کہ یہ حکومت اور عدلیہ کا معاملہ ہے اس میں وکلاء کو نہیں پڑنا چاہیے۔

    تاہم پشاور ہائی کورٹ بار ایسوسی ایشن کے صدر عتیق شاہ اور دیگر وکلاء رہنماؤں کا موقف تھا کہ حکومت نے سپریم کورٹ کا حکم ماننے سے انکار کیا ہے اس لیے اس کےخلاف آج ملک بھر میں عدالتوں کا بائیکاٹ کیا جارہا ہے۔ یہ بحث جاری تھی کہ اس دوران پیپلز لائرز فورم اور دیگر تنظیموں کے وکلاء باروم میں کھڑے ہوگئے اور ایک دوسرے کے خلاف نعرہ بازی شروع کردی۔

    اس موقع پر وکلاء نے’گو زرداری گو، زرداری سب پر بھاری اور چیف تیرے جان نثار بے شمار بے شمار‘ کے نعرے بھی لگائے۔ اجلاس میں ایک قرارداد بھی منظور کی گئی جس میں حکومت کی طرف سے تیرہ فروری کو جاری ہونے والے اعلامیے کو واپس لینے کا مطالبہ کیا گیا۔

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2010/02/100215_lawyers_protest.shtml

  2. It isn’t difficult to see that Chief Chaudhry Judge has grossly violated the constitution and committed high treason .The Chief Judge should voluntarily step down and he should be held accountable for this crime!

  3. Has Zardari porphed into Musharraf, Mark II? He seems to have taken leave of his senses much as that dictator had done before him. Musharraf, Mark I at least had the might of the armed forces behind him. What has Zardari got? Only the devious machinations of discredited National Robbers and their looted millions stashed away abroad. Will this bunch of criminals succeed in breaking the resolve of the Judiciary that the “ironman” Mush failed to achieve?

    Only time will tell. Insha Allah, Pakistan will emerge stronger from these vile moves by the National Robbers Organisation (NRO). At a time when the Judiciary is wrestling with the secret agencies over the Missing Persons case, Zardari’s obscene Saturday night raid on the judges is little short of treason against the country.

    Here is an excellent editorial published in The Nation today.

    AN ERRANT PRESIDENT
    IF ever a leadership showed a suicidal bent of mind, it is the present one in Pakistan. For the Presidency to put itself on a collision course with the Judiciary, serves no purpose – either for the wellbeing of the nation or for the political set up itself. President Zardari and his advisers have not grasped the qualitative change that has taken place not only in the psyche of the senior judiciary but also the nation after the latter struggled for the establishment of an independent Judiciary. The rulers cannot ride roughshod over this state institution anymore and the judiciary has a new compact with the nation to provide them justice and ensure that no one remains above the law.
That all the ruling elite will have to face accountability in the wake of the NRO ruling by the Supreme Court should have sunk in by now; but it seems a panic-stricken and guilty political leadership has chosen to try and thwart the judicial processes and Constitution. In fact, the petty level of vengefulness displayed by the present leadership was reflected in the alleged holding up, by a nationalised bank, of a personal cheque of the Chief Justice despite there being money in his account! What could be more reflective of the shadow of Musharraf still hanging over the Presidency?
Unfortunately, the President’s efforts to collide head on with the Supreme Court have been given tacit support by the Prime Minister despite his apparent disagreement over the President’s action. Barring a few minor exceptions, the nation and the mainstream political parties and leaders have shown their disapproval of the President’s action and unfortunately we can now see a political confrontation also brewing with only the Prime Minister having the ability to defuse the situation. He is not an NRO beneficiary and can adopt the high moral ground by removing all NRO beneficiaries from his cabinet. Eventually he will also have to take on the President who has been treating the country as his personal fiefdom. The PML-N leadership has also finally moved away from playing the role of merely a friendly opposition – a fact that has given President Zardari far too much of a comfort zone to do as he pleases. 
The fact is that accountability of the powerful will have to take place and it is sad to see those accused of corruption guiding the President into a self-created confrontation that bodes ill for the country and democracy. The timing also seems to have been carefully selected to coincide with the commencement of the US operation in Helmand which is going to occupy the Pakistan army to ensure that the fallout does not land up in our tribal areas. Clearly, the present leadership has absolutely no concern for the country at all – only for its own survival. The coming days are crucial for Pakistan. Will the judiciary assert its rightful independence and uphold the Constitution, the law of the land, accountability and the rights of the people; or will a ‘democratic’ authoritarian reign of corruption and personalised rule manage to undermine the nation once again in the worst tradition of military dictatorships?

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Editorials/15-Feb-2010/An-errant-President

  4. The above editorial of The Nation has been written by none other than Shireen Mizari, a stooge of the ISI & military establishment, (ex?)spokesperson of PTI and admirer of all military dictators including Musharraf (pre 9 March 2007, when Musharraf was not dumped by its own military establishment)…. So, words of democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law coming from her are ironic and comical, to say the least!

