PM Shehbaz deplores CJP Bandial's remarks over parliamentarians

"It is our right to express our views in parliament," PM hits out at CJP

By
APP
|
Web Desk
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaks during a National Assembly session in Islamabad, on April 3, 2023. — APP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaks during a National Assembly session in Islamabad, on April 3, 2023. — APP

  • PM Shehbaz hits out at CJP during National Assembly's session.
  • "It is our right to express our views in the parliament," he tells CJP.
  • Govt has expressed distrust in SC bench hearing poll case, he adds.


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif deplored Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial's remarks over parliamentarians during the hearing of the Punjab election delay case.

The apex court has been hearing the election delay case for a week now after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) sought action against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for delaying the polls to October 8. The verdict was reserved earlier today and is expected to be announced tomorrow (Tuesday).

The government has already opposed the three-member bench — comprising CJP Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Munib Akhtar — and demanded a full court, but the top court rejected the request.

During the hearing of the case last week, the CJP remarked that certain people speaking in the National Assembly had undergone jail terms and were declared traitors.

"Today, when you go to parliament, you find people [...] who were till yesterday in captivity, imprisoned, declared traitors. They are now talking over there, and being respected because they are representatives of the people."

In response to the CJP's remarks during a session of the National Assembly, the prime minister said it was a matter of pride for him that he had been released by the high court on merit in false and fabricated cases.

PM Shehbaz said former prime minister Imran Khan's government had framed false cases against him and tried to "implicate me in those fabricated cases".

"It is our right under the Constitution to express our views in parliament," he said, adding whether the CJP took notice of the witch-hunting of the opposition leaders during the PTI’s tenure.

The prime minister said there were serious allegations of corruption against certain members of the bench and by including them in the bench, "what message was given to the whole country".

"The law of equality was applicable to all. Double standards would not work," the prime minister said. He added that "Imran's lackey Shehzad Akbar" had got a false story published against him in London's Daily Mail, but later the author of the story tendered an apology.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaks during a National Assembly session in Islamabad, on April 3, 2023. — APP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaks during a National Assembly session in Islamabad, on April 3, 2023. — APP

The prime minister said Khan, during his rule, had no other engagement but to spend his energies on devising nefarious schemes to send opposition leaders to jails.

He mentioned that Khan had sent him twice to jail and was trying to send him for a third time.

Even his bail which was granted on merit by the high court during the PTI’s government was challenged in the Supreme Court, he added. PM Shehbaz said he was released on merit and now standing in the parliament.

“My fault was that as leader of the opposition, they were countering the ill-devised policies of the PTI’s government and Niazi considered them as hurdles and acted like ‘Nero plays the flute when Rome was on fire’."

The prime minister mentioned that all the leaders of coalition parties in the federal government, during a meeting chaired by him in Lahore last week, had expressed their no confidence in the SC bench hearing the case of polls delay.

PM Shehbaz endorsed the views of Minister for Law Azam Nazeer Tarrar regarding the expression of no confidence in the constitution of the bench seized of the matter.

He said Justice Ijazul Ahsan, another member of the bench, had recused himself from the bench. He requested the CJP to constitute a full court sans two judges as it would be acceptable to the nation.

Such a contentious decision, he said, would be against the norms of justice.

Earlier, the law minister briefed the House about the proceedings in the apex court and reiterated that the coalition parties had already conveyed to the court to constitute a full court to hear the instant case.