ISLAMABAD: A five member bench of the Supreme Court has decided to refer the six options relating to the NRO implementation case to the Chief Justice for constitution of a larger bench for hearing of these options.
Announcing the verdict on NRO implementation case‚ the bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said the six options are being handed over to the Attorney General.
01: To initiate the contempt of court proceedings against the Chief Executive and the Secretary Law for not implementing the NRO verdict.
02: To declare the chief executive ineligible from the membership of the Parliament.
03: The court may form a commission to get the verdict implemented.
04: The people themselves decide on the issue and the court exhibit patience.
05: Contempt proceedings against Chairman Nab may be initiated.
06: The action may be taken against President for violating the Constitution.
The Supreme Court said in its order in NRO implementation case that the government has failed to implement the verdict.’The government is not taking interest to observe the order for the last two years. We knew that the actions we are about to take they may be unpleasant.’
‘The court has taken oath to defend the Constitution. The prime minister respected the party over the Constitution.’
‘The president in an interview to Geo News said his government would not implement one part of NRO verdict.’
As per Article 189 and 190 all institutions are bound to help the apex court, the order said.
‘Prima Facie the prime minister is not an honest man and violated his oath.’
The court recommended the case to the chief justice to form a larger bench to hear the case on January 16.
A Five-member bench of Supreme Court (SC) headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa resumed the hearing of the case pertaining to the implementation of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) verdict today.
We, the civil society of Pakistan, demand Election Commission and Supreme Court to make sure that every Pakistani who wants to exercise his/her democratic right to vote should be facilitated.
Therefore, we demand that new elections should be based on NADRA IDENTITY CARDS and PAKISTAN ORIGIN CARD.
If democracy is the name of giving people the right to choose then there should be minimum hurdles in expressing the choice.
Current registrations with Election Commission of Pakistan will not guarantee the registration of every eligible voter.
NADRA’s machine readable cards will also help in ensuring transparency.
We also demand Election Commission and Supreme Court to facilitate Overseas Pakistanis especially students by allowing them to cast their votes either in embassy or online.
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By Sohail Khan – The News
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday directed the government to submit a reply to the report of the Judicial Commission on missing persons.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Javed Iqbal, resumed hearing into the case of missing persons, allegedly taken for interrogation by the intelligence agencies on their alleged links with militant groups. Their relatives claimed that they were picked up by intelligence agencies but were never brought before the court.
During the course of hearing, Justice Javed Iqbal observed that 2011 would be the year of missing persons’ recovery. Additional Attorney General K K Agha submitted before the court that the judicial commission had recovered 134 missing people so far, adding that the contents of the report were classified; therefore, it should not be made public.
K K Agha further said that as instructions were being taken from the government on the report of the commission, therefore, it should not be made public. Hashmat Habib, the counsel for one of the petitioners, submitted that there were missing persons whose heirs were not coming to the forefront. At this, Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed observed that these people were reluctant due to the fear factor.
Justice Javed Iqbal observed that as the apex court had traced the missing prisoners of Adiala Jail, it would also trace out the missing persons in the case as well. He observed that there should be a tribunal for the hearing of missing persons’ cases as recommended by the commission.
Amina Masood Janjua, the spouse of missing Masood Janjua, while appearing before the court, submitted that since April 2010, 100 more people had gone missing. She further said that relatives of the missing persons had been subjected to mental torture as they had not yet been informed about the whereabouts of their near and dear ones. Meanwhile, the court, after seeking a reply from the government on the report of the commission, adjourned the hearing till next Monday.
Supreme Court is proving again and again that at least there is one institution in the country on which we can trust.
RPPs return Rs 2b on SC orders
ISLAMABAD – The counsels for Guddu and Naudero projects assured the Supreme Court on Wednesday that Rs 2 billion taken in advance would be returned with the mark-up.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heading a three-member bench comprising Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday said, “Everybody should follow suit on matters of the national exchequer.”
