ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court acknowledged that manipulation resorted to in the Court by not fixing the review petitions against the SC judgment on Faizabad Dharna (sit-in).
A three-member judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Athar Minallah on Thursday released order of the instant matter, which was heard on November 15.
The order noted that review petitions and applications were filed in early 2019 but were not fixed for several years. In the interim the other signatory to the judgment, namely Justice Mushir Alam, retired on 17 August 2021. The concerned officers of the Supreme Court were asked to submit a report regarding non-fixation of these matters in Court.
The Additional Registrar (Fixture) and the Additional Registrar (Judicial) have jointly reported; “It is pertinent to mention here that usually the review petitions are fixed on priority before the same Bench or in which at least the author judge is a member.
Furthermore, previously important cases used to be fixed before the Court after approval of former chief justices. Record shows that CRP266/2019 etc were added in draft of Final Cause List No17/2019 for the first time on 25.04.2019 at 01:12 P.M (CFMS Report is attached at Flag-A) however, the same were removed from the draft list on 25.04.2019 at 05:06 P.M. as per direction given by the then Chief Justice of Pakistan.”
The report further states; “It is also worth mentioning that the said cases were also repeatedly mentioned in List of Important Cases presented to former HCJs from time to time, however, these cases remained pending in office due to the reason that there were no directions from the then HCJs for fixation of the cases.”
The order states; “With humility, and setting an example for others to follow, this Court acknowledges the manipulation resorted to in the Supreme Court by not fixing the said petitions and applications.”
The order said “the Supreme Court endeavours to regain the confidence of the people by acknowledging this, and will be demonstrating that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated. Truth sets one free and makes institutions strong. The people of Pakistan deserve nothing less.”
“It is long overdue that every institution acts transparently and responsibly. And, when wrong is done it is incumbent to acknowledge it. Ignoring wrongdoing or offering a bare denial of it, when the facts suggest otherwise, is to have lived a lie, and perpetuated it; it is also against the interest of the public whose taxes fund all public institutions.
“Lack of trust in public institutions engenders autocracy and threatens democracy. If individuals begin to overshadow the institutions they work in, they cause irreparable harm, diminish their institution, and render them as their alter ego.
The apex court directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to file a report on foreign funding to Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) without waiting for the next date (January 22, 2024).
The order noted; “The ECP had on the last date sought thirty days to do what it had undertaken and this period has not expired yet. The Commission should submit its report without waiting for the next date.”
The order said that it should not need reminding that every decision of the Supreme Court is binding and must be implemented by all executive authorities as stipulated in Articles 189 and 190 of the Constitution.
“Implementation however may be forestalled when review petitions and other applications are pending. However, all review petitions and applications have now been disposed of. It now needs to be considered whether we should invoke the constitutional power of contempt under Article 204 of the Constitution in case the Judgment is not implemented.
Those who were in government when the Judgment was given are no longer in government and the composition of the Election Commission has also changed. Therefore, it would not be appropriate to hold the present incumbents responsible for the actions/inactions of their predecessors, particularly when they have demonstrated that they want to implement the decision of this Court.”
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023