10 executive members reject statement of SCBA president, secretary

Our Correspondent
Sunday, Apr 09, 2023

By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: Ten Members of the Executive Committee (MEC) of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Saturday distanced themselves from a media statement issued by the body’s president and secretary and termed it as an attack on the supremacy of parliament.

In a statement issued late in the evening, they said, “We, the majority of executive committee members of the SCBAP [10 out of 17], regret and express our serious reservations on a non-representative statement of the president and secretary, without taking into confidence the majority of executive members.”

The statement carried the names of Muhammad Yousaf Mughal, senior vice president (KPK); Adnan Ejaz Sheikh, vice president Balochistan; Hifza Bokhari, finance secretary; Abdul Malik Baloch, member executive committee (MEC), Balochistan; Aamir Sabir, MEC, KPK; Yasir Zahoor Abbasi, MEC, KPK; Saleem Akhtar Warraich, MEC, Multan, Bahawalpur; Mohammad Mohsin Virk, MEC, Punjab; Irfan Mir Halepota, MEC, Sindh; Manoj Kumar Tajwani, MEC, Sindh, who rejected the statement, issued by the SCBA top office-bearers.

The statement said: “They [president and secretary] have not only tried to deepen the differences among the Supreme Court judges, but also tried to attack the supremacy of parliament, which can never be approved of by the majority of the executive members.”

The members of executive committee urged the chief justice of Pakistan to immediately call a full court meeting to bridge all differences, being the elder of the institution. “He should also constitute a full court bench to rectify all dissenting decisions, to maintain the trust of public at large, as well as the stakeholders,” the statement demanded.

The members also warned the SCBA president and secretary not to act as the spokespersons for a political party, rather work for welfare of the bar and supremacy of the Constitution.

Earlier, Barrister Abid S Zuberi, president, and Muqtedir Akhtar Shabbir, secretary of the SCBA, said that the resolution, passed on April 6, 2023, by the National Assembly (NA) against the Supreme Court verdict on Punjab Assembly elections, was a violation of the Constitution and independence of judiciary.

They reiterated that they would stand with the rule of law, supremacy of the Constitution and dignity of the Supreme Court, headed by the chief justice of Pakistan.

They said it was unfortunate to observe that the National Assembly, which was bound to act in accordance with the Constitution, blatantly disregarded Article 68 of the Constitution, which prohibits any discussion in the Parliament with respect to the conduct of any judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court in discharge of his duties.

“Members of Parliament have made disparaging and extremely disrespectful comments against members of the judiciary, which is not only violative of the Constitution but a direct challenge to the integrity of the judiciary,” the SCBA office-bearers maintained.

They said the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a democratic state and the state machinery functions on the principle of trichotomy of powers; that is the parliament, the judiciary and the executive must act independently and no branch of the state could encroach upon authority of the others, or is superior to the other.

“Due deference towards state institutions, which function under the Constitution, including the parliament and the judiciary, is incumbent upon all citizens of Pakistan,” they said adding that members of the executive and parliament are bound to act in accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court, which is final; and cannot be set aside or circumvented by way of a resolution, passed in the National Assembly.

Quoting media reports, they said that the said resolution was passed by only 43 members of the house (Parliament), out of 342, adding that such resolutions would only lead to absolute chaos or anarchy when stability and democratically elected governments are a need of the hour. President Abid Zubairi and Secretary said the SCBA, along with the entire legal fraternity of Pakistan, strongly condemn the smear campaign and media trial of the judges, and further condemn the derogatory remarks/ statements passed against them in open public rallies, congregations and the Parliament.

“Without any stretch of imagination, it is obvious that the purpose of said smear campaign is to pressurise the judiciary so as to achieve unconstitutional and undemocratic agendas,” they said.

They reiterated that the SCBA would continue to lend its unwavering support towards upholding the rule of law, independence of the institutions and supremacy of the Constitution of Pakistan.

They called upon all stakeholders to amicably reach a consensus in order to safeguard the integrity of the judiciary and restore political and economic stability in the country, failing which the country would head towards absolute anarchy.

They maintained that unity inter se and amongst all state institutions was crucial to overcome the prevailing political and economic crisis in the country.