Sunday, February 14, 2010

nawaz sharif press confirence(complite)

ISLAMABAD: Striking down his entire lot of nominees for appointment as judges of the Lahore High Court, the federal government has formally informed the Chief Justice, Justice Khwaja Sharif, that his list contained serious "flaws" and did not meet the set constitutional criteria. The government has also sent back a similar list, forwarded by the Sindh governor for his own province, it was reliably learnt.Though Punjab Governor Salman Taseer had recommended 19 of the original 28 nominees of the Chief Justice Lahore High Court, Justice Khwaja Mohammad Sharif, the federal government has, nevertheless, rejected all while citing different reasons.A source close to the Supreme Court, when contacted, said the matter of judges’ appointment is in court and soon everything will get crystal clear. He said whatever information about the nominees of judges was required under the Constitution was provided by the Lahore High Court chief justice. The criterion for selection of nominees for judges was also strictly followed. Whatever qualification the constitution provided for judges, such as competency, experience and good reputation, was ensured while finalising the list of nominees for judges.He said in fact the government attitude towards judiciary was altogether changed after the announcement of Supreme Court verdict on NRO. Before this verdict, the government accepted all recommendations in a hope that the Supreme Court would feel obliged and show leniency on NRO. He said the Supreme Court, however, made the decision strictly according to law and constitution shattering the government hopes.Afterwards, he said, the government adopted attitude of non-cooperation and started objecting on every recommendation by the judiciary. He said the judiciary was offered by the government to induct 50 per cent of Jiala judges and 50 per cent of their own choice. "Be happy and make us happy" was what the government wanted from judiciary.He said whenever these objections were sent by the government, today, yesterday or some days before why it did not wait for the response from the chief justice. He said the government made the announcement before consultation, while it is not authorised under the constitution to act in this way.He said the PPP government wanted to induct Jiala judges in the judiciary and turn Pakistan’s justice system into topsy-turvy so that it could loot the national wealth with both hands. He said, according to his information, the agencies were pressurised to make false reports about the nominees for judges. He said the main problem is of one man that is President Zardari. And of Zardari’s corruption, he said, the main issue is of Swiss court cases. Attempts are being made to save Zardari from persecution in Swiss courts so that the looted money is not brought back and culprit is also not apprehended.A list of objections has been sent to the LHC CJ through Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, asking the CJ to address them prior to sending his revised list of nominees. The federal government, according to sources, was also grossly disappointed by the total absence of any female nominees.LHC CJ Khawaja Mohammad Sharif has now been told by the Law Ministry that his summary, seeking nomination of 23 advocates and six judicial officers, as additional judges, contained serious flaws, and there were certain reservations which needed to be addressed before any consideration of those names by President Asif Ali Zardari.The official summary sent by the Punjab governor to President Asif Zardari has now been returned to the governor with objections on Saturday after listing the flaws detected in the official summary.Talking to The News from Lahore, Punjab Governor spokesman Farrukh Shah confirmed that an official letter was received from the Law Ministry about these nominations but refused to divulge any more details.Earlier, sources said, the Law Ministry was surprised to note that no background of any nominee was provided, including the professional history of any nominee. But, despite these lapses, the Punjab governor had still recommended 19 names, but the Law Ministry did not agree with the governor as in its official assessment "sufficient credentials" were not given in the summary to convince the concerned competent authority. The sources said the federal government also upheld the objections of Governor Taseer, who had made it clear to President Zardari in his own comments that the LHC CJ had simply sent him the names and did not forward the required details about their past. For example, sources said, the main objection against these names was that the LHC CJ did not mention when a particular advocate now recommended for slot of a judge had joined the legal profession.Likewise, the Punjab governor had charged the CJ LHC of demonstrating "nepotism" in nominees selection as either he gave preference to lawyers working directly or indirectly in his own chamber at Lahore, or those who were linked with Hamdi Khan Group. Likewise, the nomination of lawyers from a ‘certain biradri’ had apparently stressed both the Punjab governor and now the federal government, sources said. Likewise, nomination of 12 lawyers out of 23 from Lahore had also caused some consternation in Islamabad.The source said the LHC CJ has also been informed that he had evidently ignored certain judicial officers, bypassing the principle of seniority and legitimate expectancy stating in his letter that "either their performance is not up to the mark or they don’t enjoy good reputation". It has now been pointed out that in the interest of the justice and fairness, it would have been more appropriate if the CJ had given specific reasons against each name/judicial officer who had been ignored by him rather than condemning all of them by giving one generalized comment. It has been further pointed out that the "criteria of fitness and suitability has an edge over the seniority and legitimate expectancy, but arbitrarily ignoring seniority is bound to harbour despondency and heart burning in the subordinate judiciary".It has been objected that in view of the availability of the following data with the office of the chief justice, recording specific reasons to ignore the senior judicial officers would have been possible: (a) Annual confidential reports of the session judges are recorded by the chief justice;(b) Complaint against district judiciary are received and processed in the computerized complaint cell of the Lahore High Court;(c) Performance of the district judiciary is evaluated on monthly, quarterly and yearly basis in the Lahore High Court, keeping in view any explanation called, observations made or strictures passed.Against them in the high court/supreme court of Pakistan.(d) Resolution (s) of any Bar Association with regard to the performance or reputation of the judicial officer.It has now been observed in the list of objections over the list that the above-mentioned factors were not taken into consideration while assessing the suitability of the judicial officer for elevation to the high court. The objections also included confusion created by serious typographical mistakes and also inclusion of a candidate, Mohammad Ramzan Khalid Lurka, who was already past the high court judge’s retirement age of 62.The Punjab governor had also informed the president that out of 28 persons, recommended by the LHC CJ, five advocates—Shahid Karim, Mamoon Rashid Sheikh, Waqar Hassan Mir, Ms Gulzar Butt and Mian Mahmood—were directly or indirectly affiliated with the Champer of LHC CJ Khawaja Mohammad Sharif. Similarly, four advocates, Mian Shahid Iqbal, Mohammad Farrukh Irfan Khan, Shaukat Umar Peerzada and Anwer Bhour, are reported to be closely associated with the Hamid Khan group.The official summary sent by the Sindh governor has also been rejected and sent back to him on the grounds that he did not "consult" with Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah as required under the law. Governor Dr Eshratul Ebad had forwarded the names of advocates to president Zardari after he received the same from Sindh CJ High Court. But, CM Sindh was said to have been ignored at the time of "consultation" as required under the constitution. Now the Sindh governor has been asked to first consult with the CM and then re-send the recommendations for the new additional judges.Meanwhile, in a related development, the NWFP Chief Minister Haider Amir Hoti contacted President Zardari with the demand that post of a judge at the Supreme Court falling vacant after the retirement of Justice (R) Sardar Raza Khan should be filled with a judge from the same province. The NWFP CM has justified his demand on the grounds that CJ Iftikar Muhammad Chaudhry had nominated LHC Justice Saqib Nisar from the Punjab after Justice (R) Khalilur Rehman Ramday’s retirement. Mr Hoti is said to have asked the federal government to maintain this principle of appointment in future and to elevate a senior judge from the Peshawar High Court to the SC. The sources said now the federal government might convey CM Hoti’s this message to the Supreme Court.



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