Saturday, October 4, 2014

Justice Ramday sends defamation notice to Imran Khan.

ISLAMABAD: Justice (retd) Khalilur Rehman Ramday has sent a defamation notice to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan for accusing the former judge of being complicit in rigging during the May 2013 polls.
The former outspoken SC judge, in his legal notice which is available with The Express Tribune said, “The false, slanderous, libelous and sinful accusations in question leveled by you, which are a manifestation of the worst kind of ‘hate speech’, have injured and harmed my hard-earned reputation and have lowered/tend to lower me in the estimation of others. These allegations have subjected/tend to subject me to ridicule, unjust criticism, dislike and hatred.”
“Not just this, your malicious allegations have also harmed and injured [my] pride, which members of my family including my children and my descendants, had always had in me and your said reckless accusations have caused immeasurable agony, pain and suffering to us all,” the notice added.
Justice Ramday has given Imran a 14-day limit to apologise for his accusations.
“I, therefore, call upon you to tender a public apology to me withdrawing and repudiating the false, the illusory, the unfounded and the baseless allegations in question leveled by you against me. May I also inform you that as per Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance 2002, you have fourteen days time to do the needful, failing which I shall be at liberty to take recourse to such legal remedies in such jurisdictions as may be available to me to vindicate my honour and respect which include my right to sue you for damages and to prosecute you for the criminal act of defamation,” said the legal notice.
Ramday, in his defamation notice, also said that the PTI chief had accused him of having a ‘dawaat’ at his house in which he had invited returning officers and had former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as the chief guest.
He said he had been accused of orchestrating this ‘dawaat’ during which the former chief justice was allegedly motivating the returning officers to help Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“This allegation, to say the least, is malicious and a baseless and unfounded fabrication which is absolutely false and denied as such,” he said in the notice.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Imran Khan apologies to Ex-CJP Chaudhry.

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, on Monday apologised to former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for use of ‘inappropriate’ words against him, a private news channel reported.

Khan, in his response to ex-CJ’s defamation notice, said that the entire nation respects the CJ for standing up to a dictator and appreciates his services.
He further said that his words’ selection was ‘wrong’ and ‘inappropriate’ and he was speaking under emotions of ‘disappointment’ over election rigging.

“It was unintentional, ” he added, hoping that the former CJ forgives him.

In July, the former CJ sent a defamation notice worth Rs20 billion to Khan under section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance, 2002.
“I claim from you in damages a token sum of Rs15 billion only and another Rs5 billion only as damages for mental agonies, torture, harassment, humiliation, etc, caused to me as well as my family,” stated the CJ in the notice.

He said that the PTI chief’s speeches and press conferences were calculated with “the underlying mischief of harassing me and my family members and you have succeeded in damaging my reputation and image.”
He added that would withdraw his claim if the PTI chief tendered an unconditional apology or agreed to pay Rs20 billion within a period of 14 days.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Fakhruddin denies poll rigging, pressure by ex-Chief Justice.

ISLAMABAD: Dispelling the impression of large-scale rigging in the 2013 elections, former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim has said that the political leadership of the country should not let democracy derailed and made it clear that there was no pressure from former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with regard to the elections 2013.

Asking Fakhru Bhai to ‘break his silence,’ was never easy, particularly in a situation when a leading opposition party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has termed the election 2013 most fraudulent, demanding resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and fresh elections under the new Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

While most of the conversation remained ‘off the record,’ he allowed this scribe to use some of it ‘on record,’ particularly when asked about his ‘regrets’ during his term, and ‘proposals’ to improve the electoral process.

His three regrets include (1) Army should have been given a more supportive role, (2) Elections should have been held in phases, and (3) Serving judges should have been appointed as Chairman Election Tribunal making it necessary for them to give the verdicts within 120 days. Fakhru Bhai advised the political leadership to show patience and not to let democracy ‘derailed.’

For the new ECP and electoral reforms, he suggested (1) No serving bureaucrat should be in the ECP (2) Voting should be made compulsory (3) ECP members should not be from the judiciary but should have an experience of dealing with administration with good reputation (4) Elections should be held in phases like in India, considering the resources and manpower (5) ECP’s bureaucratic structure should also be revamped. Fakhruddin G Ebrahim had told the then leader of the opposition Ch Nisar Ali Khan, who approached him to accept the job that he would quit as the CEC after the elections despite having a five-year term in the office.

A retired judge, who already draws Rs600,000 as pension could have been getting an additional Rs600,000 as the CEC, till the expiry of his term, meaning Rs1,200,000 a month. But, Fakhru Bhai stepped down as per his commitment.

Since the resignation of Fakhru Bhai, the government and the opposition have been unable to agree on a single candidate for the Chief Election Commissioner. Within a year, they were supposed to agree on four other ECP members as the incumbent ECP members’ tenure would expire in a year. The ECP perhaps also needs a new secretary as the present one is already on extension. Perhaps, the people from the civil society with administrative background should also be considered as ECP members.

