ISLAMABAD: In a surprising development after Federal Government had been trying to recover bulletproof vehicle from retired Chief Justice Iktikhar Chaudhry, the Prime Minister has approved the order for provision of bulletproof sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to all retired chief justices of the Supreme Court, at public expense, effective from the retirement of Justice Ifti­khar Mohammad Chaudhry.

Prime minister, on September 5, decided to provide officially maintained 2,400cc bulletproof SUVs to all outgoing chief justices.

The official information was disclosed in a summary submitted to the Islamabad High Court by the Cabinet Divi­sion during the hearing of an appeal filed by the government in a bid to retrieve the bulletproof car from Justice Chaudhry.

According to the official summary, which was signed by Secretary to Prime Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad, “the office of the chief justice of Pakistan is a unique office which requires the recognition in all forms”. The main reason behind provision being the threat to their life which necessitates safe mode of travel.

Yesterday, the IHC reserved its order in the matter after the federal government, Justice Chaudhry’s counsel and private counsel Raiz Haif Rahi concluded their arguments.

A two-member IHC division bench had previously over-ruled the single member bench’s order on the government’s appeal, but referred the case back to the single bench for a re-hearing after some period of time. 

The single member bench, represented by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui ruled on December 2, 2016 that the former chief justice has to surrender the vehicle, but his order was remained unfulfilled with and the judge later recused himself from hearing the case.