18th Amendment restored parliamentary system in real sense: CJ

Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said on Tuesday that the 18th Amendment had restored the parliamentary system in real sense.

He was heading a 17-member larger bench seized with hearing of a set of petitions on certain provisions of the 18th Amendment.

The Chief Justice said that the prime minister’s powers had been restored after taking it from the president. However, his role had been minimized in judges’ appointment issue as envisaged under Article 175 A.

Salman Akram Raja, counsel for members of civil society favouring the 18th Amendment, resumed his arguments.

He contended that new mode of appointment of judges was reflective of the global trend.

He said even the collegium in India was under stress including the judiciary.

He also defended inclusion of parliamentary members in the judicial commission and said they would be there as public representatives.

Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani remarked that the powers were given to a parliamentary committee which would not be elected by the parliamentarians.

He said the proposed procedure for judges’ appointment diminished powers of the president, the prime minister and the chief justice.

The Chief Justice told Salman that in the constitution there was nothing redundant even a comma and full stop had meanings.

He said they would have to realize the ground realities.

He observed that maturity was in the offing as evident from reading out newspapers.

Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday remarked that the judiciary was separated and detached from the executive in Pakistan but now latter’s role was being enhanced while in the United Kingdom, executive’s role had been minimized in appointment of judges’ issue.

After conclusion of his arguments, Attorney General for Pakistan Molvi Anwar-ul-Haq told the bench that Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, who headed a constitutional reforms committee, would be appearing on Wednesday to assist the Court on the issue.

Mian Rabbani had expressed his desire to appear before the larger bench. Besides, he had been made a respondent in one of the petitions.

The hearing was adjourned till Wednesday.