ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) condemned the Punjab governor’s statement to send a reference to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against the LHC judge, who ordered the administering of oath to Hamza Shehbaz of Punjab chief minister.
In separate statements issued by the SCBA and the PBC on Friday, SCBA President Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon and its Secretary Waseem Mumtaz Malik and PBC Vice-Chairman Hafeez ur Rehman Chaudhry strongly condemned the announcement made by Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema regarding sending a reference against Justice Jawad Hassan to the SJC.
Pakistan People’s Party Senator Raza Rabbani also issued a statement, which said that the letter written by the governor Punjab asking the COAS to play his role in the implementation of the Constitution in Punjab, exposes the double standards of the PTI.
The SCBA president said Justice Jawad Hassan is not only an independent, honest and competent judge but is an asset for the superior judiciary and the entire legal fraternity of the country stands behind him.
“It is quite shocking to see how the present Governor Punjab has constantly made a mockery of the Constitution, ridiculed the office of Governor, deviated from the Constitution and sabotaged the democratic norms,” said Ahsan Bhoon. “The country has not seen before such a tyrannical mindset holding such a higher constitutional post continuously undermining the constitution,” he added. The president and the secretary said that question must be asked from him on whose behest and under what authority, he has deviated from the Constitution. It appears from his till date actions that he wanted chaos and lawlessness in the largest province of Pakistan.
They demanded from the Supreme Court, being the custodian of the Constitution, to take notice of the unconstitutional steps taken by the present governor Punjab and that is why Justice Jawad Hassan has rightly given the decision in accordance with the Constitution and the law.
They have also condemned the smear campaign launched against the judges and the judiciary in strongest possible terms and stated that no one will be allowed to malign the dignity and respect of judges for petty political gains.
PBC vice chief Hafeez said it is very astonishing and alarming that the incumbent Punjab governor has constantly violated the Constitution, and is ridiculing the office of Governor, deviated from the Constitution, and sabotaged the democratic values and norms which has never happened in the past.
Cheema must be made answerable for his statements and actions and be asked under what authority has deviated from the Constitution. His actions show that he is trying to create chaos and lawlessness in Punjab.
Senator Rabbani said the letter is in a chain of deliberate steps taken, with mala fide intent, by constitutional functionaries of the PTI government of grossly violating the Constitution.
“The role of untangling the constitutional knot, if such a knot exists, by the COAS as pleaded by the Governor, is not envisaged by the Constitution,” adding the matter in one form or another is already before the Lahore High Court, but the Punjab governor has defied the Court orders.
“It is paradoxical that when the Supreme Court and the Lahore High Court were acting to fulfil their constitutional responsibility of preventing the violation and seeking the implementation of the Constitution, a vicious campaign had been unleashed against them.”
The Governor continues in office on borrowed time, as under Article 48 of the Constitution the President takes a constitutional siesta, only to be woken up, said the PPP senator.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022