Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Merit Or Vested Interests

Disputing with the meaning of the word ‘Merit’ is unimaginable unless some one is ignorant or illiterate. But, Zardari has designed his own perception of the word which lead him to disagree totally with what ‘merit’ really means in judicial and constitutional language.
How an ‘under-qualified’ man of ‘ill-repute’ dares collide with the highly admirable “Head of Judiciary” still remains to be seen in the coming weeks. The embattled billionaire President does not even realize the ‘judicial discretion’ enjoyed by the CJP in discharging judicial functions and recommendations. Hence, the accused President has chosen a wrong path of “head on collision” instead. How pathetic? Under the Constitution, however, the President has to accept the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but sadly enough, the leadership is hell bent upon playing a dirty game of meddling with the decent judicial process just to safe guard the vested interests. “Nothing so completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity himself, than straightforward and simple integrity in another.” As Mr.President lacks integrity, hence cannot be trusted.
Technical knowledge, efficient delivery, honesty, hard work, transparent past & present track record and good moral character are the main foundation of one’s integrity. Since, Zardari & company have lost their unlawful COVER due to the sad demise of their beloved NRO, thus, the whole accused gang of wrong doers, is in deep trouble to self defend.
Out of desperation, a preemptive strike in the form of 'a slowdown or a showdown' has been launched for the sake of vested interests. Now Pres Zardari is fully focused on ‘merit appointments’ as mis-perceived by him. A conspiracy to divide judges has already failed as the approached judges are standing with CJP under all circumstances.
In deed, President Sahib is committing a constitutional wrong by delaying and hindering the desperately needed new hiring of superior judges. The Judiciary wants to eliminate corruption but the government wants to destroy the Supreme Court.
Now, the fundamental focus of patriotic Pakistanis ought to be the protection of the "state institutions’ integrity, and not the protection of individuals at the expense of institutions."
The Supreme Court has already clarified categorically that recommendations of the SC chief justice are binding on the President and any deviation would be tantamount to “a subversion of the constitution.” According to legal experts, the SC verdicts are binding under articles 189 and 190. Under Article 189, the SC verdicts are supreme over the administrative decisions and article 190 says that all the state organs must help Supreme Court and implement the apex court decisions.
Registrar Apex court Dr Faqir Hussain told, “The constitution clearly states that appointment in Supreme Court is made by the president after consultation with the chief justice of Pakistan. The word consultation has been interpreted in the judges-appointment case of 1996. It is clearly laid down in this judgment that consultation has to be purposive, meaningful and that ordinarily the recommendations of the chief justice of Pakistan have primacy and binding on the executive.”
According to the Registrar,“Chief justice is better placed to know the qualifications, calibre and professional standing of a candidate for the position of the judge in Supreme Court. Therefore, his recommendation ordinarily is binding on the president and will have to be accepted, will have to be approved except for sound and valid reasons to be communicated to the chief justice, which is justifiable. These reasons are open to scrutiny to the court of law and court can give judgment on validity of the reasons given by the president. Therefore, far all practical purposes, the recommendations are binding on the president. Any deviation from it would be contravention of the constitution and subversion of the constitution.”
According to ex CJP Justice Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqui, the President could differ with the recommendations sent by the chief justice of Pakistan regarding appointment of some judges in the apex court by giving valid reasons which could later be examined by the Chief Justice. “But under the law and the constitution, neither the president nor the prime minister or any other executive authority has any power to recommend any new name, because a name could only be recommended by the chief justice for the appointment in Supreme Court.”
It is suggested that the government and the President must stop tampering with the recommendations of CJP and let the judicial process proceed on its constitutional course in the best interest of the country, and be prepared to face legal cases pending adjudication.
A balanced success can only be built on honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.
But, if the leadership lacks the said qualities, then there is a sufficient ground for a change.
The writer is an independent analyst based in Canada.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Question is, why do the Pakistani heads of state continue to define the parameters of their office? Even when they are flying in the face of injustice and outright lawbreaking.

Beyond criticism what do you suggest that the Judiciary branch of government actually do to reign in the Executive? As always your insights have led to more critical inquiry.

-Abdul Ghafur

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