ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Monday made it clear that it would not allow anyone to deviate from the Constitution as the judges of the apex court have taken oath to preserve, protect and defend it.
A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk and comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Saqib Nisar and Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa heard Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Kamran Murtaza's petition against the PTI and PAT marches.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said: "We have taken oath to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution.We can't allow anyone to deviate from the Constitution," he added.
The court asked President Kamran Murtaza, "what do you want the court to do?" Justice Saqib Nisar, who was not present in the bench in the last hearing, asked the SCBA president to read his prayer.
Kamran in his petition has prayed, "Political standoff or impasse created by a situation (in the light of Imran Khan's 'Azadi March' and Tahir ul Qadri's Inqlabi March) is adversely affecting all spheres of national life, and "such situation may prompt or embolden some authorities or functionaries to take undue advantage of the situation and to resort to some unconstitutional measures."
The judge stated that no one can deprive the people of two blessings given in the constitution, adding everyone including State organs, government departments and the individuals are bound to act in accordance with the law. "Whatever you are saying is in the framework of the Articles 5 and 6 of the Constitution," he asked the SCBA president. Justice Saqib said if anyone deviates from Article 5 of the Constitution then Article 6 would apply.
Article 5(1) Loyalty to the State is the basic duty of every citizen, while Article 5(2), says; "Obedience to the Constitution and law is the [inviolable] obligation of every citizen wherever he may be and of every other person for the time being within Pakistan."
Article 6 (1) Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.
Attorney General Salman Buttt informed the court that he was appearing on the court notice under Rule XXVII of Supreme Court Rules as chief law officer of the court and also on behalf of the federation. The chief justice inquired from the AGP when he could file the statement on behalf of the federation. He replied within 24 hours.
The attorney general informed the bench that the PTI workers have threatened to enter the Red Zone, where all the important offices including Embassies, Foreign Affairs, SC Building, President House, Prime Minister Secretariat and House and Federal Secretariat are there.
Justice Jawwad said it was the responsibility of the government to handle this situation. He said that the court would decide the cases in view of the Constitution, adding the members of the parliamentarians also have taken oath to defend and protect the constitution. The court did not have the stick to clear the mess, he further said.
Advocate Shafqat Chohan, representing Lahore High Court Bar Association, pleaded that the LHCBA also wanted to become party in the case and have filed a petition in that regard. However, the CJP told him their application has not been numbered yet.
The LHCBA has filed petition under Article 184(3) read with Article 187 of the Constitution. It requested the court to pass necessary interim orders to protect the democracy in the country and also restrain PTI and PAT to enter the Red Zone and avoid taking further steps that cause bloodshed of the citizens in the best interest of justice and equity.
The court directing the federation to file the concise statement adjourned the case till 20th August. The SCBA chief has been directed to file the additional grounds and documents, while the SC office is directed to allocate number to the LHCBA petition and register other bars petitions regarding the matter and club them.