The leaders of the ruling coalition partners recently met at the Presidency to discuss the possibility of any adverse verdict of the Supreme Court in the various petitions being heard on the issue of the disqualification of the convicted prime minister. The handout released after the meeting stated that the coalition partners had “reiterated (their) resolve to uphold the supremacy of parliament, as envisaged in the constitution”. The handout, however, did not refer or specify under what provisions of the constitution they considered parliament to be supreme. The constitution is the fundamental law of the land and has superiority over all other institutions of the state, be it parliament, executive or judiciary. None of the institutions can go beyond the powers vested in them by the constitution. A constitution, being a basic law, cannot, therefore, be governed by any other law, order or authority. Parliament is, no doubt, sovereign, for its legislative competence is unlimited and possibly illimitable. Quite contrary to the legislative power of parliament, the judiciary does not make laws but only interpret them.
Judges of the superior courts have the authority of not only interpreting laws, pinpointing defects in the legislation and declaring as to how such defects can be corrected by parliament itself, but also of protecting the laws and implementing their judgements, orders and directions and all the various wings of the state machinery and their functionaries, howsoever high and mighty, are bound to obey the judiciary. Today we have an independent and functional superior judiciary when the other two important limbs of the state, the inept and NRO-infected executive and the inactive and docile parliament, have administratively failed to perform their respective functions leading the country to where it stands today.
Syed Iqbal Ahamd