In the best interest of the nation?

After the disqualification of Pakistan’s former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani, the National Assembly drafted and passed the contempt of court bill. Amongst many other clauses, the bill stated that “A true averment made in good faith and temperate language for initiation of action or in the course of disciplinary proceedings against a judge, before the chief justices of the Supreme Court and high courts, the Supreme Judicial Council and the federal or provincial governments, shall not amount to contempt of court.”

The proposed contempt of court act 2012 provided immunity to all the important office holders including the president and prime minister.

Opposition leaders filed petitions against the law calling it a move against the constitution of Pakistan. The petitions were accepted by the Supreme Court and notices were issued to the federation and Attorney General to file their responses against the newly passed law.

After a week of arguments and counter-arguments, that involved honourable judges and the Attorney General, the court struck down the law declaring it illegal and unconstitutional.

The verdict restored the power of judiciary but was the move in the best interest of democracy or another attempt to manoeuvre the country into judicial dictatorships?

Was the contempt of court act 2012 passed to safeguard the rights of the few powerful officer bearers?

Is the tussle between judiciary and federation of Pakistan in the best interest of the nation or has it become another egotistical fight between the two institutions?


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92 Responses to “In the best interest of the nation?”

  1. Nasah (USA) says:

    The way the ex prime minister Gilani was mistreated and disrespected by by the judicial bench — it is a good idea for PM Ashraf to refuse to appear before the bench invoking executive privilege.

  2. Sanjay says:

    Regrettably Pakistan has traded a government “of the Army, for the Army, by the Army” for a government “of the Judiciary, by the Judiciary, for the Judiciary”. what is needed is a government “of the people of Pakistan, by the people of Pakistan, for the people of Pakistan”. Once this is done, Pakistan will achieve its potential and we will have peace on this sub continent.

    • Abid Ali says:

      The laws must be designed by the parliament with the cooperation of the SC as reviewing and advising institution. The Supreme Court is against the contempt of court act 2012 which is understandable. But the disqualification of premier is the purely political motive and it is a very dangerous move in the given circumstances.

  3. mir aftab says:

    The dare-devil CJ has taken strength from removing a PM and a military dictator (ex-Army Chief) and is now the virtual head of Pakistan Establishment. The only way out is that Parliament is supported by all elected parliamentarians unanimously in their own interest and in the interest of the future of the country. If parliament wishes it can resubmit the contempt law with a new new and suitable amendments that they all agree upon.

  4. jalaluddin S. Hussain says:

    We, Pakistanis ,must allow both the national assembly/provincial assemblies and the Supreme Court to play its respective roles. The function of the elected assemblies is to discuss and write laws, in the best interest of the nation, while the Supreme Court must play its interpretive role.

    .All the laws written by our members of national and provincial assemblies, must be in accordance with the principles of the Constitution of Pakistan. Both organs of the State of Pakistan must play their roles in the greater interest of Pakistanis and within the constitutional limits.


    Which democracy these proxies of government are talking about, the same 300 families which were in 1947 Assembly are still present in the assembly of 2008. These oligarchs just make laws tp protect there vested interests, and only the SC can intervene by the instrument of judicial review to ensure that Parliament legislate laws for the welfare of the people and national interest and not to protect the democratic dictatorship, as there should be rule of law in the country and not rule of men, otherwise dictatorship is not harmful.
    Parliament is not supreme, Constitution is supreme and Parliament is the creature of Constitution, and thus subservient to Constitution and every law violative of Constitution is liable to be struck down by the Apex Court, so get out of slave mentality and patronage to inefficient loyalists. STAND UP ON MERIT, its the need of the hour.

    • Abdul Waheed says:

      Many legal experts including Aitzaz Ahsan are of the view that the present SC is making judgements which are above the constitution. SC with the help of some lawyers (who are earning fees in crores and professional litigants financed by Nawaz Sharif) is pushing the weak PPP government to tight corner but our concern is that this tussle is damaging the economy of the country leading to sufferings for the poor. Where is merit in Dr. Arsalan case?

