ISLAMABAD: Although publicly the government says it will implement all the Supreme Court judgments in letter and spirit, there is much difference between its words and deeds. There are a number of cases in which not only the apex court judgments were flouted, but hurdles were created by the relevant quarters. At times, it appeared as if the government is trying to make the judges feel that the executive is more powerful and it can go scot-free even after refusing to honour the judicial verdicts. Many examples can be cited where the government failed to do what it was duty-bound to. The National Insurance Company Limited and Haj scams are two glaring cases where the FIA investigation officers, who were dedicatedly and honestly probing into various aspects of the cases and had even succeeded in recovering some embezzled amount, were withdrawn. Ostensibly, this was done by the vested quarters who feared that in case the officials were allowed to complete their assignments, they would unmask the hidden faces behind the two scams. Zafar Qureshi, FIAs Additional Director General (ADG), who was the investigation officer in NICL scam, was transferred to the National Police Foundation. Similarly, FIA ADG Syed Javed Bukhari and FIA Director Hussain Asghar were transferred from Haj scam and were made Deputy Director of Anti-Narcotics Force and Inspector General Police of Gilgit-Baltistan respectively. Though Director General Malik Muhammad Iqbal had written letters for their transfer but hidden hand played the key role in the removal of these investigative officers. The court many a time directed the Secretary of Establishment Division Rauf Chaudhary and Malik Iqbal to bring back these officers to their previous positions, but the orders fell on deaf ears. Thereupon, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry after showing much judicial restraint, issued contempt notices to FIA DG, who has also been shifted to National Counter-Terrorism Authority, a day ago. The government is consistently reluctant to implement Supreme Courts judgment on National Reconciliation Ordinance. Two attorney generals Anwar Mansoor, Shah Khawar and Secretary of Law and Justice Ministry Hamid Ali Mirza had to quit their jobs because they were advising the government to implement the SC order in the NRO case, which the government didnt like. Thrice the government has changed its counsels in the case. Kamal Azfar, who contested the federation case before the 17-member larger bench, had told TheNation: The government doesnt want this case decided on merit and wants to delay it. In PCO judges case, the court passed the judgment that PCO judges are no more judges after the passage of 18th Amendment, as the parliament has not validated their oath. The court has directed the Secretary of Ministry of Law and Justice to issue notification in this regard. But the government, instead of compliance, wants the PCO judges tried under Article 209. This simply means that while the SC doesnt recognise them as judges, the government wants to initiate proceedings against them which are relevant only to the judges. This situation may lead to confrontation between the two institutions, experts say. The loans write-off case, in which Rs256 billion were waived off between 1971 and 2009, has been pending in the Supreme Court for almost last three years. So many directions were issued, but were not complied by government. Therefore, the SC at long last formed a commission to scrutinise the written off loans cases. Justice (retd) Jamshaid Ali will head the Commission. In Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) corruption case, the government refused to implement the court orders and transferred FIA DG Tariq Khosa to defeat a transparent inquiry into the mills corruption case. The authorities thus hindered administration of justice, which amounted to contempt of court notice to Minister of Interior Rehman Malik. Since Tariq Khosa has been shifted to Ministry of Narcotics, the FIA just submits routine reports on each hearing but practically no progress has been made in the case. In the last hearing in March 2011, the Chief Justice expressing dissatisfaction over the progress made in Pakistan Steel Mills remarked; The FIA officials have been narrating the same facts for the last one-year. He said if the court had not taken the suo moto notice of the embezzlement in Pakistan Steel Mills, the accused might have gone scot-free. The story of disobeying the apex courts orders doesnt end here. The Supreme Court had also ordered the federation to appoint a new Chairman of National Accountability Bureau and Prosecutor General (PG). So far, the National Accountability Bureau is without chairman and the PG Deputy Chairman Javed Zia Qazi and Anwar Tarar are running the NAB affairs, which many say is illegal. NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Raja Amir Abbas during the proceedings of Haris Steel Mills scam told the court: In the absence of NAB chairman and prosecutor general the working of the NAB has been adversely affected. The PPP government also protested the apex courts judgement in Justice (retd) Deedar Hussain Shahs removal. Protest rallies were held in Sindh against the verdict. Sharjeel Memon, PPP leader, who along with Senator Taj Haider, was issued contempt of court notice for criticising the judgment. The ruling party rewarded the protesting legislator by making him information minister of Sindh. To legalise the affairs of the 26 parliamentarians elected in by-elections held by an Election Commission which was not properly constituted, the Supreme Court had directed the government to consider enactment of a constitutional amendment. So far, there is no progress on this front as well. As a consequence, the fate of these lawmakers is hanging in the balance. Constitutional experts are of the view that if the government wants the democracy to prevail and the system continue to function then it has to respect the Court judgment. They say that all judgments of the countrys top court binding on the government, no matter whether the rulers like them or not. Article 190 of 1973 Constitution says; All executive and judicial authorities throughout Pakistan shall act in aid of the Supreme Court. The Court uses the executive arm of the state for the implementation of its orders. The defiance of court orders is an offence. Prominent constitutional lawyer Fakharuddin G. Ebrahim says the government has to implement the court order if it wants the continuity of the system. Not implementing court means committing contempt of court, which the government should avoid. He said: The court should issue contempt of court notices to those who do not implement its orders. Federal Minister for Law and Justice Maula Bux Chandio was contacted by The Nation several times to seek his views on the emerging tension between the executive and the judiciary, but he did not give an appointment. However, Nasim Akhtar Chaudhry, Chairperson, NA Standing Committee on Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, talking to The Nation said that the government would implement the SC judgments at all costs. But when pressed that there were scores of cases in which the government was showing defiance, she replied that the government has to deal with a number of issues and handle all departments. She said that the Supreme Court should realise the limitations of the government.