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> Supreme Court Judges Reject Constitutional Amendments
   
 
Statement
December 18, 2007
Karachi

   

December 18; The 6 Judges of the Supreme Court who refused to take oath on January 26, 2000 under the PCO of 2000 have formed a Committee for the Rule of Law (CRL) keeping in view the prevailing scenario in the Country. These judges met at Karachi on December 17, 2007 and considered the constitutionality and impact of recent amendments made in the Constitution of 1973 by Gen. (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf. The Judges rejected the constitutional amendments and reiterated their position that any individual, howsoever powerful he may be, has no right to amend the Constitution and that Parliament alone has the authority to make changes and amendments to the Constitution in accordance with the procedure prescribed under Articles 238 and 239 of the Constitution.

 
 

They clarified that the only power given to the Supreme Court under the Constitution is to interpret and declare what a particular provision of the Constitution or the law means. It cannot arrogate to itself the power to legislate or to delegate any such power to any other authority, much less an individual. The amendment of the Constitution by an individual, therefore, is nothing but an act of usurpation of power of the Parliament which cannot be justified on any known principle of jurisprudence. The judges also reiterated their earlier rejection of Gen. (Retd.) Musharraf’s alleged suspension of the Constitution under the garb of Proclamation of Emergency emphasizing that no Court, authority or person has any right or jurisdiction to suspend the Constitution. The Judges urged the political parties to undertake not to validate any of the actions or the legislative instruments of Gen. (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf done or promulgated since November 03, 2007 or afterwards.

 
 

The unauthorized amendments in the Constitution, the judges said, have robbed the credibility, fairness and transparency of the ongoing process of election and demanded immediate withdrawal of these amendments. The judges also declared that elections under a neutral caretaker set up made up of men and women of impeccable integrity and an Election Commission fully empowered and acceptable to all the political parties taking part in the election alone can steer the country out of the present crisis.

 
 

The Judges reiterated that the existence of an independent judiciary is sine qua non for establishment of the rule of law in the Country and democratization of the society. They demanded that the Judiciary as it stood on November 2, 2007 be reinstated as the minimum and the first step towards independent Judiciary. They also called upon the Government to immediately remove all curbs on the print and electronic media to enable it to perform its assigned role of keeping the people informed about the important events in the country through objective reporting.

 
 

The Committee for the Rule of Law comprises Justice (Retd.) Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqui, Former Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Pakistan; Justice (Retd.) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Former Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice (Retd.) Khalil ur Rehman Khan, Former Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan; Justice (Retd.) Mamoon Kazi, Former Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice (Retd.) Wajihuddin Ahmad, Former Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan and Justice (Retd.) Kamal Mansoor Alam, Former Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan.