ISLAMABAD - Leader of Opposition in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan Friday sought that former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry should be summoned in a house committee to ask from him how he was availing the 6000 CC bullet proof vehicle facility from public money beyond his entitlement.

Though the outgoing Chairman Senate Sayyed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari did not give any ruling on the issue, yet he asked tough questions from the attorney general of Pakistan about the use of government’s bullet-proof vehicle by the former CJ and about the non-reply of questions from Sc registrar in this connection.

Senator Farhatullah Babar of PPP wanted to move a resolution in the house to get back the 6000 CC bullet proof vehicle from the former CJ terming it discrimination. But the chair did not give him permission saying that motion should come through a prescribed way under the rules.

The house was hearing attorney general of Pakistan on a reply of the law ministry about the pension, allowances and other fringe benefits being given to retired chief justices. The law ministry had told the Senate that Registrar Supreme Court had not given the answer of the reply despite six reminders.

Earlier, Attorney General of Pakistan Salman Aslam Butt in his briefing to the house said that the 6000 CC bullet proof vehicle had been provided to the former CJ under the Islamabad High Court order. “The former CJ should be given proper security in addition to the bullet-proof vehicle under his possession for him and his family’s use,” he said while reading out the order adding that IHC had also directed that the government would bear the expenditures of this vehicle. He said this vehicle was in the possession of former CJ at the time of his retirement. He informed the house that judges were given pays, pensions and other allowances through 5th schedule of Article 205.

Chairman Bokhari questioned who was the petitioner in the case and whether he was an aggrieved person who went to the court? The AGP informed that the petitioner was a lawyer and added at the same time the federation was bound to implement the orders of the Supreme Court and the high courts until they were modified.

The Chairman Senate again remarked, “This means that anybody as aggrieved person can go to the court to get additional perks and privileges for other retired CJs...This is discrimination.” The chair again asked from AGP how would he see Article 19A of the Constitution as Registrar Supreme Court did not gave the answer to this question despite several reminders of the Law Ministry. “Whether SC Registrar is immune under Article 19A,” he said.

The AGP in his reply said that the details about the benefits and allowances and other perks being given to the judges were always with the law ministry and probably this question might not be asked from the Supreme Court. He said that there were two basic principles - the independence of judiciary and the separation of powers - and the government cannot play its supervisory role over the judiciary. “Even judicial and executive functions performed by high courts and SC cannot be brought under question...Under the principal of separation of powers, SC is not bound to answer the information being sought from it,” he said.

Senator Rafique Rajwana said that the judgment of IHC was violation of provisions of Article of 205 and it was discriminatory, he said.

Aitzaz said, “The former CJ was a retired judge and he should be summoned in the Senate Law Committee to ask from him how he is using the vehicle facility from the national kitty beyond his entitlement.” He alleged that the former CJ once said that he financially managed marriage ceremony of his son through house building finance loan and now people could see his nine-bed luxurious house in Lahore.

Haji Adeel sought ruling but the chair did not comment.

The house was later adjourned till Monday.