Today Raza Rabbin admitted18th amendment pass through parliament without any consensus or any discussion about pros and cons of this amendment.
Even the 73 constitution clearly said that, 18th amendment should be implemented after open discussion on every democratic forum. Amendment pass without discussing and tweaking on parliament floor. So, all party leaders who brought this amendment through back door and our jahil parliamentarian raise the hand without looking into it, all deserve impeachment. Specially, PMLn, PPP,JUIF and ANP leaders. All qualify for article 6
ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mian Saqib Nisar, on Thursday observed that the Upper and Lower House of Parliament did not hold any debate before passing the 18th Constitutional Amendment related to the devolution of powers to the provinces, particularly the parts relating to health and education sectors, and said the court will interpret it.
“We were handicapped when we were discussing the vires of 18th Amendment as we did not know as to whether the parliament had debated it before passing it,” the chief justice remarked as a five-member larger bench of the apex court heard the case relating to the devolution of health and education sectors after the enactment of the 18th Amendment. The chief justice said debate is essential for the interpretation of the Constitution. The former chairman Senate, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, admitted that although the parliament did not debate the amendment bill, it took nine months to prepare the draft, adding that advertisements were issued in the media, seeking suggestions from the public, academia and bar councils, etc.
The Government of Sindh had moved the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Sindh High Court (SHC) that had declared the transfer and devolution of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), National Institute of Cardio-Vascular Diseases (NICVD), National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and the National Museum to the Sindh government unconstitutional. The Supreme Court resumed the hearing wherein Farooq H Naek represented the Sindh government and the former chairman Senate senator Raza Rabbani also appeared before the court. Farooq H Naek submitted that after the 18th Amendment, the health department came under the ambit of the provincial government and hospitals were supposed to be under the ambit of the provincial government and the hospitals were supposed to be run by the Sindh government. He contended that hospitals in general were neither part of the federal list nor they were on the concurrent list; thus these hospitals were exclusively in the provincial domain. He recalled that the high court in its judgment had declared that the transfer of institutions is unconstitutional because these institutions have no relationship with the concurrent list in view of clauses 8 and 9 of Article 270 AA of the Constitution, inserted by the 18th Amendment.
Farooq H Naek said the second declaration made by the high court contended that these institutions does not fall under entries 11 and 12 of part 2 of Federal Legislative List which he said was in his favour.
“With the enactment of 18th Amendment we are the owners of these institutions,” Naek contended. The chief justice said they have repeatedly said that Parliament is the supreme law making body, however, he recalled that when they were discussing the vires of the 18th Amendment bill, they did not know as to whether the Parliament has debated before passing it.
The chief justice recalled that all over the world the legislature debates a particular law before its enactment. Justice Ijazul Ahsen observed that in the United States, there is an institution in every state called Island but it is totally controlled by the federal government. The chief justice said education is also provincial subject as per 18th Amendment, adding that if the federal government establishes schools in all the provinces then what will be left for the provinces to deal with and under what law and logic.
“Geographical boundaries does not matter,” the CJP remarked, and explained that if a building of an institution is located in a province, it doesn’t mean that it has been transferred to that province.
Chief Justice Saqib Nisar observed that if three is a dire need of establishing cancer hospitals and the provinces fail to give importance to the issue and when the federal government takes initiative and work out a plan, allocate the funds and finally when it establishes these hospitals in provinces then would the provinces claim the ownership of these hospitals? He questioned how is this possible that the federal government establish hospitals and leave it at the hands of the provinces.
Raza Rabbani submitted that if there is any anomaly, the court may refer the matter to the Parliament to resolve it. “You have passed the 18th Amendment and now it’s our job to interpret it,” Justice Ijazul Ahsen told Raza Rabbani.
The hearing of the case will resume today (Friday). Meanwhile, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar remarked during hearing of a case pertaining to increasing the number of judges in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that it has been four months since the incumbent government took over reins of the country, but it could not pass one bill.
Advocate general Islamabad informed the court that the federal cabinet has accepted recommendations regarding appointment of judges. Justice Saqib Nisar said he should be informed through proper channel as to what legislation has been made. He directed the advocate general to inquire about the matter from secretary law, saying that the high court was unable to function in current situation.
The chief justice also directed the secretary law to table draft legislation prepared by the government in the Parliament. Last week, the chief justice had asked the government to look into the matter of increase in the number of IHC judges, or else the apex court would take a suo motu notice.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court issued an interim order in the Asghar Khan case. As per details, the apex court on Dec 31 issued notices to the legal heirs of late Air Marshal Asghar Khan after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) recommended the court to close the case, citing its inability to collect evidence needed to initiate criminal proceedings.
“Notices have been issued to determine whether money was given to politicians or not,” the interim order stated. “The statements of witnesses were contradictory,” it said. The order further states, “Those who were party to the case, are not aware of the receipts nor mode or time of payments. Related banks did not cooperate with FIA either and did not give the record for the past 24 years.”
A relevant paragraph from the report submitted by the JIT was also included in the top court’s order. The hearing was adjourned for one week. A three-member bench of the apex court also heard a case on population control.
Justice Saqib Nisar expressed dissatisfaction on the measures being taken by the federal government concerning population growth in the country. “This issue is far bigger than the need of dams,” he said, adding that advertisement launched by the government was not enough to control the population, and instead an “action plan” was required. Subsequently, he issued strict directives to the government for formulating the plan till January 14.
“National issues cannot be curbed without controlling the rapid increase in population,” he said, adding that the state’s resources have been depleting fast, and the land available for agriculture has been shrinking.
The attorney general informed the bench that a digital media-run awareness campaign was underway, and sought more time for implementation of certain effective measures in this regard. The health secretary informed the bench that two of the provinces have already formulated population control programmes.
The court adjourned the hearing till January 14.
In another case, the chief justice rejected the CDA and Ministry Of Defence’s explanation on why the Shahra-e-Suharwardy at Aabpara junction remains closed despite court orders. The ministry of defence’s representative told the apex court that it had handed over the road to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) but that some maintenance work was still going on.
CDA’s director roads appraised the court that one side of the road was given to the CDA but that the other was kept by the ministry due to security concerns. “Since double-side traffic cannot flow through a single side, we are expanding the road,” said the CDA official.
“It means that our orders were not acted upon,” an Justice Saqib Nisar remarked. The court directed the CDA to submit an application stating that it has not been given the control of both the sides of the road and also attach pictures with it. The Supreme Court had taken notice of the sealing off of the Shahra-i-Suharwardy at Aabpara junction in March last year.