The Muslim Times’ Editor for Pakistan
Credit: Xpress Tribune
ISLAMABAD: The apex court has had enough of the federal government’s ‘shenanigans.’
In a sternly-worded order against non-implementation of its verdict in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday warned the president and the prime minister of a possible disqualification.
A five-judge bench also reminded Law Minister Maula Bux Chandio that it could show him the door along with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani for dragging his feet on implementing the NRO verdict.
“Obedience to the command of a court, and that too of the apex court of the country, is not a game of chess or a game of hide-and-seek,” the bench stated.
It said the executive had been delaying the implementation of the NRO verdict for over two years now and that the court, on the other hand, kept exercising restraint and showed magnanimity.
The court noted that the president’s recent interview and the prime minister’s speeches reflected that their political affiliations were above their oath to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution.
The bench formulated six options for itself to exercise in case the executive failed to implement the court order before January 16, the next date of hearing.
Option 1: Disqualification
Reading out the nine-page order inside the courtroom, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa imputed dishonesty to the prime minister for failing to keep his oath on protection of the Constitution. Elaborating upon the prime minister’s role, the bench said Article 190 made it obligatory upon him to comply with the Supreme Court’s verdict in letter and spirit.
The bench said it has the option of recording adverse findings against the prime minister, which could permanently block him from getting elected as a member of Parliament. The president and the law minister also seem to have breached their oaths too and could very well share the fate of the prime minister, the court stated.
Option 2: Contempt proceedings