  6. Asad Ali Kasuri says:

    Parliament is supreme when the constitution of the country is unwritten. When we have a written constitution then parliament is subject to the Constitution. In Pakistan the Supreme Court has gone beyond the work of justice, they are now involved in interfering in almost every level of government.

    In every civilized country the Supreme court stays above the political business. The work of the courts is to interpret the law not to make or break the law.

  7. Rohail Jalal says:

    It seems so evident that the judiciary is lined up with the religious parties and Defense of Pakistan council of Gen (R) Hameed Gul. The parliament has all the right to amend constitution and make laws, judges cannot make laws. Not a single terrorist is hanged or punished but the judiciary continues to maneuver the political government. The chief justice, Iftiqar Choudry continues to make public statements and acts as if he is a political leader. This is unprecedented in the recent history of the world. The politicians must join hands in the parliament and impeach these radical judges. Say NO to judicial activism, NO to judicial political party, NO to judicial dictatorship. People say justice is blind, but in Pakistan the justice is ‘Kani’ (one eyed justice) meaning unfair, politically motivated.

    • Abdul Waheed says:

      I agree that General Iftikhar-ul-Haq is playing politics and trying to grab powers of Presidency, Chief Executive, Parliament and bow down President Zardari. It looks that Nawaz Sharif has committed with him that he will be made President.

  8. Razaksindhi says:

    What bothers me is the recent action by judges against the media for speaking against the judiciary.You can not stop freedom of press.

  9. asimjamal says:

    Be Mindful of the fact that Legislation is parliment’s authority – crossing the line is creating a crisis. Pakistan is not strong enough to withstand crisis. Hold the politicians on the things they shouldnt do, not on the things they should do ;).

  10. Rahmat Ali says:

    I admire all of your comments . The bottom line is that Parliament is supreme . Govts in the past and present have not done too much . The reasons are cercumstancial or self created . Citizens need to be educated . they should not expect something from the govt overnight . Govt should take bold stepts to impose strong tax system which is good for the future generetion . Rule of law is must . Citizen must be patriotic . the present CJ is so political as other leaders . He never pay attention to improve the judicial system which is basic hurdle in the establishment of the rule law . He should resign . The lawyers should not portrait theirself like CJ workers. Thank you all .

  11. Naveed says:

    CJ should leave now… he has pushed the entire country into a deep crises.

    • Abdul Waheed says:

      I fully support the demand that Cj should take retirement in the best interest of our country.

      • Syed says:

        and then what? ask me, anything but thig Govt. is fine, bring back musharraf if you want to !!! who cares, this country is in limbo because of current Govt. SC is only resisting the “badmashi” this country is subjected to.

        • Abdul Waheed says:

          The biggest Badmash is General Iftikhar-ul-Haq, the rebirth of General Zia. Both made huge damages to our country.

  12. Sajjad says:

    Supreme court is an institute which is suppose to follow law not the judge. What we are witnessing is that SC has put all its resources and efforts on chasing zardari and Co. The same time and tenure of efficient CJ could have been better used if he had focused on improving Judicial system of the country. Now it looks like that its PPP Vs Mr. Chaudry who are fighting their our own ego war and both the parties who are suppose to serve masses are busy in formulating attacks and counter attacks. This situation is seriously, close to Judicial Martial law and for that I would agree that Mr. Raza has a strong argument.

    • Abdul Waheed says:

      I fully agree with views of Mr. Sajjad as well as views of Mr. Raza that the situation is near to Judicial Martial Law. The martial law of General Zia was not so much hurting the interests of the country as compared to damages being done to the economy of the country by the confrontation perpetuated by SC.

      • Rashid says:

        I 100% agree. SC is just to interpret the law, but Parliament is supreme. The 1973 constitution is given to us by parliament not SC. What SC is doing is unheard of in modern world, and damaging it’s stature. All of us should come close to stop this judicial marshal law.

  13. n.qureshi says:

    i agree with the views of syed zafar.well written.

