Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Supreme Court

The events in the Supreme Court of Pakistan have over-taken everyone expectations. The judgment on the November, 03, 2007, actions of the then Chief of Army Staff cum President is being hailed as 'historic' for various reasons. With respect, some questions arise. Why the hurry to announce the order on the same day as the hearing concluded? It was after all an important issue being adjudicated upon and no matter how black and white the legality of the actions in question there was no apparent reason for announcing that the order would be announced at 3:30 p.m. and then keep everybody waiting till past 8 in the evening. Could it not have waited till the next day? After all when the Supreme Court says 3:30 it should mean that!
Then there is the issue of the Ordinances (37 of them) which have now been handed over to Parliament to either transform into Acts or let them die a second death. Second death? Yes, most of these Ordinances had already lapsed but now the court has revived them and given Parliament another chance to look at them. Some opine that this amounts to an amendment of the Constitution which grants only a limited life to Ordinances passed by the President (120 days) or by the Governors of the provinces (90 days). Can the Supreme Court amend the Constitution and that too by a side wind so to say. More later.

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