Friday March 31, 2023

Doctrine of necessity buried forever: lawyers

Raza Rabbani says the verdict of the Supreme Court has restored the rule of law and democratic system

April 08, 2022
Mian Raza Rabbani (left), Abdi Saqi (middle) and Ashter Ausaf. The News/File
Mian Raza Rabbani (left), Abdi Saqi (middle) and Ashter Ausaf. The News/File

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The legal wizards of the country Thursday lauded the historic judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on the ruling of the deputy speaker of the National Assembly and were unanimous in their view that the top court had upheld the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution.

Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, while commenting on the SC judgment, termed it historic and said the verdict of the apex court upheld the Constitution and the institutions working under the Constitution were strengthened. Rabbani, who also gave his arguments in the case representing the Pakistan Peoples Party, told The News the verdict of the apex court has restored the rule of law and democratic system.

Similarly, former attorney general Ashter Ausaf said it is a historic decision rendered by a competent Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umer Ata Bandial, who wisely selected judges from all the four provinces while adjudicating upon his own suo motu notice taken on the most glaring issue. "What has happened with Imran Khan reminds me of Oliver Cromwell who after his death was taken out of his grave, tried for treason and hanged to be buried back in the same grave," Ausaf said.

Similarly, the Pakistan Bar Council's former vice chairman Abid Saqi said the judgment is laudable, adding that the top court ensured the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution. He said the sovereignty of the parliament to run the affairs of the state through chosen representatives stands established by the role of the Supreme Court.

Likewise, senior SC advocate Khwaja Haris said that being a historic judgment delivered by the country's highest court, the judges of the bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umer Ata Bandial, must be appreciated as after a long time, the nation has been given the best judgment in the country’s judicial history. The legal questions raised by the bench during the course of hearing are thought-provoking for the legal community of the country, he told The News.

He said that on Thursday, the Constitution and the rule of law won and "we are grateful to the Supreme Court for delivering such a unanimous and historic judgment which will be a milestone for the jurisprudence as well as for the benefit of parliamentary democracy in the country." He lauded the stance of Attorney General Khalid Javed for conceding that the ruling of the NA deputy speaker was illegal and unconstitutional.

The unanimous verdict is a welcome step taken by the country’s highest court to ensure the continuity of the democratic process in the country, said Hassan Irfan Khan, senior advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. "Judges' concentration was phenomenal, despite fasting," he told The News. He said that the judges' questions from the day one suggested that they were concerned about the stability of the democratic process. He said the decision has refused to follow the doctrine of necessity and boldly corrected blatant constitutional violations.

Talking to The News after the court set aside National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri's April 3 ruling to dismiss the no-trust resolution against Prime Minister Imran Khan and the subsequent dissolution of the National Assembly by the President, Supreme Court Bar Association President Ahsan Bhoon congratulated all the bars of the country, judges and the legal fraternity on the historic judgment. He said that the unanimous judgment was the win of the Constitution and the rule of the law. He said the doctrine of necessity had been buried forever and announced that lawyers across the country would celebrate a thanks-giving day today.

Lahore High Court Bar Association President Sardar Akbar Dogar said, "In the past we have seen that in such decisions the doctrine of necessity prevailed but it has happened for the first time that the judges completely stood by the Constitution and gave a historic judgment." Talking about the future, he said the judgment had made it clear that in future any government functionary would be cautious while taking any unconstitutional step and decision. He said the verdict had set a precedent that the Constitution is supreme and no one is above the law.

Civil rights activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir took to the twitter saying that history has been made today. He said that the Supreme Court's biggest achievement today was a unanimous decision that the Constitution had been violated and all actions and proceedings emanating from it were a nullity. "The unanimous decision will also counter the polarisation created by the PTI on the interpretation of the Constitution," he added. He said that given the troubled history of our institutions, including the judiciary, today's decision was the definition of Naya Pakistan in real terms.

Veteran lawyer Salahuddin Ahmed said it was a historic decision. "The court has delivered the verdict strictly in accordance with the law and the Constitution,” he added. He said that not only did the judges unanimously set aside the deputy speaker's unconstitutional ruling and ordered to reverse the subsequent actions by the premier and the president, it also rejected the government's arguments for applying the much-maligned doctrine of necessity and its requests for disregarding its own unconstitutional actions in the larger public interest. He said the ruling must be welcomed by everyone.

Legal expert Reema Omer said on the social media website that "Faith in the sanctity of the Constitution" had been strengthened, adding that it was not impractical or idealistic to have this expectation from the court.