CORPORATE PRES RELEASES (INDIA) news desk, June 21,2012
Press Council of India chairman Justice Markandey Katju has criticized the Supreme Court of Pakistan for unseating Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, saying it has “flouted all canons of Constitutional jurisprudence” and disturbed the delicate balance of power in the constitutional
“Pakistan Supreme Court has gone overboard, flouted all canons of Constitutional jurisprudence and is only playing to the galleries and not exercising judicial restraint,” Katju, who is currently in the US, said in an article mailed to journalists.
Pakistan Supreme Court had on June 19 declared that Gilani ceased to be Prime Minister with effect from April 26 when he was convicted of contempt of court for refusing to reopen graft cases in Switzerland against President Asif Ali Zardari.
But Justice Katju, a retired judge of the Indian Supreme Court, took strong exception to it.
“It seems to me that the Pakistan Supreme Court has lost its balance and gone berserk. If it does not now come to its senses, I am afraid the day is not far off when the Constitution will collapse, and the blame will squarely lie with the Pakistan Supreme Court, particularly its chief justice,” Justice Katju said.
“This is unheard of in a democracy. The Prime Minister holds office as long he has the confidence of Parliament, not confidence of the Supreme Court,” he said.
Justice Katju quoted Section 248(2) of the Pakistan Constitution, according to which, no criminal proceedings can be instituted or continued against the President or Governor in any Court during his term of office.
“I therefore fail to understand how proceedings on corruption charges (which are clearly of a criminal nature) can be instituted or continued against the Pakistan President,” the PCI chairman said.
Accusing the Pakistan Supreme Court, particularly its chief justice, of showing “utter lack of restraint” expected of superior Courts, Justice Katju said: “
“The Constitution establishes a delicate balance of power, and each of the 3 organs of the State, the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary must respect each other, and not encroach into each other’s domain, otherwise the system cannot function,” he added.