  5. The Three member bench that suspended the presidential notification on saturday ordered Justice Khawaja Sharif and Justice Saqib Nisar to keep on working as before the notification. Just read the News report about what happened in LHC yesterday.
    LHC judges also observe strike PPP lawyers’ rumpus mars bar meeting

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010
    By Our Correspondent

    LAHORE

    IN A RARE development, judges of the Lahore High Court on Monday observed a strike on the request of the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) which had given a strike call to express solidarity with the judiciary over a recent tussle between the Presidency and judiciary.

    LHCBA President Nasira Iqbal and Finance Secretary Rai Nawaz Kharal had sent a request to the LHC chief justice, saying the lawyers were observing a boycott of court proceedings and they wanted cooperation from the high court as they were fighting for the honour of the judiciary.

    On their appeal, the CJ convened the meeting of all the available judges in his chamber in which they unanimously decided not to do judicial work on Monday. The judges were of the view that the lawyers had no vested interests and they were observing the boycott to strengthen the judiciary.

    It was also decided in the meeting that the judges might hear the cases of urgent nature in their chambers. However, the judges remained available in their chambers but only a few lawyers turned up.

    Currently, 12 judges are working at the LHC principal seat in the provincial metropolis.

    Meanwhile, lawyers affiliated with the PPP created a rumpus in the LHCBA’s general house meeting and foiled an attempt to pass a solution in favour of the judiciary.

    The drama started as Nasira Iqbal tried to utter some words in appreciation of the judiciary when a large number of the PPP lawyers, led by Khurrum Latif Khan Khosa, created pandemonium by shouting full-throated slogans and made it impossible for LHCBA president to complete her speech.

    Ms Nasira and other office-bearers of the Bar tried to control the situation and bring the house to order but in vain.

    The PPP lawyers went on rampage as they climbed on chairs and tables and started thumping tables and raising slogans in favour of President Zardari and against the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the LHC CJ. The pro-judiciary lawyers also responded in the same manner and chanted slogans in favour of the CJP and against Zardari. They were shouting, “Go Zardari go” and “Chief Terye Janisar Beshumar Beshumar.” The house reverberated with all sorts of slogans and no-one was ready to hear the other side.

    Iftikhar Shahid, a PPP lawyer, also burnt a copy of the SC order in which the presidential orders about Justice Khwaja Sharif’s elevation to the SC and Justice Mian Saqib Nasir’s appointment as new LHC CJ were suspended.

    Nasira and other-office bearers hurriedly left the house and took shelter in an adjacent committee room. The meeting was adjourned without having a discussion on the issue.

    The PPP lawyers claimed that the majority of their colleagues wanted to appear in courts but the judiciary had become a party in the case by joining the boycott call. Tension among the lawyers’ rival groups was growing with every passing moment. After indecisive meeting of the LHCBA, lawyers again gathered in the Bar premises and kept on raising slogans against each other.

    Later, pro-judiciary lawyers converged to The Mall and PPP lawyers followed them on the road. They also exchanged harsh words when a lawyer used abusive language against President Zardari and a PPP lawyer answered in the same way.

    After staying there for a while, the PPP lawyers ended their protest and retuned to the LHCBA as rally from the Lahore Bar Association had reached there.

    Earlier, the LBA held a general meeting and passed a resolution to boycott courts. LBA President Sajid Bashir, however, opposed taking out a rally but the lawyers paid no heed to his request and went out on the road. As their rally reached the GPO Chowk, LHCBA lawyers joined them and they jointly marched to the Faisal Chowk. Later, Sajid Bashir also joined the rally.

    PML-N leaders, Naseer Ahmed Bhutta and Rana Asadullah, were also participating in the rally. The protesting lawyers pulled down PPP banners from the roadside and burnt them at the Faisal Chowk. They went out of control while condemning President Zardari.

    The lawyers’ leaders made furious speeches, saying that if the government did not mend their ways, the lawyers would launch another movement. They said lawyers were ready to render sacrifices for the dignity of the judiciary and would not let anyone make mockery of judges. After staying there for half an hour, the lawyers dispersed peacefully.

    Following the footsteps of the LHC judges, judicial officers of the subordinate judiciary also observed a strike and stayed in their chambers. Only a few judges performed judicial work for a while on the insistence of a group of lawyers.

    Litigants were disappointed by the strike in the courts and complained that they had come from far-flung areas but the judges had gone on strike.
    The above mentioned two judges have committed contempt of court by shirking their routine duty and deciding in favour of strike. will the appointed bench take up the contempt of court matter against these judges on Thursday ?

  6. Sarkar Sahib!

    Please get your facts right. Shireen Mazari was hounded out of The News by the American witch in Islamabad who controls the westernised fascists of Pakistani society. Thankfully, Ms Mazari was able to find refuge at The Nation. She proudly adds her name to the opinions she expresses in The Nation. The leader writers’ names, as a rule, are not disclosed because the views expressed are usually those that reflect the official policy of the Newspaper.

    Therefore, please set aside your prejudices and re-read The Nation editorial with an open mind. What objections, if any, do you have against it?

    The most balanced viewpoint I have come across regarding the judicial crisis created by the opportunistic and selfish actions of Zardari is to be found in today’s issue of Jang. Please read Saleem Safi’s coulmn by clicking this link:

    http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/feb2010-daily/16-02-2010/col5.htm