Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa says if Faizabad verdict was implemented then no further incidents would have taken place after it n AGP says decision in Faizabad case should have been implemented n SC notes it was surprise that respondents wanted to withdraw review petitions n Directs petitioners to appear before court at next hearing on Nov 1HOLIDAY.
FAIZABAD SIT-IN CASE.
ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa Thursday expressed annoyance after multiple petitioners decided to withdraw their pleas seeking a review of the Supreme Court’s 2019 verdict against the Faizabad sit-in.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of 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 PTI, MQM-P, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), President AML Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and President PML-Z Ijaz ul 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 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf informed that they do not press for the review petitions and want to withdraw the applications. The AGP said the judgement is in field, and it must be implemented.
The counsel of President PML-Z requested the court to expunge certain observations expressed in the judgement against Ijaz ul Haq. The Chief Jus
did not write anything against him but only referred the ISI report, which mentioned the inflammatory statements of Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Ijaz ul 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.
‘NO ERROR IN IT’
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 that when the review petitions were filed against the judgement (authored by him) then it was claimed that the judgement is full of errors, but now the government and other petitioners say ‘no error’ in it. He said that if the frivolous or vexatious petitions were filed at time then the fine should be imposed on the parties.
AGP Mansoor Usman Awan informed that the steps will be taken to implement the judgement. 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 judgement then do it now through written statements by October 27.
Justice Faez said instead of discussing the judgement 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 judgement, but now its counsel say that the Commission do not for 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 that 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 that a lot of time has passed and the many events have taken place after the judgement. He asked the court to bury the matter and look forward.
Justice Faez asked the ECP counsel that you are indirectly criticising the Supreme Court. He said everybody is accountable including the Supreme Court, adding that you meant to say that someone was controlling the SC not to fix certain cases. He said, “We will start accountability from ourselves.” Now no one is allowed to use Supreme Court for their designs, he added.
He said that it is appreciable that late Khadim Rizvi had accepted the judgement, but it might had upset someone. The CJP said everyone makes mistakes, but these should be accepted. He asked the Commission’s lawyer they (bench) will give no option to the ECP as it has to comply the judgement. Qamar Afzal told the bench that judgement will be complied fully.
The Chief Justice addressing the AGP remarked whether the state can enter into void judgement. He questioned how it was justified that the state distributes money among the protesters. Then, he adjourned the hearing of the case till November 1.
The Supreme Court directed the respondents to submit their written comments by October 27. After completing the hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa wrote the order regarding Thursday’s proceeding. It stated that the Ministry of Defense through Attorney General requested that it didn’t want to further pursue the case.
Other respondents including PEMRA, PTI, and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had also requested permission to withdraw review petitions. The court said that so far the decision had not been taken on the requests of the respondents to withdraw the review petitions. It said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf also believed that the decision in Faizabad sit-in case was correct. It was surprise that the respondents wanted to withdraw the review petitions but the court was giving an opportunity to them to appear at the next hearing, the court said.
During the course of proceedings, Attorney General of Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan adopted the stance that the Federation didn’t want to defend this case. The chief justice remarked that it had been stated previously that there were flaws in the judgment. If these flaws had been abolished now, what was the reason to withdraw the review petitions, he questioned.
He remarked that the people, who had been in power, were claiming in their speeches on TV and Youtube that they were not heard. “Now we are sitting here to listen them and the court is keeping the matter as pending,” he said.
The CJP remarked that if the decision was implemented, then no further incidents would have taken place after it. “We would move on the right path after implementing 17 directions, given in the judgment,” he observed. The attorney general said that the decision in the said case should have been implemented. Justice Athar Minallah also termed the judgment as landmark and said that it should be complied with.
PTI’s Lawyer Ali Zafar and ECP’s counsel Qamar Afzal also said that they didn’t want to pursue the review petitions and wanted to withdraw it.
Addressing the AGP, the chief justice said: “Why not a fine was imposed on everyone for wasting court’s time. We wouldn’t allow anybody to use the judiciary for their benefit. He questioned that whether the ECP’s stance was right at that time or now.” Who has now asked ECP to file the review petition, he added.
ECP’s lawyer Qamar Afzal said that there were changes in the institution in 2020 and now it didn’t want to pursue the case. ECP had taken permission to file the review petition at that time, he added.
The CJP remarked: Why the respondents filed the review petitions if they were admitting the decision as accurate. He said that agreement pertaining to Faizabad sit-in should also be made as part of the record.
On the occasion, the AGP prayed the court to adjourn the case for a period of two months.
The Attorney General said that the decision of the Faizabad sit-in case was related to everyone’s responsibilities and the review petitions should have been fixed earlier.
assured the top court regarding the implementation of the decision in the case and said the court should give time in this regard. The CJP said, “Everyone has admitted that the court decision was correct, we passed the exam, now it is your turn.” The court asked the respondents to submit written comments till October 27, and adjourned the case.
Authored by Justice Qazi Faez Isa years before, the judgement had instructed the defence ministry and the tri-services chiefs to penalise personnel under their command who were found to have violated their oath.
It had also directed the federal government to monitor those advocating hate, extremism and terrorism and prosecute them in accordance with the law. Adverse observations were also made against several government departments for causing inconvenience to the public as the 20-day sit-in paralysed life in both Islamabad and Rawalpindi.