Changing the documents like objective resolution, a criminal negligence: CJP

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had remarked that it was a criminal negligence to bring change in documents like objective resolution adding Zia ul Haq tempered the constitution in 1985 through RPO and the sitting parliament had done a good job by undoing this tempering.

CJP gave these remarks while presiding over a 17-member larger bench of Supreme Court (SC) during the course of hearing of identical petitions seeking annulment of certain clauses of 18th amendment.

The bench inquired from the lawyers of both sides during the hearing if any constitutional amendment was undone by the court ever before.

Hamid Khan advocate told religious freedom for minorities which was part of objective resolution was tempered in the documents evolved in 1985.

CJP remarked constitution was a sacred document and no one could temper it. Zia ul Haq tempered the constitution in 1985 through RPO. How strange it was that the then assembly did not take notice of it. The words related to freedom of religion for minorities were expunged from the constitution through RPO. The credit for including these words again in the constitution goes to the sitting parliament, he added.

Supporting the remarks of CJP, Hamid Khan advocate said the then assembly passed the amendment without looking into it.

Earlier citing to different cases, Hamid Khan advocate took the plea the powers of judiciary in connection with judicial review could neither be abolished nor be restricted.

During the haring one petitioner Abdul Hafiz Pirzada submitted the application that record pertaining to the parliamentary debate over 1973 constitution be provided.

Hamid Khan said the concept of judicial commission with regard to appointment of judges had been taken from South Africa where presidential system of government was in place.

Justice Khalil ur Rehman Ramday observed it had happened in all the countries including Pakistan whenever court delivered any verdict then the constitution was amended or new legislation was enacted.

The decision of Indian SC about annulment of constitutional amendment be presented in the court today , the bench directed.

The hearing of the case has been put off till Wednesday.

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