  14. Singh says:

    Every person who supporting CJ & its coterie should think with clear mind.
    You can choose another politician who can change, enact or mend Law to majority liking, but can you change Supreme court judge or their decision according to majority liking, Answer is big NO. That is THE reason in democracy Parliament is supreme.
    Do you think present supreme court judge will ready to face impeachment in Parliament for interfering executive branch of govt when they transfer other Govt employ which are not working under them directly.
    It is prerogative of Parliament to call one or all Judges in Parliament & remove them.
    It will be very interesting if parliament decided so, so they can work freely & without any duress of SC sword hanging on their head. Pakistani people will be the biggest looser in long run by Failure of Parliament.
    You guys will forget Zia time. In US all learned people laugh & make joke when SC react to every Parliament move. They predict judgment in advance. But it is matter of great consequence for people of Pakistan.
    Final question?
    Do you people like to be rule by 12 people’s power or your own power?
    I will wait for your comment.
    S Singh Ahluwalia

    • Abdur Rahman Abid says:

      It’s is a day light reality that our judiciary is revieving the political traditions founded by justice munir and nourished by moulvi mushtaq . all of them r sacred and any remark or comments about them becomes the contempt of the court , while there is remarkabale difference between the conduct of the judge and court , a judge who biased , favouring some one or haveing a set agenda is actually himself contempting the court , unfortunately all these judges who served under the dictator and gave him three yeras to get three years extension in age limit for the judges , they are simply serving as custodian of nonsence , in line with malignant media who are searching another
      is there anybody who can prove that contempt of court is islamic.
      A judiciary which is trying best to save the cj’s son and blanket out his corruption , a cj who don’t knows what is his son’s business while living in the same house , a cj who don’t knows who is sponsoring his foreign tours , he don’t have any right to be in that chair , if he is so much interested in politics we welcome him to resign and jump into parlimentary politics , rather than he should keep eroding the democratic system because it is crystal clear that any parliment is soverign to frame a law not the judiciary ,
      we strongly condem the misconduct of judiciary against our elected parliment , it’s people’s right to elect the parlimentatrian and the parlimentarians have to frame the laws according to the wishes of the people , not the public servants like judiciary and other organs of the state

    • Abdul Waheed says:

      I agree to the comments of Mr. Singh. Legislation is prerogative of the Parliament and Judiciary should not react to the legislation passed by Parliament. I even think that judiciary should not react to policies made by executive as overturning of policies cause chaos.

      • Kharbindersingh says:

        Well I disagree with you. The role of the Judiciary is to do justice. This function is so sacrosanct that this function is one of the functions of God as well. Thus because foolish people voting for corrupts and putting them in the parliament does not means that they should be above the law and justice. Parliament should not be allowed to abuse its powers to safeguard the interests of corrupts. If it is allowed to abuse its powers then it would be against the spirit of democracy; it would be the dictatorship of a group of elected people. This is the time people should stand with the Supreme Court and oppose the corrupt politicians because corrupt politicians themselves are the threat to democracy.

        • zulfe says:

          If you have decided that politicians are corrupt then the politicians should be disqualified, which means parliament should be dismissed and SC should take over the government.

        • Abdul Waheed says:

          Persons who are real judges and provide justice to people without fear, favour and prejudice are commenable and should be given highest respect but persons appointed as judges who become prejudice, overstep their original domains and interfer into affairs of adminstrative issues should be condemned with highest degree. There is general pereception the Justice and its close cronies especxially Bench No. 1 headed by CJ are prejudice against PPP weak government and doing partail judgements. This has created instability, uncertainty, chaos and damaging the interest of the country especially economy. It cannot be expected that some sanity will come to this bench. However, we pray that sanity comes to at least other 14 judges and realize the damages being done to the country and its poor people. Justice Iftikhar looks to be rebirth of General Zia and want to usurp all powers of Presidency, Chief Executive, Parliament and bow down President Zardari. Never in judicial history of any country, any court has stressed for prosecution against sitting President in foreign country but our CJ has created crises by asserting to prosecute our sitting President in foreign country and inthat course one Prime Minister sent home and threatening to send another Prime Minister though Constitution does not give power to Judiciary but he gives sermons like some dictator

  15. Ali Raza Gillani says:

    In my mere opinion the problem is that PPP has failed to solve Pakistani citizens problems/issues and also failed very badly to resolve the biggest issues like electricity,water and corruption. And also Zardari unfortunately has been made a emblem of corruption so Punjab especially is not ready to accept him and there SC comes to sabotage the whole democratic process. They are biased everybody can see that. One does not have to be highly intellectual to understand that.

