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Balochistan verdict: SC refuses to entertain govt's review petition

19 November, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Registrar Office has refused to entertain the federal government's review petition against the court's October 12 order in the Balochistan target killing case, saying the language of the petition is too scandalous. Meanwhile, the federal government challenged the SC Registrar Office's objections on its review petition.

Advocate-on-Record Raja Abdul Ghafoor told on behalf of the federal government he filed an appeal against the SC Registrar Office's move to return the petition by saying its language was too scandalous. Ghafoor said they had contended that the SC Registrar Office had no right to declare the review petition non-maintainable by objecting to its language. He said the government had requested to fix its review petition before the court.

The federal government in the review petition stated it appeared that while passing the impugned order, the court was persuaded and inclined to revive the essence, letter and spirit of the 17th Amendment regarding the controversial powers of Article 58(2)(b), once available to the president of Pakistan.

It has also contended the court's assuming to itself the defunct powers of Article 58(2)(b) – the use of which has been disregarded and discontinued by parliament itself in view of the constitutional amendments after the 18th Amendment.

It is to be noted that the court in its October 12 interim order held, "Unfortunately in the instant case (Balochistan unrest case) the federal government except deploying FC troops, has failed to protect the province of Balochistan from internal disturbances. Similarly, as far as the provincial government of Balochistan is concerned it had lost its constitutional authority to govern the province because of violation of fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan."

Meanwhile, the Balochistan government has also engaged a legal team, headed by Shahid Hamid senior advocate to defend its legal status in the Supreme Court tomorrow (Tuesday).

Balochistan Advocate General Amanullah Kanrani has confirmed they are finalising a lawyers' team to submit the provincial government's stance before the Supreme Court in the Balochistan target killing case, as Shahid Hamid has already been engaged in this regard. On the last hearing on November 2, the court had refused to withdraw its October 12 order, which declared that Balochistan government had lost its constitutional authority to govern the province. The AG had contended that the murder of Akbar Bugti led to turmoil and his killers were responsible for the current unrest in the province

The government further called the court order "very dangerous" for the country and believed it to be a licence or invitation to unseen avaricious forces.

In the review petition, the federal government pointed out it is not the function of the superior courts of the country to gauge performance of a political government, and the judges of the superior courts by virtue of their oath are under a constitutional obligation not to enter into political questions even if such questions involve questions of law.

"Getting involved in political questions constitutes misconduct under Article 5 of the Code of Conduct of Superior Court Judges issued after the restoration of the present chief justice. As such the aforesaid findings of this court are without jurisdiction and the same need to be reviewed keeping in view the constitution, the law and principles of good conscience and fair play," it added. The petition said the court had pointed out the ills but had not explicitly suggested any remedy, as it thoroughly knew the implications. "The country is at war and poise is the demand of the hour. The Supreme Court is expected to adhere to its well-established principle of trichotomy of powers," it further said.


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