CJ refuses closed-door briefing by ministers -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

CJ refuses closed-door briefing by ministers

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and senior judges of the Supreme Court refused to take a closed-door briefing from the defence and interior ministers on the request of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and directed that if the government wanted to explain its stand on any matter, it should do so in the open court.

Led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the Supreme Court bench was hearing the Haj corruption case with regard to the removal of chief contract officers when the federal government’s advocate Abdul Hafiz Pirzada, under instructions of the prime minister, presented a secret letter. Initially, the chief justice refused to take the letter. However, after the request by the senior advocate, he took the letter, read it and then passed it on to other judges for reading. The contents of the letter were not disclosed in the court.

Top government sources, however, confirmed to The News that the letter sent under the instructions of the prime minister contained a request to the chief justice and other senior members of the bench that the ministers for defence and interior wanted to give a briefing on contract employees on top posts and the law and order situation. The prime minister had requested that Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar and Interior Minister A Rahman Malik be allowed to give a closed-door briefing before the judges because some facts could not be made public. But the Supreme Court rejected the PM’s request.

During the case, the chief justice directed the advocate for the Federation that whatever stand was to be taken, it should be taken before the open court. Although, the Supreme Court ordered four times, the government has not removed the DG FIA Wasim Ahmad. Sources said the government wanted to save some contract officers at top posts.
Source: The News
Date:3/3/2011