    • NASAH (USA) says:

      When you guys sound like a broken record saying — “PPP has failed to solve Pakistan citizens problems/issues” — tell me who has “solved” Pakistan’s problems and issues — for the past 64 years of its precarious existence –who?

      Nawaz Sharif or Musharraf? Ziaulhaque or Iftikharulhaque? Can you name anybody the country can be proud of — was born out of immaculate conception?

      • Abdul Waheed says:

        General Iftikhar -ul-Haq seems to be rebirth of General Zia. The ego tussle of General Iftikhar -ul-Haq and two close cronies is hurting the interests of the country. We pray that sanity comes to at least other 14 judges to act in the interest of the country which is a source of their status, authority, perks and priviledges.

  16. Syed A. Zafar USA says:

    It is unfortunate that we analyze our issues/problems on the basis of our party/school’s needs and wants and we take positions instead of being completely honest and independent when forming an opinion on national issues. When it comes to Judiciary vs executive branch, in my opinion both are wrong and and the new law passed by the parliament is of course not appropriate but there was no way out for the government except to pass a new law in order to safeguard their rights. However, it is highly important to think who created this situation and why? It is time to find out the root cause of the disease and not confuse and mislead the people with symptoms. There is no doubt that that the Mr. Zardari is known or made to know as a corrupt leader, and corrupt people regardless of who is who must be tried and punished if found guilty. The honest questions arise out of this is: 1. Who is not corrupt in Pakistan?, 2. Why the SC won’t clearly and directly talk about the immunity and pass a verdict about whether the President of Pakistan has lawful immunity or not?, 3. Why SC is enthusiastically chasing/punishing PMS, disrupting democratic process and using their shoulder to shoot the political enemies of its right wing supporters?, 4. What is the motive of CJ and his buddy justices behind this third degree unimportant issue when more important national issues/cases are ignored and put in the back burner?, 5. Why SC/CJ insist but cannot legally/constitutionally prove that the judiciary is supreme over parliament? 6. Does the judiciary know that the justices are not elected members but the members of parliament are? 7. Who gave the right to SC to declare a law void when its job is to interpret the law only and what legal/ethical and judicial right CJ has to condemn/arouse the opposition to stand up against the government and not walk out from national assembly when a law is being made, is it not taking sides and direct involvement of judiciary in politics?8. If God forbid SC is supreme as it is forced to believe, then can SC and it supporters tell what is the use of parliament, elections and vote/will of the people?, 9. Why the SC won’t chase other corrupt leaders of right wing who happened to be his supporters?, 10. The last but not the least, why CJ did not take action against his own son when he knew in advance that he has become overnight millionaire, why his case is put in back burner, why NAB is chased to stop inquiry, change the team of inquiry as per need and want of CJ/Arsalan, how Arsalan came to know that there is a video can be obtained and used against SSP Islamabad just because of assumptions that he is working for Mr. Riaz. Is it not all about saving the face of CJ and rescuing efforts to save CJ’s son Arsalan? I strongly believe that the verdict of SC is another attempt of to manoeuvre the country into judicial dictatorship.

  17. SST says:

    The judiciary has run amok. The court’s reputation has already been tarnished by its questionable approach to the Arsalan fiasco. But Chaudhry’s disregard for the constitutional limits of judicial power and his blatantly prejudicial behavior will hurt the cause of the judiciary and the country in the long run.

  18. Singh says:

    In true democracy no body is immune to criticism. SC judge start working as ultimate dictator who does not allow anybody to criticize their flawed one way decision. how they know that their decision are wrong if they not ready to listen other point of view. They have build strong shield around them in name of contempt. In every democracy Parliament has a right to enact a law & court to implement it. Court only can struck law down if it infringe upon basic fundamental law of citizen’s right. Any law pertaining to any other wing of government does not come under basic fundamental right of its citizen.
    People of Pakistan should think hard before they cheer for one wing of its government than other. One way love for short span of time is always dangerous in long run.
    Singh from USA

    • Abdul Waheed says:

      I agree that judges and judges should not be immune from criticism. We hope that the new Contempt of Court law will bev reenacted with some amendments but will provide right for criticism to judges in tempetate language.

