“Article 187 of the constitution authorizes the apex court to appoint a monitoring judge to oversee proceedings of any other court, including the national accountability court, in the country,” former vice chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council told Business Recorder.
He added the monitoring judge will have the power to issue directives/orders to ensure justice in any case or matter pending before the Supreme Court, arguing that the apex court’s order or decree under Article 187 is enforceable throughout Pakistan and ensures attendance of any individual and/or production of any document before a court of law.
Former President Supreme Court Bar Association Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, however, maintained that the nomination of a judge of the Supreme Court to oversee references against the Sharif family in the National Accountability Court proceedings would be a breach of due process of law if the objective is greater than looking at the timeline of the references.
Syed Ali Zafar further stated, “if the Supreme Court is only going to look at timeline and nothing more then in an exceptional case it would be acceptable; but if the apex court is going to oversee the National Accountability Court proceedings then it would be a violation of due process of law”.
Zafar expressed that there is no law which authorizes the apex court to oversee such references and added that Article 187 does not allow the apex court to create a new process of law which has not been legislated. Syed Ali Zafar differentiated between monitoring and implementing of a judgement, saying that during the monitoring of judicial proceedings a judge can ask the concerned authorities to do or not to do something and there is an element of supervision. “During implementation of a verdict, a judge or a bench would resolve problems or difficulties in the process of proceedings of a case,” he concluded.