Justice Ramday remarked that many problems of the society could be solved with the cooperation of bar and bench.
Dr Pervez Hassan, counsel for Pakistan Power Resources (PPR), and Shahid Hamid representing Walter Power International (WPI) informed the court that money had been arranged and would be returned to Central Power General Company Ltd (CPGCL) during the course of the day, which, according to the media reports, was paid by Wednesday evening.
The court directed Abdul Malik Memon, CEO GENCO, to conduct an inquiry into the case and submit a report, fixing responsibility upon the officers or the persons on whose instructions GENCO agreed to make the payment to both the companies without keeping facts and circumstances of the case in front of them, in the next date of hearing, and adjourned the case till December 14, 2010.
The bench heard fraud in payment of Rental Power Projects detected by NEPRA (Human Rights Case No.56712 of 2010) and alleged corruption in Rental Power Projects (Human Rights Case Nos. 7734-G/2009 & 1003-G/2010). Syed Najamul Hassan Kazmi appeared on behalf of NEPRA.
According to the statements, PPR and Walters Power International had paid Rs 405.9 million (Rs 405,992,246) earlier and the balance amount of Rs 301 million (Rs 301,058,766) today (Wednesday).
Further RPP is paying Rs 120 million (Rs 120,000,000) on account of interest/mark-up on advance payment, while WPI submitted that an advance payment of US $10.1 million (US $11,036,666) and interest amount of US$ 0.18 million (US$ 180,753) are being paid.
NEPRA has declined to approve a fresh tariff for Naudero-II after discovering that the project’s equipment belonged to Guddu rental power project, which had been dismantled illegally.
The Government paid 14 per cent advance of US $11.28 million to Pakistan Power Resources (PPR) in April 2010 for Naudero-II, while the same company was paid 14 per cent advance payment of $10.15 million for the same machines for Guddu rental power plant having a capacity of 110 MW.
Intelligence agencies confirm custody of 11 missing prisoners – The Nation
Pakistan intelligence agencies have confirmed before a bench of the Supreme Court that eleven missing prisoners of Adiala Jail have been in their custody. Raja Irshad, the counsel of the agencies, during hearing of the missing persons case confirmed before a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry that the missing prisoners are alive and have been in custody of the Military Intelligence (MI) and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The counsel further said that these persons were arrested under military act during various operations and more people are being arrested. He further said that the military, ISI and MI are subordinate to the judiciary under the constitution and law.
By Shaheen Sehbai
WASHINGTON: The mystery of Reko Diq gold mines deepened on Tuesday as the Supreme Court prepared to hear the case on Wednesday, when Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), the Canadian-Chilean giant working in Balochistan, issued a long statement which coincided with a stinging attack on TCC by a US company which has eight exploration licences in Pakistan,
including two in Reko Diq. The official statement by TCC (reported separately in these columns) came 20 days after the original story by The News on how Reko Diq was being sold for a song by the Pakistani government but the statement by Benway Corporation of New York was a stunner as its president and CEO accused TCC and its principals of playing games with Pakistan.
He levelled serious allegations against TCC and Barrick Gold Corporation and announced his company will soon request the Supreme Court of Pakistan to become a party in the Reko Diq case. The company said Reko Diq deposits had not been fully declared to the government of Balochistan by its sponsors.
“They are playing games with their government of Balochistan partners,” CEO and president of Benway Corporation, Sheikh Tanvir, a Pakistani-American, said in the statement. The TCC statement added further confusion to the already complicated situation about the original size of the deposits at Reko Diq, the share of Pakistan and whether laws were followed or twisted.
TCC claimed that the mineral resource at Reko Diq was estimated at 5.9 billion tons. “From this resource, an estimated 2.2 billion tons of economically mine-able ore, with an average copper grade of 0.5 per cent and an average gold grade of 0.3 gms per ton will be processed to produce 2.2 billion pounds of copper (10 million tons) and 13 million ounces of gold in form of payable metal in about 56 years of mine life.”