    • Ali Raza Gillani says:

      Good one Singh. Agreed

  19. shafi says:

    Laws should be to protect the citizen and not the power grabber politicians. SC is absolutely right.

    • Abdul Waheed says:

      SC is trying to usurp the powers of Presidency, Chief Executive and Parliament and Justice Iftikhar seems to be rebirth of General Zia.

      • Shankar says:

        Justice Ifthikar seems to be rebirth of General Zia! – My exact feelings. Pakistan is paying heavily for Zia’s meedling with the constitution and will pay heavily in future for allowing the SC to subjucate the parliament and the democratic process by arrogating to themselves the power to bully elected members!

  20. M Ali says:

    I reckon it was the right of the SC to review and they have done it rightly. This will only promote rule of law and strengthen democracy. I think we are going through transition and this seems the best way as it is through constitutional means as per checks and balances theory. Pakistan Zindabad!

    • Abid Ali says:

      We know the politicians very well, but the SC had created a very dangerous situation for the newly born democracy.

  21. Sangraiz says:

    There is so much analysis about this apparently at the behest of politicians. The court is absolutely right in whatever it is doing so far – though I would have preferred them to be more strict.

    Democracy or no-democracy is politicians responsibility and NOT judiciary’s. Judiciary’s responsibility is to interpret law and passes judgment according to the law – nothing less nothing more. If it is not according to the constitution, it must be rejected, if the skies fall as a result shouldn’t be their concern.

    Democracy is safeguarded by people and politicians. Its politicians job to protect it by staying within the limits of constitution and law. Its people’s job to keep the politicians in check. Politicians are themselves the worst enemies of democracy. If Pakistan is not the name of some jungle then the law must be followed by ALL.

    • Muhammad says:

      I agre one hundred percent with Sangraiz’s comment above. The SC is doing its job exactly right. It is the job of people of Pakistan now to lean on the corrupt politicians, and throw them out of government.

      The next election is near and people should choose the right candidates. From what I am seeing, the only hope Pakistan has is Imran Khan. All others, including PPP, PML(N), MQM, JI, etc. have been tried and failed. It is foolish to try a tried person twice. Will Pakistani people do it – I doubt.

  22. Zoab says:

    The parliament continues to show that it thinks the public is there servant, rather than they being public servants.

    The contempt law was a joke. It belongs in the trash can with all these current parliamentarians. How can u realistically bring a law that says not all humans are equal and accountable. Shouldmt the parliament have more checks on it since they are public servants?

    • Muhammad says:

      The Pakistani Parliament is a joke. We all know the quality of people in the parliament, and how they get elected. The Pakistani parliament is not qualified to make laws; and I have to say that Pakistani voters are not qualified to vote (that’s where the whole problem starts).

      • Abdul Waheed says:

        It is prerogative of the Parliament to make legislation otherwise Some General Zia-ul-Haq or Geneneral Iftikhar-ul-Haq will impose their self made idealogies and cause huge damage to the country.

      • ali ahmed says:


  23. M. Tayyab says:

    We all are adict of docile judiciary. Judicial empowerment, independence and constitutional role is not acceptable to us at any cost. So the question of judicial manoeuvering is the part of compain initiated by the power enchrochers who want judiciray as a dead organ just decide the matters relating to poor people and never interfer in their autocratic domain. Army Generals, Politicians and bureaucrates should try to learn how to live in the supramacy of constitution. We are being engaged in such a debate so that pressure could be exerted against judiciary. i fully endorse the stance of Apex court of Pakistan.

  24. ASLAM CHISHTI says:

    This clear and evident example of the fact that we are neither civilized nor would like to be a society where law will prevail, institution will be respect and rules of men will be minimum. All this will ultimately lead to destruction of the the already struggling and staggering nation faced with insurmountable challenges. sanity seems not even knocking the door. May Allah help and lead us in this leaderless time.

  25. Said says:

    Great Judiciary, Great ulres and above all Great Nation on Facebook on Facebook