Govt files review plea against SC verdict on Parliamentary Committee’s objections

ISLAMABAD: The federal government filed a review petition in the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday against its verdict of declaring the decision of a parliamentary committee (PC) for the appointment of judges null and void. Deputy Attorney General (DAG) KK Agha filed the petition in the SC on behalf of the federal government. The petitioner maintained that verdict of the court against the parliamentary committee’s decision was against the constitution and it should be reviewed.He pleaded that the apex court, through its March 21 verdict, had re-written a part of the constitution (Article 175-A) and gone beyond its power of interpreting the constitution.He contented that the apex court had erred in holding that the PC was not part of parliament, stressing on the contrary, it was part of parliament that represented will of the people. He also questioned one of the reasons of the detailed judgment that only the JC as legally minded people were in the best positions to assess candidates for judgeship. “This is an incorrect and flawed assumption. For example, judges are appointed in the US through the legislature, yet there is still an independent judiciary in the USA,” the petitioner argued.

“The judgment has amended and re-written the constitution by allowing a matter to be taken up before the constitutional process has been completed, rendering the role of the PC virtually meaningless and redundant in the new judicial appointment setup and thereby prejudicing the challenges against the 18th Amendment still pending before the court,” he added.The petition said the PC was a safety net therefore it rightly objected to candidates whom it considered, on the info0rmation received, unfit for the high judicial office. “If the PC’s decision is subject to judicial review, as this court has found, then there should be no objection to the action taken by the PC, which if found to be incorrect can be rectified on review,” the petitioner added.

It also stated that the PC was only attempting to ensure that only the best and most competent persons were appointed as judges under the new system pursuant to its constitutional duty. It also argued that the verdict also erred in allowing a judge who was novice in the main legal stream, who had limited knowledge of the law and lacked commitment and dedication to continue as a judge. “A person who lacks commitment and dedication (character traits) is unlikely to improve on his already limited knowledge of the law,” the petitioner contended. As such the impugned judgment failed to protect the citizen’s fundamental right of access to justice. – Dailytimes