ISLAMABAD Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry while hearing the 18th Amendment case here on Wednesday, said that Pakistani Parliament is as good as the parliaments of other countries, therefore, there is no need to underestimate it. A 17-member bench of Supreme Court was hearing a number of identical petitions challenging certain provisions of the 18th Amendment particularly the formation of Judicial Commission and Parliamentary Committee for the appointment of judges. The CJ asked Akram Sheikh, counsel for petitioner Nadeem Ahmed, Why are you underestimating your own Parliament as in wisdom it is not less than other parliaments of the world. He said that the incumbent Parliament did not approve the November 3 action of General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf. The Chief Justice said that they have high esteem for the present Parliamentarians. Justice Tassadaq Jilani asked the learned counsel that you could have disagreement on many issues, but you cant doubt its integrity. Akram Sheikh criticised the present Parliament and eulogised the US Congress. In his rebuttal, he said that Article 175A was impracticable, unworkable and against the independence of judiciary. He said what was the use of Supreme Courts power of judicial review if it could not strike down the constitutional provisions. Referring the 18th Amendment, he said that it was not the amendment but a new legislation, adding the incumbent Parliament has no power to give new Constitution to the nation without the expressed will of the people of Pakistan. The Chief Justice remarked that they were not objecting the whole 18th Amendment, but a few clauses of it have been challenged by the petitioners. Attorney General Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq placed before the court the letter of Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Constitution Reform Raza Rabbani, which he wrote to the AG for not appearing before the court. In the letter Rabbani said: I had earlier expressed my willingness to appear before the court on the impression that the Supreme Court required my presence. However, the committee decided that as the court has observed that I have not been summoned, my appearance is no longer necessary. Rasheed A Rizvi, counsel for Supreme Court Bar Association, said that around 500 politicians, who are now sitting in the assemblies, before February 18, 2008 general elections had pledged to restore judges and many parties have included that in their manifestoes. In his defence against Article 175A, he relied on various political theories. Justice Jawad S Khawaja asked him: We have to be conscious of the theories as in our constitutional history the theories have ruined us. He said that for the past four months they have been listening different theories, adding: Judges job is to pass judgment in accordance with the Constitution and the laws and not to apply theories. Later, the court adjourned the hearing for today.