But this statement militates directly against what the Barrick Gold of Canada told the Canadian and American Mines Handbook, 2009-2010, a bible of the mining industry. It shows Barrick’s 37.5 per cent share of measured and indicated resources in Reko Diq was equal to 1,125,071,000 tons average 0.008 opt gold, for 8,487,000 ounces of gold and 11.5 billion lbs of copper. Inferred resource was shown as 895,089,000 tons average 0.009 opt gold, for 8,398,000 ounces of gold and 8.5 billion pounds of copper.
If this estimate is the share of Barrick, then the Chilean share is exactly the same and Pakistan’s share would be slightly less as Pakistan has 25 per cent stake as against 37.5 per cent each of the two big companies. Experts have to calculate the worth in the present bullish gold and copper market.
The confusion gets further confounded as a 2008 study conducted by both these companies involving top experts of Geology and mining reported much larger deposits. This study was published in “Economic Geology”, a bulletin of the Society of Economic Geologists (Vol. 103 December 2008 No. 8), written by Jose Perello of Antofagasta of Chile, Abdul Razique and Asad-ur-Rehman of Tethyan Copper Company, Pakistan and John Schloderer of Albidon Ltd of Australia.
These experts concluded that the 300-km-long Chagai porphyry copper belt had 48 deposits and prospects containing porphyry-type alteration and mineralisation. “Three medium-sized porphyry copper deposits are present in the belt at Saindak and Tanjeel and H8 at Reko Diq, the former currently providing small scale production. The H14-H15 copper-gold deposit at Reko Diq, currently at the feasibility stage, is world-class and contains open pittable resources of approximately 18 million tons of copper and 32 million Oz of gold.”
So while on Tuesday TCC claimed that Reko Diq had only 2.2 billion pounds of “mine-able” copper (10 million tons), these experts hired by TCC in 2008 had found the deposit of copper to be 18 million tons. Likewise while TCC today says gold deposits are only 13 million ounces of “payable” metal, the experts had estimated it to be 32 million ounces.
What is the difference between a “mine-able” and “payable” ore and by using “ton” and “tonne” in the same statement is not evident to ordinary people but the US company, also working in Reko Diq, in its statement on Tuesday said TCC was twisting words.
“For some 15-20 days we hear TCC keeps saying they are doing everything according to Balochistan Mining Rules of 2002. They say they are doing everything lawful in Pakistan. We disagree with most of what they are telling Pakistani people and the media. They are not fully telling the truth. They twist words,” the Benway statement said.
Sheikh Tanvir heads Benway, a privately held corporation incorporated in New York State since 1998 with 38 shareholders, mostly US citizens, a Canadian, an Australian, a Turk and three 3 Pakistanis. Its business is mining and works to discover copper and gold deposits.
His statement revealed that Barrick Gold Corporation went to Benway in 2007 to go into a joint venture with Benway on EL-24 in Chagai Balochistan, owned by Benway, located south of Reko Diq with a 30 km long common border.
“Barrick in 2007 offered us a package of $10.6 million. We refused that very very low offer. Then Barrick and Antofagasta’s front company TCC invited Balochistan officials to Toronto and Chile and ended up building an airport on EL-24 instead of their EL-5. We went to Balochistan High Court against 3 international companies and their front company, TCC Pakistan,” the statement said.
Benway accused Barrick Gold of playing games “with your partners and host country.” “They please officials of GoB and GoP and convince those officials to play games for the sponsors. We believe business must be done truthfully and ethically. Reko Diq was found in 17 years and we believe we have similar deposits and we found this in 3 years. These mining companies are stifling the competition and pushing fair competition laws of US and Pakistan.”
The US company claimed that Barrick Gold had broken Canadian laws. “They have broken Australian laws and they have criminally broken US laws of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. They have broken Pakistani and Balochistani laws by their tangible actions in Balochistan and Pakistan. We believe that highest officials of these corporations are involved, some of them hold the highest civilian awards of Canada.”
