Catch-22 situation for the govt: jurists

Catch-22 situation for the govt: jurists

Catch-22 situationLAHORE: Jurists say its a make or break situation for the government after the Supreme Court has put his foot down to get the NRO case decision implemented.

They say the government itself brought this situation by defying the Supreme Court orders.Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui has said that after the SC notice for appearance of the Prime Minister, the govt may come under tremendous heat as it will have no escape from writing to the Swiss authorities to reopen cases against President Asif Ali Zardari even if the disqualification of the Prime Minister comes about following conviction under the contempt of court law.

Siddiqui views that after so much time has elapsed since decision on the NRO case was passed, the government remained unwilling to write to the Swiss courts.As such the Prime Minister has left with a weak defence in contempt of court proceedings particularly after PM has time and again denied writing the letter. He says the SC will go through the contempt of proceedings wherein the contemner has to appear and his defiance may aggravate the situation against him. The former Chief Justice says the contempt proceedings will stay even if the Prime Minister writes the letter. And if the PM seeks apology of the court after complying with the SC order, the matter will be left to the discretion of the court to accept or reject the apology, he said.

He says the govt led by Gilani, has no option except implementing the NRO decision and if it fails, the SC is empowered to get the same implemented through a Commission or seeking help from the other institutions which ,however, is not likely to be without serious consequences for the government.What position remains of the President after letter is written, is another thing demanding consideration.Former Law Minister and former judge of the LHC, Dr Khalid Ranjha subscribes to the view that government is in troubled waters ,however, adds that the court may not go to a point where the government becomes unstable.

Dr Ranjha while appreciating the court order stated that the present is a show-cause notice to the Premier to seek his explanation as to why not notice for contempt of court not be served on him.In his view, the appearance of the Prime Minister may lead the court to leniency and a midway may come out.In his view, the Prime Minister is likely to take the same defence before the SC which he has taken in public.

Former President Lahore High Court Bar Association Ahmad Awais said that Supreme Court notice to the Prime Minister may undoubtedly have serious consequences for the government even if the Prime Minister is punished by the court and is held disqualified to stay on as member of the Assembly.The government, he says, will have no option other than writing to the Swiss Court in compliance with the SC decision.

He says the present Bench is not hearing the NRO case but the issue of implementation of the decision which it may get employing all means available to it in line with the dictates of Article 189 and 190 of the Constitution which require all State institutions to act in aid of the implementation of the judicial orders.To a question, Ahmad Awais says the letter to the Swiss courts for reopening cases against President Zardari is responsibility of the government headed by the Prime Minister and anyone replacing Gilani will have to fulfil that obligation or the contempt of court action will follow whosoever would avoid writing the letter.

Giving the impression that Gilani is being made a scapegoat to procure sympathy for the Zardari-led PPP, he ,however, said, if the Prime Minister complies with the court order the contempt of court proceedings are not likely to continue against him.Eminent jurist Iftikhar Gilani on the notice has advised the Prime Minister to resign from the office till his position is cleared on implementing the court orders.Former Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao had followed this norm and had resumed the office after his name was cleared by the court, he said.

Iftikhar said that the civilised nations set the lofty traditions in high profile cases and the PM Gilani should also quit his office and resume the Prime Ministership only after the court is satisfied that he abides by the court verdicts.Former President Supreme Court Bar Association and former Judge BHC, Tariq Mahmood said that the govt should implement the court order and said, it had already become evident that the Government was going to contest the case, when the Attorney General had told the SC during the proceedings that he was not under instructions to argue the case on the question of options given to the government to carry out the NRO case.

He said by writing to the Swiss courts no trouble will come later or sooner to President Asif Ali Zardari.He stated that the bad performance has already made life of the common man worst as such any further confrontation and tension should be avoided. – Nation