By Yasser Latif Hamdani
… And thank god that they have not dabbled in that horrible theory of the basic structure which would have meant closing the door on any future prospect of democratic reform in Pakistan (in my personal view).
I think this is an important middle ground which has atleast restored some of the faith I had lost in our judiciary to do the right thing.
Now it is upto the democratic government to meet the judiciary half way.
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry announced the Supreme Court’s verdict on the petitions challenging certain clauses of the 18th Amendment on Thursday, DawnNews reported.
The apex court in its decision ordered that Article 175-A, detailing the amendments to the procedure of appointing superior court judges, be sent back to the parliament for review.
“Parliament is asked to review Article 175-A, for it has harmed judiciary’s freedom,” Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry stated.
Earlier, a 17-judge full court had on September 30 reserved its verdict after over four months of hearing on petitions challenging various aspects of the 18th Amendment, including the mechanism approved by parliament for appointment of superior court judges.
The bench had started hearing the petitions on May 24 and discussed threadbare all aspects of the amendment, especially Article 175-A, which, according to the petitioners, impinges on the independence of judiciary.
The petitions also challenged the renaming of the NWFP as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which, it was argued, would result in dividing the national polity on linguistic and ethnic lines, deletion of Article 17(4) relating to elections in political parties and insertion of Article 63-A empowering heads of parties to have a final say in case of defections.
The decision to announce the verdict has been taken after a number of conclaves held by the judges on the bench to exchange points of view on the proceedings which were closed last month.