The company said now that the Supreme Court of Pakistan was hearing the matter, we are happy that truth will emerge soon. “We are in BHC since May 2008 and we will approach the SC soon to allow us to be disposed in BHC in a speedy manner and/or kindly enter us as the main injured party in SC.”
“We are against the law breaker mining companies. We believe Pakistan and Balochistan are not dependent on a few bad eggs of the mining industry. There are 150 major mining and over 3000 junior mining companies in the world. Pakistan has 1000 choices. It is not because of terrorism that mining companies are not coming to Pakistan. It is because of corruption of officials, politicians and Pakistanis not following Pakistan’s own rules and laws. We will show Pakistan who is right and who is wrong,” the statement concluded.
By Sohail Khan
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the heads of secret agencies, directing them to submit a report by November 25 pertaining to 11 prisoners who had gone missing from the Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi.
A three-member bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Ghulam Rabbani, was hearing a case of 11 missing prisoners of the Adiala Jail, allegedly handed over to secret agencies by the jail authorities.
The court issued notices to the heads of secret agencies, including the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Military Intelligence (MI), seeking their comments on the disappearance of the 11 prisoners.
Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq again told the court that the whereabouts of the 11 missing prisoners could not be found. He informed the court that he had approached the concerned authorities, including the Interior Ministry, but they denied having any information about the whereabouts of the missing prisoners.
Online adds: It may be recalled that it is for the first time in history that notices have been issued to heads of intelligence agencies in a case.The AG said that intelligence agencies personnel wanted to tell the court something secretly.
“The case is in open court. No talks can be held with the intelligence agencies in separation. Evidences are available under whose custody the prisoners are kept. The court should not be forced to go to extreme end. If matter proceeds further, more complications will arise. The country cannot afford a clash among the institutions. Action will be taken against all the persons involved in this incident indiscriminately. All will have to appear after the reply is received. It can lead to dire consequences if the matter is not resolved soon,” the CJP remarked.
The chief justice noted that it was not appropriate for him aswell as other judges to meet them in chamber and observed that everyone should respect the court and avoid disharmony. He said the apex court was responsible for safeguarding its constitutional obligations, keeping in view Articles 9,25,4 and 10-A of the Constitution.
The CJP asked the AG, “You are Amicus Curiae of the court, therefore, you should play your role for resolution of this problem.” When the court resumed the hearing after the intermission, the AG said the intelligence agencies were holding the same stance that these prisoners were not in their custody.Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing till November 25 after issuing notices to heads of the intelligence agencies.
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: The case of newly discovered 11 missing persons, presently being heard by the Supreme Court, is yet another reminder of how callously intelligence agencies of the country operate without showing any respect to rule of law.
The saga of missing persons seems to be getting more and more complicated with every passing day as the governments, whether federal or provincial, political parties and parliament are simply incapable or indifferent to providing the needed support to the Supreme Court to keep intelligence agencies under check and to make them behave as per the law of the land.
Illyas Siddiqui, the attorney of these 11 persons, insists that the Lahore High Court had ordered the release of these 11 persons on July 21, and on July 28, the orders of the court were received by the Adiyala Jail’s superintendent but instead of releasing them, the jail authorities handed them over to intelligence agencies on July 29, from the main gate of the jail. He also referred to a video evidence to prove his point.
Siddiqui did not precisely name as to which intelligence agency had abducted these persons, all of whom were acquitted in terrorism cases, including rocket attack on the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra, anti-aircraft shots fired at a plane carrying former President Pervez Musharraf and suicide attacks on the bus of an intelligence agency in Rawalpindi and at the main entrance of the GHQ.
A deputy attorney general told the apex court that none of the three leading intelligence agencies — ISI, MI and IB — have in their custody any of these missing persons. The Punjab government authorities also don’t admit that the acquitted persons were handed over to any of the intelligence agencies but say that all the persons were released as per the high court’s order.
