ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said on Thursday that if someone has done a wrong in the past, he should accept it and seek an apology from Allah and the masses.

“Instead of repentance, remorse and regret if he says that injustice was done to him then it is not an act of contrition. After the sentence, if one repents or regrets, only then his contrition would be acceptable,” the chief justice said without mentioning the name of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif while taking up the matter whether a member of parliament disqualified under Article 62(1) (f) of the Constitution is ineligible for holding public office for life or a certain period of time.

A five-member bench headed by the chief justice heard petitions about disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

During the proceedings, the chief justice said: “After the sentence, if one repents or regrets, then his contrition would be acceptable. There must be acceptance of the verdict that I have done a wrong.” The top judge said as the court declaration was public so the contrition should also be public. “If you have not acknowledged or expressed remorse through your conduct, then what type of contrition it is? There must be a manifestation of the repentance,” the chief justice said.

During the proceedings, the Supreme Court was informed that parliament could not remove Islamic provisions from Article 62(1) (f) of the Constitution owing to religious extremists.

Sardar Aslam, representing former lawmaker Nazir Ahmed Jat, said; “As no political party has a two-thirds majority in the parliament and the society is also under the influence of the religious extremists, therefore, Islamic provision of [62(1) (f)] could not be removed. Every political party is afraid of the religious extremists,” he said.

The chief justice asked him whether he wanted to say that the parliament was scared of the religious extremists. “The people of Pakistan are not coward, then why their representatives should be afraid of such people,” said the judge.

Expressing concern over Ali Zafar, another amicus curie (friend of the court), who had appeared in a TV talk show two days back, wherein he had commented on the disqualification under Article 62(1)(f), the chief justice said, “It was not right. He said that therefore he has banned the lawyers, whose cases are pending in courts, to appear in TV talk shows.

The chief justice questioned how long the disqualification would be enforced and if a person is not honest and Ameen at a particular time then whether that will remain for 100 days, one-year or 20 years.

Kamran Murtaza, appearing on behalf of the former lawmaker, Mir Abdul Ghafoor Lehri, who was disqualified by the apex court earlier, argued that when a timeframe is not mentioned in Article 62(1)(f), then the apex court could not add even a full-stop or a comma in it. He contended that how in the Lehri case, this aspect was not considered. He said clause (f) of Article 62 should be read with clause (g) of Article 63.

The chief justice inquired whether he wanted to say that the provisions in articles 62 and 63 should be read together as in article 63, the period is given. The judge further said, if the timeframe is not mentioned in both these articles, then it is given in the law [CrPc, PPC and NAB). “We have validly registered and noted down your points as you have curtailed the period for one term, while the other counsels and Munir Malik wanted a bar for five years,” the CJP told Murtaza.

Murtaza said that nine judges of the apex court in the 18th Amendment case had declared that fundamental rights were very important as those could not be curtailed. He said, “There is a ‘concept of contrition’ in Islam”. Upon that, the chief justice remarked, “Whether contrition is sought by abusing or condemning the judges”. The top judge said that “people could differ with the judgments but criticising the judges was not right”.

“The declaration granted under Article 62(1)(f) arise out of the cause of action is relevant only to the said cause of action (honesty) and the one that is adjudicated, it is valid to the extent of that action.”

When Sardar Aslam expressed remorse on behalf of his client, the chief justice stated the counsel could seek an apology or express remorse on behalf of their clients.

The counsel said in the Ishaq Khakwani judgment the Supreme Court has declared that characteristics of honest and Ameen can only be attributed to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and not to any human being.

The chief justice inquired whether in that judgment relief was given to the former prime minister. The counsel replied in the affirmative.

The chief justice then said: “When the judgment was adjudicated in Mian Sahib’s favour, then he made no comment on it.” Justice Saqib said that bona fide or mala fide could only be established through one’s conduct and if the Supreme Court has declared someone dishonest, then his honesty could be manifested through his conduct.

Aslam argued that the provisions of Article 62 were idealistic and not realistic and it should be given effect through the interpretation.

The chief justice observed that “the Constitution of the United States is very brief. Courts in the US interpret the constitution when and where it is required.” He said that if they have to give effect to provisions in Article 62 whether clause 1(f) is time-bound or not then it has to interpret it. “Through tool of interpretation, the constitutional provision has to be given some meaning that if a person is disqualified under 62(1)(f), then, for how long.”

Barrister Ali Zafar contended that the court has to examine whether the court declaration for disqualification regarding sagacious, righteous, non-profligate, honest and Ameen is for life or for a certain period. “There is a need to embark upon the journey about the silence of the Constitution. This journey is extremely important,” he said.

The case is adjourned until Wednesday when the bench will hear the arguments of Sharif’s counsel.

 

 

Repentance must before seeking forgiveness: CJP