The way forward is a complete overhauling of the ECP, making it stronger and more independent. Fakhruddin G Ebrahim was appointed as the CEC when Ch Nisar Ali Khan approached him and requested him to accept the job because he was the only among the three candidates who enjoyed the confidence of all the major political parties.

He did not accept his plea that holding such a huge task was not his ‘cup of tea’, particularly at this age. He was 84 at that time. Nisar insisted there was a consensus on his name and even Imran Khan had full confidence in him.

Khan, who once offered Fakhru Bhai to contest the elections as his party candidate, had also met him after he accepted the job for two, three times and also spoke to him after the polls.When he first met former army chief General (retd) Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, he found him a nice man and till this day had good relations with him. He asked the general if he could post one officer at each polling station but the ex-army chief regretted, saying that it was not possible. The army did help in maintaining law and order.

Fakhru Bhai was perhaps looking for a more supportive role of the army for the smooth process during polling, particularly during the counting.“I asked the army chief for one officer at each polling station, but he said it’s not possible for him,” he said.

His other regret was that his plea for holding the elections in phases like in India was not accepted by his fellow colleagues.“Yes, I believe elections should have and should be held in phases because of the limited resources and manpower. However, my colleagues did not agree with me.”

However, he did not agree with critics that former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry put any pressure on him during the elections, except when he asked for voting verification in Karachi, without realising the limited resources and manpower available to the ECP.

It was not possible to verify several million voters and to go house-to-house in Karachi. Even the then corps commander, Karachi refused to do so on the ground that it would not be possible to assign one army personnel with each ECP team to go house-to-house. The maximum he agreed on deployment of troops in the area for security.

He also believed that voting should be made compulsory in the new electoral reforms. Everyone who qualifies and reaches the voting age must cast his/her vote. Elections decide the destiny of a nation and every person must participate in the elections.

He was of the view that for complete independent ECP, it should be better to avoid appointing serving bureaucrats or giving them extension. Perhaps, good administrators are required not necessarily people from the judiciary as members.

He faced a lot of criticism during and after the elections, but not many people knew about his integrity as he had the history of resigning on principles.As a Supreme Court judge, who could have become the Chief Justice of Pakistan, he refused oath under General Ziaul Haq’s Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) in 1981.

He was the only governor in the history of Pakistan, who had refused to dissolve the Sindh Assembly in 1990 when former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan dissolved the National Assembly and all the provincial assemblies on August 6, 1990. Thus, he was removed and late Mahmood A Haroon was appointed governor and the assembly was dissolved after the office timing. But, during his brief tenure he constituted the Citizen-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) to bridge the gap between the police and common citizens.

When former prime minister Benazir Bhutto appointed him as the Attorney General for Pakistan, he resigned because he was not consulted on a legal matter and the case was given to Sharifuddin Pirzada without his consent.

“I am too old. At the age of 85, it would not have been possible for me to continue,” he said. Though he dispelled the impression of large-scale rigging in the elections and about the pressure on him from any quarter including the former chief justice, he said had the elections were held in phases like in India, it would have been much better.He was all praise for the Indian Election Commission and was surprised when told by the chief election commissioner of India that they never got a single petition against the elections.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

PEMRA fails to implement SC orders to restore Geo.

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has ordered the cable operators to restore Geo News on its previous position after midnight.
The media watchdog also directed the cable operators that the channel be restored on its previous position as per the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. PEMRA’s Director Legal Zahid Malik said that Geo Entertainment license has been suspended for airing disputed content in its morning show Utho Jago Pakistan.
The PEMRA also banned the morning show, its host Shaista Lodhi and entire team of the program from conducting show on any other channel.
The PEMRA further said that the Geo license will remain under observation and the channel is directed to strictly follow the watchdog’s laws.
Pemra has forwarded the notification of restoration of Geo News to all its regional offices with strict direction that the country’s cable operators should obey the order of the Supreme Court according to which the position of Geo News on cable TV network should be the same as was in the second week of April, 2014.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Legal experts’ remarks on removal of Musharraf name from ECL.

Musharraf is cutting Pakistan's Flag Cake.
KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan could extend the suspension of Sindh High Court orders for 15 more days in which the Sindh High Court ordered lifting travel ban on former military dictator Pervez Musharraf, legal experts said on Thursday.

The SHC while directing the government to lift travel ban on Musharraf further ruled that implementation of its order—removal of accused name from the Exit Control List (ECL)--- be suspended for 15-days so that the government may file appeal before the apex court.

“It seems the ball is now in the court of Supreme Court as it has to make a final decision,” says Justice (retd) Wajihuddin, former judge of the top court.

Eminent lawyer SM Zafar said that the Musharraf’s path to travel abroad will be clear if the government didn’t move the apex court against SHC decision.

Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood said that although the reasons that were stated to put Musharraf on ECL were not substantial, the issue is now once again in the government’s hand.

Another law expert Babar Sattar said that the government will have to make a legal and political decision to resolve the imminent issue.