The then Home Secretary, Nadeem Hasan Asif, said that after their acquittal by the court in terrorism cases, the Punjab government, on the recommendation of CID, kept them under detention, initially under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) and later by invoking the Anti-Terrorism Act.
But when the LHC set aside these detention orders, Nadeem told The News, the jail authorities were asked to release all the acquitted persons. When asked, Nadeem said that none of the intelligence agencies, including ISI, MI and IB, had approached him either to keep these persons under detention or hand them over to the spy agencies.
On the files of the provincial government, all these detainees were released from the Adiyala Jail. However, when they were to be released, quite a reasonable number of their relatives were waiting outside the Adiyala Jail to receive their acquitted relatives. The superintendent and the deputy superintendent of Adiyala Jail have already been arrested from the Supreme Court following the court’s order.
No matter what the government files read, some of the provincial government authorities do believe that these 11 persons would have been in the illegal custody of the intelligence agencies.
Six out of these 11 persons are those who were acquitted in a case of attack on the ISI bus near Hamza Camp on the morning of November 24, 2007, killing 17 persons and injuring 35 others. According to media reports, the Punjab Police had held the intelligence agencies responsible for their acquittal on grounds of non-cooperation and mishandling of the case.
The report said that these six people were first picked up by intelligence agencies and were latter handed over to the Punjab Police after almost nine months of detention with not a single evidence provided to police and the spy agencies even refused to share any information gathered from the illegal detainees. These reports were carried by the national press in June this year and neither the Punjab Police nor the ISPR or any intelligence agency had rebutted the news.
Lets see where it goes as now the ball is in the court of parliament. Lets see whether country goes towards constitutional supremacy, rule of law and protection of human rights or goes for -rule of elite and rule of government.
Article175-A to be sent back to Parliament
Source : http://geo.tv/10-21-2010/73179.htm
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court delivered the verdict on the longest running case on certain clauses of the 18th Amendment, Geo News reported Thursday.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry read out the verdict in courtroom-1.
Article175-A of the Constitution will be sent back to the Parliament for review, according to the verdict.
The verdict said the Article affected the freedom of the judiciary, as judiciary’s freedom is of prime importance.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan has the main position in the procedure of judges’ appointment.
The Parliament and the judiciary are indispensable for each other and both of them should work in sync for supremacy of law in the country, the ruling said.
It should be mentioned here that Article 175A of the Constitution deals with the appointment of judges of the higher judiciary.
The ruling also dictates that under Article-68 of the Constitution, the behavior of judges of higher judiciary could not be brought under discussion at the Parliament.
The Parliamentary Committee is authorized to veto the recommendations put up by the Judicial Commission, according to the ruling. The Parliamentary Committee is bound to have in-camera sessions.
However, the Parliamentary Committee is bound to give reason for rejecting a name. The ruling said if the Parliament is suspended, the Committee will be incomplete.
The ruling on the clauses 8, 9 and 10 of the Article-175-A has been deferred.
“To enable the parliament to proceed and re-examine the matter in terms of the observations made above, these petitions are adjourned to a date in the last week of January 2011,” said the order signed by 17 Supreme Court judges.
The case has been adjourned till January 2011, when the SC will take up other remaining clauses on the pending petitions in the same case.
Nearly three dozen lawyers addressed the apex court during the lengthy hearing, spanning more than four months, starting on May 24 and concluding on September 30. Of them, 21 opposed different constitutional changes while others held the opposite view.
Since the 18th Amendment was passed some six months back, there has been no substantial implementation of it although the court had not stayed its operation. During this period, not a single judge to any superior court has been appointed as per the new procedure introduced by Article 175A although many vacancies exist in high courts.
The serious issue of extension of 34 additional judges of the four high courts on expiration of their first one-year term was temporarily resolved by the apex court when it ordered that they should continue for the time being. This was done only because of the pending verdict on the 18th Amendment.
