ISLAMABAD - The denial of fundamental rights to the Federal Administrative Tribal Areas is not supported by any provision of the Constitution rather the same has mistakenly been construed.

Ibrahim Satti advocate was representing FATA people , whose land was acquired by the government. The political agent, appellate commissioner and the tribunal had given verdict against them. They approached the Peshawar High Court in writ jurisdiction, but turned down their application on the basis that it did not have the jurisdiction.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, hearing the case issued notice to the respondent and the AGP to assist whether fundamental rights of FATA people can’t be abridged.

Satti contended that the fundamental rights conferred by the 1973 Constitution have been denied to the FATA people and such denial is not supported by any provision of the Constitution rather the same has been artificially construed.

Ibrahim Satti said the Article 247 is subject to the constitution, adding the provisions concerning the fundamental rights can’t be abridged. He urged the court to consider this important question and said he would provide some documents to the court in that regard.

Justice Dost said the courts have passed order in those cases where a thing is done in tribal areas, but it also affects the settled areas. He said the Peshawar High Court had interpreted the fundamental rights in the case of bombing in Tirah Valley.

The counsel argued that the court could not close the point on fundamental rights, adding the people living in FATA are also citizens of this country and have same rights. He urged the court to declare the FCR as void, because the British rulers, who enacted it, also consider it bad law. However, Justice Gulzar said the FCR was promulgated on the demands of that people.

Justice Dost said in the FATA Reform Committee the educated people of tribal areas wanted that the high court and top court jurisdiction is extended to FATA. He said, however, under Article 247(5) of Constitution even the parliament can pass any law without the consent of the President. He said that narcotics and other laws were passed with the approval of the President.

Satti said if the parliament does not pass the law to extend the superior courts’ jurisdiction and for implementation of the fundamental rights then the apex court would have to do something.

Satti said the apex court had declared in Azizullah Memon and Manzoor Elahi cases that the FCR is against the fundamental right and void and ruled that there could not be two judicial systems in the country. “No one could be stopped to approach the superior court for getting relief under the Constitution.” He claimed that under Article 175 the courts have the jurisdiction in FATA as well.

The case is adjourned for two weeks.