ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has fixed the hearing of former Ambassador Hussain Haqqani's review petition against the court's December 30th, 2011 order on January 17th.

A special bench of the apex court, headed by CJP himself will take the Haqqani review petition with a plea to review its December 30th order on the memo scandal and issue a stay order against the Judicial Commission probing the case ‘until the petition is disposed of’.

Asma Jahangir, the counsel for Haqqani, filed the application under Article 187 of the Constitution read with Order XXXIII Rules 6 of the Supreme Court Rules 1980, for the suspension of the December 30th verdict.

‘Pending disposal of the civil review petition, proceedings of the Commission formed under the Supreme Court order may graciously be stayed’, the petition said, adding, ‘the applicant will suffer irreparable harm if the Commission reaches a conclusion while the petition is pending’.

Haqqani said in the petition that the court had heard petitions on the question of maintainability, whereas December 30th, 2011, order exhausted the entire relief sought by the petitioner in every respect.

He also objected to the constitution of the Judicial Commission by the court, saying it was ‘not permissible’ under the law.

‘Direction cannot be issued to the judges of a High Court to constitute a commission. Under the CPC Order 26 rule sub rule 2 a Commission set up to examine any person or evidence may be deputed to any court except a High Court. High courts are not subordinate to the Supreme Court and thus no direction can be issued to them. Article 187 of the Constitution remains subject to Article 175 (2) of the Constitution and thus this court cannot direct the High Courts’.

Haqqani also stated that Article 2A of the Constitution cannot override the provisions of the fundamental rights given in Chapter 1 Part-II of the Constitution, and only fundamental rights given in Chapter 1 Part-II could be invoked under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

‘The fundamental rights of the applicant under Article 9 and 15 have been denied whereas the applicant has so far not been formally accused of any offence of whatsoever nature’.