The government representatives defended the 18th Amendment, mainly arguing that parliament has the supreme right to amend the Constitution and no institution can undo it.
The Punjab government’s stand remained confused most of the time. Its Advocate General left it to the Supreme Court to decide the issues in any way it wants while Shahid Hamid, who was separately hired by it for this case, stood for parliament’s right to amend the Constitution, which, he said, can’t be taken away by any other state organ.
The SC verdict deals with five key questions, the principal being the new mechanism of judges’ appointment to superior courts, which is yet to be put into practice.
Earlier talking, Barrister Wasim Sajjad, one of the leading lawyers, who represented the government to defend the constitutional changes, said, “Primarily, the court is likely to take care of these main issues raised in arguments and different petitions, challenging some clauses of the 18th Amendment.”
According to him, the first and foremost issue relates to the new procedure regarding the judges’ nomination that provides for the creation of a judicial commission (Article 175-A), headed by the chief justice of Pakistan, and a rare parliamentary committee that would finally approve the appointments.
The second challenge pertains to the unseating of MPs on the charge of defection (Article 63A) with this power having been given to political party heads, taking it away from heads of parliamentary parties.
The third issue concerns the undoing of the condition of elections within political parties on the ground that the requirement exists in a law and there is no need to keep it in the Constitution. Another question relates to the women’s reserved seats, which its challengers wanted to be dispensed with for being discriminatory. This was introduced by the 17th Amendment, which was retained by the 18th Amendment.
Yet another issue pertains to the shifting of some subjects to the provinces after the scrapping of the Concurrent Legislative List. The sixth question concerns the conclusive determination of the basic structure of the Constitution, which has not been elaborately settled on in any judgment of superior courts.
The performance of every additional high court judge is reviewed after one year to take a decision on confirming or showing door to him. After Thursday’s verdict, one of the major appointments is expected to pertain to Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mohammad Sharif, who retires on December 8. He will either be elevated to the Supreme Court or will retire.
Legal experts say that the new Article 175A is silent on how the judicial commission will get names of lawyers or judges for appointment as justices of the high courts or the Supreme Court. Before the 18th Amendment, the procedure being followed was that high court chief justices would generate names of lawyers or sessions judges for appointment as judges of their courts, which were finally approved or disapproved by the chief justice of Pakistan.
Experts say it is not known in view of the 18th Amendment that how the judicial commission will come to know of suitable names although it is the forum that will send its recommendations to the parliamentary committee for final approval. The committee can’t consider any name on its own. Neither the president nor the prime minister can send any name to the commission or the committee for consideration.
We have seen some interesting developments in last 4-5 days including NRO case and government deceptions, government sponsored rifts between lawyers and we also need to look at this in Supreme Court Bar elections and now the notification issue.
PPP leaders including PM gillani have given statements in the past regarding the March 2009 restoration notification . Circles in PPP have been talking about it as a possible card to counter the judiciary. PM also hinted this in parliament when he said that the restoration order is still needed to be endorsed by the parliament.
Its good to see that media , civil society and judiciary are alert on this issue. SC has clearly said that a move like this will be termed as high treason and will be dealt with according to Article 6 of the constitution.
Our ruling elite doesn’t want Supremacy of Law and Constitution based on justice and equality. They want a rule of elite including feudal-corporatist politicans and military establishment. They only know how to serve their greed and the will of their imperialist masters.
It seems our government is planning another game. They want to come out of this situation as victims as they are not able to government properly. It will be on judiciary, media and civil society to ensure accountability and justice to prevail.
We as civil society should keep ourselves ready for any attempt to again create a constitutional crisis. The struggle for Rule of Law must go on all grounds. We all need to play our part and the least thing can be done is not to support the evil.
Also there is a planning of North Waziristan Operation going on . The decision will further damage the federation and will result in more terrorism as we have seen in the past.