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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa said as the federal government and others withdrawing review petitions against the Supreme Court judgment then they should accept that the verdict on Faizabad sit-in is vindicated.

The CJP said when you (the appellants) are accepting that the judgment is justified then now it is your test whether you stand with it or not. “They would have to inform who gave them the orders to file review petitions and now on whose order the pleas are withdrawn,” the CJP said. “Truth will set you free.” He remarked why everyone is scared and reluctant to speak truth.

Justice Athar Minallah said it is a landmark judgment, adding mere withdrawal of reviews is not enough, the government and the institutions now have to establish through their conduct whether they stand with it or not. The chief justice said: “We will give zero option to comply with the Supreme Court judgment.”

Had it had been implement then incidents such as Jaranwala could have been averted, he added.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Athar Minallah, on Thursday, heard the petitions of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Military Intelligence (MI), and Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), media wing of army, Ministry of Defence, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), MQM-P, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), President AML Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, and President PML-Z Ijazul Haq.

The Attorney General for Pakistan, representing the federal government and the Ministry of Defence, and the counsels appearing on behalf of ECP, Pemra, and PTI informed that they do not press the review petitions and want to withdraw the applications.

The AGP said the judgment is in field, and it must be implemented. “We will move in the right direction by implementing the 17 directions highlighted in the judgment,” the AGP assured.

The counsel of president PML-Z requested the court to expunge certain observations expressed in the judgment against Ijazul Haq.

The chief justice told counsel that they did not write anything against his but only referred the ISI report, which mentioned the inflammatory statements of Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Ijazul Haq and Sheikh Hameed made at the time of Faizabad sit-in. The court directed the lawyer to file an affidavit of the appellant (Ijaz). No one appeared on behalf of the MQM-P.

The Supreme Court, on February 6, 2019, delivered the judgment passing various directions. The review petitions were fixed after four years. The chief justice said when the review petitions were filed against the judgment (authored by him) then it was claimed that the judgment is full errors, but now the government and other petitioners say “no error” in it.

He said if the frivolous or vexatious petitions were filed at time then the fine should be imposed on the parties.

AGP Mansoor Usman Awan said steps will be taken to implement the judgment. The court, therefore, directed him to file a statement enumerating the steps. The court has given an opportunity to the appellants that if they wanted to say anything regarding the judgment then do it now through written statements by October 27.

Justice Faez said instead of discussing the judgment in TV programmes and YouTube channels say it now, otherwise, later on, do not complain that they were not heard. He said if the ECP, which had filed the review petition against the judgment, but now its counsel say that the Commission do not press it. The appellants were asked to submit their responses in writing and explain the reasons behind their decision to withdraw the review petitions.

The chief justice said the ECP, which is a constitutional body, if withdraws the review then it shows that all the institutions are not independent, it also depicts that it was orchestrated. He questioned whether the move was orchestrated at that time or orchestrated now.

Malik Qamar Afzal, representing the ECP, said a lot of time has passed and the many events have taken place after the judgment. He asked the court to bury the matter and look forward.

Justice Faez asked the ECP’s counsel: “are you indirectly criticising the Supreme Court. He said everybody is accountable including the Supreme Court, adding you meant to say that someone was controlling the SC not to fix certain cases. “We will start accountability from ourselves.” Now no one be allowed to use the Supreme Court for their designs, he added.

He said that it is appreciable that late Khadim Rizvi has accepted the judgment, but it might had upset someone. The CJP said everyone makes mistakes, but these should be accepted. He asked the Commission’s lawyer they (the bench) will give no option to the ECP as it has to comply with the judgment. Qamar Afzal told the bench that judgment will be complied with fully.

The chief justice addressing the AGP remarked whether the State can enter into void judgment. He questioned how it was justified that the State distributes money among the protesters. The case was adjourned until November 1.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Parvez Sep 29, 2023 01:23pm
Answer to CJ's question posed in the title of this article........ because they know that justice even though it may be done by the court, the chance of it being seen to be done by the people is slim.
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