In line with the process followed in the case of then Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the question of non-implementation of its judgment on the National Reconciliation Ordinance, the Supreme Court has now issued a show cause notice to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. Hearing the case on Wednesday, the court sternly warned him that failure to comply with its orders by August 27 i.e. to write to the Swiss authorities would necessitate legal action against him. But, the government remains adamant and there is no intermission in the rhetoric that the supremacy of Parliament and its right to legislate must be defended. In its latest salvo against the apex court, the PPP’s core committee on Tuesday said that it would oppose the emergence of any ‘new centres of power’. The assumption was that the powers vested in Parliament under the Constitution were being appropriated by the judiciary. Thus, the warning that the government would not surrender the Parliament’s right to make laws to any other institution. Law Minister Farooq Naek informed the core committee that petition against the verdict on the contempt law was ready.
It is unfortunate that our ruling political leadership does not realise the catastrophic impact on the rule of law of the clash that has purposefully been engineered between the Executive and the Judiciary. Another casualty is the concerns of the general public that have literally been cast aside and a vicious attack on the Parliament’s domain of power is being conjured up. In fact, by defying the court rulings and insisting that it has the final authority to enact and interpret law, the government (Parliament) is trying to appropriate the Supreme Court’s powers. It is time to abandon the policy of confrontation with the Supreme Court; otherwise, we would continue to remain the laughing stock of the world, which obeys the courts’ verdicts without demur.