SC cannot review any matter in vacuum: Chief Justice of Pakistan

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said Supreme Court (SC) can not review any matter in vacuum adding no one has told so far renaming of a province stand in conflict with what part of the constitution.

CJP gave these remarks while presiding over a 17-member larger bench of SC during the course of hearting of constitutional petitions seeking revocation of certain clauses of the 18th amendment.

Counsel for Pakhtoon Khawa province, Iftikhar Gillani took the plea before the court that the world “Pakhtoon” stands for identity of a nation. When the provincial assembly adopted the resolution of Pakhtoon Khawa then Sardar Aftab Khan hailing from Hazara was the chief minister of province and Pir Sabir Shah delivered speech in support of Pakhtoon Khawa in the assembly as leader of the house. He further stated a prominent leader from Hazara Abdul Qayyum Khan had recognized the name of Pakhtoon Khawa. Provincial assembly also passed the resolution in support of Pakhtoon Khawa after a protracted debate and only two members opposed this resolution.

Iftikhar Gillani pleaded SC was authorized to nullify the clauses which ran contrary to the basic structure of the constitution and the court could also invalidate them if constitutional course was not found adopted.

He further argued SC had acknowledged in lawyers mahaz and lawyers forum case that renaming province did not stand in conflict with the basic structure of the constitution. Article 2-AB was the basic structure of the constitution and independence of judiciary was the pivotal point of basic structure, he contended.

“Under what reason constitutional amendments against the basic structure of the constitution can be nullified and how the mandate be sought from the people in respect of the constitutional amendments running in clash with the basic structure of the constitution ”, Justice Saqib Nisar inquired. Referendum could be held for this purpose, Iftikhar Gilani replied.

During the course of hearing of the petitions justice Saqib Nisar remarked “ constitution was a live document and it was meant for the people, not for those buried in the graves.

The hearing of the case has been adjourned till July, 26.

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