SC restrains state institutions from any extra-constitutional step

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) heard a petition filed by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) seeking apex court’s directives that no authority or state functionaries be allowed to take any extra constitutional steps in the current political fraught with grave consequences.

A four-member larger bench led by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk and comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa took up the matter today.

In its interim order, the bench refrained the state institutions and officials from taking any extra-constitutional steps and instructed them to work under the constitution.

Justice Asif Khosa remarked that the petitioner fears a situation like November 3, 2007 when the constitution was violated by imposition of emergency by then dictator and president general (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

The SCBA president Kamran Murtaza had filed a petition under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution, making the Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Ministry of Law Justice & Human Rights respondent. Murtaza submitted that civic, civil and fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan are being infringed due to agitation of political and religious parties on the pretext of rigging or illegal and corrupt practices in the last year’s general elections.

He submitted that Section 144 has been imposed on many cities of the country and Article 245 of the Constitution invoked in the Federal Capital, saying the crisis is grave. The petitioner added, “that in the circumstances mentioned, there are reasonable apprehensions that someone from the State functionaries or Administrative Heads of having Constitutional responsibilities may deviate from the Constitution and laws of the land and take the law in hand to derail the democratic, legal system of the country to which a writ within the meaning of Article 184(3) of the Constitution and of prohibition required to be issued to avoid from any extra Constitutional step by any corner”.

Murtaza urged the court to declare that fundamental rights of the petitioner and other citizens of the country may not be violated by any person including the administrative, constitutional heads of state functionaries and they be prohibited and restrained from taking any extra constitutional step in the present situation in any manner in the interest of justice.

Responding to his request, the SC had formed a larger bench to hear the case on Wednesday while a notice was also issued to the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) in this regard.