November 10, 2017

Is this criticism patriotism, asks CJ

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday observed that the criticism being made outside would not affect their stature and and posed a question if it was patriotism.

He said that they would perform their professional obligations in accordance with law and ensure dispensation of justice to the people. He said that law and the Constitution were being targeted.

The chief justice made the observation during the hearing into petitions of PML-N leader, seeking disqualification of PTI chief Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen over the alleged non-declaration of assets, existence of offshore companies, as well as receiving foreign funding for the party.

The chief justice said that the patience being displayed by the judges with regard to what was being said outside should be lauded. He said that their stature would not be affected by this criticism and they would render their services in accordance with law and the Constitution.

The chief justice questioned as to what could be a higher position than the one they were holding now adding as to why they would be unfair in their work. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the other day, while reacting to the Supreme Court verdict on the Sharif family review petition in the Panama case had said that he knew about the court decision on their review petitions, saying the judges showed their anger and hatred in their words while releasing the judgment.

He had further said that the anger and hatred shown by the judges in their decision would become dark chapters of history. Meanwhile, the court sought reply from Pakistan Terhreek–e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary General Jahangir Tareen on the submission made by Attorney General for Pakistan on his plea challenging some sections of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

PTI Secretary General Jehangir Tareen had challenged the insertion of Section 15 A and 15B while making amendment to the Securities and Exchange Commission Act 1998 through the money bill. The apex court, the other day, had asked the attorney general for Pakistan to assist it on the matter.

On Thursday, learned Attorney General Ashter Ausaf while assisting the court submitted that Mr Tareen had already admitted to contravening the ECP Ordinance of 1969, which led to the imposition of penalty upon him.

He further submitted that Mr Tareen attempted to challenge the vires of the same law by way of a supplementary application 10 years later (as a defence); in collateral proceedings, the vires of the law could not be challenged in accordance with jurisprudential principles.

The learned Attorney General contended that the transitional provisions of the Securities Act 2015 had protected the provisions of the 1969 Ordinance and the action taken against Tareen. It should be pointed out he had not challenged the vires of the 2015 Act.

He submitted that since the fines submitted to the SECP were accrued to the FCF by
virtue of the SECP Act 1997, the same law satisfied the test under Article 73 of the Constitution, and was therefore a money bill- contrary to ordinary acts of Parliament, a certain procedure was prescribed to pass a money bill, which might not be assailed in a court of law

Justice Fiasal Arab, another member of the bench, observed that the purpose of the SECP was not to collect funds but to regulate the financial matters. Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed that the court could review over the legislations made.

Sikandar Bashir Mohmand, counsel for Jehnagir Tareen, during the proceeding, also submitted that the apex court while exercising its jurisdiction under Article 184(3) could anytime review any legislation made.

Meanwhile, the court asked counsel for Jehangir Tareen to submit his written formulation over the points raised by the learned Attorney General.

On the matter of PTI Chief Imran Khan, his counsel Naeem Bukhari, submitted before the court that the nomination papers of his client in 2002 were not rejected. Advancing his stance, the learned counsel questioned had Imran Khan concealed his assets, his nomination papers would have been rejected by the ECP.

Muhammad Akram Sheikh, counsel for the petitioner, Hanif Abbasi however, informed the court that PTI Chairman Imran Khan did not show his London flat in the nomination papers during the 1997 elections.

The chief justice however, said that the documents of the 1997 were not available with the court adding from that from where they could bring the nomination papers of 1997. Naeeem Bukhari, counsel for Imran Khan said that his client did not win the 1997 general elections adding that if the court wanted to summon those nomination papers, he had no objection.

Akram Sheikh submitted when Imran Khan accepted that he contested the 1997 election, burden of proof now lay with the PTI chief to provide the nomination papers of 1997. Akram Sheikh then said that he was arrested during the movement launched in 1997 and later he left politics. Later, the court adjourned the hearing till Tuesday.


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