Friday, April 07, 2023
Backing the growing demand of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif on Friday asked Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial to tender his resignation from his post immediately.
Hours after Supreme Court’s Justice Athar Minallah released his detailed note on the suo motu notice proceedings on the delay in holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb demanded CJP Bandial step down.
Taking to Twitter, the three-time former prime minister — who has been living in London since 2019 in self-imposed exile — said: “The chief justice should resign instead of bringing more destruction.”
Slamming the chief justice, Nawaz said that the courts steer the nation out of the crisis, adding that "they do not push the into crisis".
The former premier also accused the top judge of misusing his powers, saying that the top judge "imposed the decision of the minority on the decision of the majority".
The PML-N supremo also accused the top judge of "carrying forward the agenda of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)". He added that the chief justice disgraced his post and the Constitution.
Earlier today, Marriyum said: "Chief justice has now become controversial. Therefore, the chief justice should resign."
The crisis persists as the demand comes a day after the National Assembly passed a resolution rejecting the three-member Supreme Court bench’s "minority" verdict on the Punjab elections and made it binding on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his cabinet not to implement the decision.
Justice Minallah was among the judges who rejected the suo motu notice taken by the CJP regarding the delay in polls in KP and Punjab on the advice of a Supreme Court bench hearing the Ghulam Mehmood Dogar case.
CJP Bandial had formed a nine-member bench to hear the suo motu case. However, two of the nine judges had recused themselves from the case, while four others — Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Minallah — dismissed the case.
In the note, Justice Minallah reiterated that the “manner and mode” in which these proceedings were initiated had “unnecessarily” exposed the court to political controversies.
Aside from eroding public confidence, the assumption of suo motu may “raise concerns in the mind of an informed outside observer,” he explained, adding that this would also prejudice the rights of litigants whose cases are pending.
The information minister also said that when the court’s proceedings become controversial and even the judges of the top court refused to accept the judgement — then how will the people accept the verdict.
“Justice Minallah neither separated nor rescued himself from the bench,” Marriyum said citing the judge. "It is not a matter of elections but an issue of 'bench fixing'," she added.
Marriyum also said, “Justice Minallah note is a question mark.”
Without naming PTI Chairman Imran Khan, the info minister said that it was not acceptable for them when a Constitution breacher is facilitated by the judiciary.