Nation awaits judgment in Panama case
Supreme Court needs to play active role for riding the country of corruption, inefficiency, bad governance: Rasheed A Razvi
Panama case judgment is being delayed as judges could not reach consensus with junior judges waiting for the judgment by Justice Asif Saeed Khoso who headed the five member bench. This impression is given credence by the bench which refrained from passing a short order. Piles and piles of documents have to be sifted through for finding any material that could assist the bench to arrive at a just conclusion, opined Justice ( Rtd ) Rasheed A Razvi in an exclusive interview with National Courier here yesterday. Supreme Court has erred by not making a Commission to look into the controversy instead of hearing it under Article 184 (3). Never before in the judicial history of Pakistan Supreme Court has asked a petitioner (s) about a relief, he said explaining that former Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali asked the parties that what relief can be given and called for their views/ consent for establishing a Commission. Instead the apex court must have formed a judicial commission to probe the allegation against Prime Minister Nazwaz Sharif and his family members. Had it been formed on that day, its report must have come by now deciding the controversy once for all.
The scope was so widened by the Supreme Court that now they may apparently be finding it difficult to wrap it all, he added. He cited a number of land mark cases including SHCBA ‘s case, NRO case and said detailed judgments followed short judgment pronounced just after conclusion of arguments by the parties. When asked about “ Observation Galore “ by the apex courts during proceedings of different cases and that whether it happens in other parts of the world, Justice (rtd) Razvi said superior court must abstain from such observations and remarks. They must ask questions if there is a confusion in facts or law, but shall not reply to every arguments by the contesting sides. They must hear more and say very less, he said Corruption and inefficiency of the bureaucracy are the biggest ills of the country and Superior court have a duty to play an active role. The chairmen National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Board of Revenue(FBR) appeared before the Supreme Court on last day of hearing in the Panama case and their submission rather expressed inability to act independently and against every corrupt person forced the court to assume jurisdiction and after that give a verdict. The court is also expected to make observation/ recommendation in respect of functions and duties of NAB and FBR, he said adding that all state institutions have failed to perform their respective functions and discharged duties as per mandate of specific laws, ordinances under which they are created. NAB has a duty to check corruption, abuse of power and authority and malpractices but it itself is plagued with violations of law, merit , abuse of power , corruption and corrupt practices, how it could others accountable, President Supreme Court Bar Association said. The manner in which state institutions employed persons related to the politicians, ministers, ambassadors and bureaucrats, principle of merit, transparency have been mutilated beyond repair, he opined referring to illegal appointments in NAB,PIA, Oil and Gas sector . General Pervez Musharraf and successive civilian government are responsible for the damage to institutions. A sport’s women was appointed Director NAB which is a purely technical job, he said referring to another appointment of a primary school teacher as Director FIA. He called for establishing a commission to look into thousands of illegal appointment during 2000 -2013. Responding to a question about quality of judges in superior courts, he said that he has said publicly on number of occasions that criteria to become a judge is very simple. A lawyer must have 20 reported judgments to his credit for being enrolled as an Advocate Supreme Court (ASC) but there is no such condition to become a judge, Justice Rasheed A Razvi said. If the profiles of judges appointed after 2010 are seen on will find judges who don’t have even a single reported case to their credit and most of them have 3- 4 reported cases, he said adding that after the establishment of Judicial Commission for appointment of judges, frustration amongst lawyers has increased Asked about his appointment as judge on recommendation of PPP, he said that his appointment was on merit as he was retained after judgment in Al Jihad case whilemany others were sent home.
I exited from the bench as I refused to take oath under PCO, he said adding that he never had an inclination towards the “ Dictators “ or ‘Usurpers’ . As a young lawyer, I have seen people giving standing ovation and receiving amid thunderous applause, Justice Dorab Patel and Fakruddin G Ebrahim and always intended to follow these towering personalities, the real legal luminaries, he said. I have always opposed the undemocratic rule, arrested and remained behind the bars for democracy and an independent judiciary. Even today I am opposing the military court and in my speech at Supreme Court on the occasion of full court reference in the honor of Justice Amir Hani Muslim, have expressed reservations and non -approval of establishing military courts to try civilians may it be a terrorist or any other criminal. By allowing the military courts to function, Supreme Court impliedly accepts inability of the justice system and lower judiciary to function and deliver within the four corners of the constitution and the law. Nowhere in the world, judiciary has accepted a parallel system of justice, Justice Rasheed A Razvi said hoping that at least in near future courts would be able to deliver justice to the people of country by themselves without any assistance from “ non-constitutional courts”. The superior court recently have delivered land mark judgments but these needs to be implemented, enforced in letter and spirit not only by the state institutions who were party to these proceedings but also by other government entities marred by illegal appointments, inefficient employees and corrupt top men. The government must be persuaded and directed to implement the orders of apex court as other wise, country would face turmoil, he said.
Instead the apex court must have formed a judicial commission to probe the allegation against Prime Minister Nazwaz Sharif and his family members.
Piles and piles of documents have to be sifted through for finding any material that could assist the bench to arrive at a just conclusion, opined Justice ( Rtd ) Rasheed A Razvi in an exclusive interview with National Courier.
Justice (Rtd) Rasheed A Razvi born at Bombay and migrated to Pakistan soon after independence remained an active student leader as founding member of National Students Federation (NSF). First to join legal fraternity from the family he became member of Karachi Bar Association (KBA) in 1974 and immediately elected Member Manging Committee. He was arrested and imprisoned for protesting against President Ayub Khan in 1968-69. He remained Secretary KBA, President, member Sindh Bar Council (1988). He was appointed Judge Banking Court in 1994 and rendered judgment in Mehran Bank case awarding highest ever pentaly of rupees 20 bln upon accused YounusHabib. He was appointed judge Sindh High Court in 1995 and later refused oath under PCO in 2000 in Pervez Musharraf government. Currently he is President Supreme Court Bar Association and still fighting for his ideal of Democracy and Corruption Free Pakistan.