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Detail Judgment in General (R) Parvez Musharraf’s Case

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PAKISTAN

(REVIEW JURISDICTION)

 

PRESENT:

MR. JUSTICE TASSADUQ HUSSAIN JILLANI, HCJ

MR. JUSTICE NASIR-UL-MULK

MR. JUSTICE JAWWAD S. KHAWAJA

MR. JUSTICE ANWAR ZAHEER JAMALI

MR. JUSTICE KHILJI ARIF HUSSAIN

MR. JUSTICE MIAN SAQIB NISAR

MR. JUSTICE ASIF SAEED KHAN KHOSA

MR. JUSTICE SARMAD JALAL OSMANY

MR. JUSTICE AMIR HANI MUSLIM

MR. JUSTICE IJAZ AHMED CHAUDHRY

MR. JUSTICE GULZAR AHMED

MR. JUSTICE SH. AZMAT SAEED

MR. JUSTICE IQBAL HAMEEDUR RAHMAN

MR. JUSTICE MUSHIR ALAM

 

CIVIL REVIEW PETITION NOs. 328 & 329 OF 2013 IN
CONSTITUTION PETITION NOs. 8 & 9 OF 2009

 

General (R) Parvez Musharraf                                                                (In both cases)

… Petitioner

VERSUS

1.  Nadeem Ahmed (Advocate) and another                          (In CRP 328/2013)

2.  Sindh High Court Bar Association through

its Secretary and others                                                             (In CRP 329/2013)

… Respondents

 For the Petitioner:                        Syed Sharif ud Din Pirzada, Sr. ASC

Assisted by Ch. Faisal Hussain, Advocate

Raja Muhammad Ibrahim Satti, Sr. ASC

Assisted by Shazia Yasin, Advocate and

Mr. Osman Ibrahim, Advocate

Dr. Khalid Ranjha, Sr. ASC

Mr. Ahmed Raza Kasuri, Sr. ASC

Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, ASC

Syed Zafar Abbas Naqvi, AOR

 

For the Respondent (1):              Mr. Rasheed A. Rizwi, ASC/Caveator

Mr.  Asim  Iqbal,  President  Sindh  High

Court Bar Association

(In CRP 329/2013)

 

Date of Hearing:              28, 29 & 30.01.2014

 

JUDGMENT

 

  TASSADUQ  HUSSAIN  JILLANI,  CJ.-  Through  these review  petitions,  petitioner  has  sought  review  of  this  Court’s judgment  dated  31.7.2009  (short  order  and  detailed  reasons reported  in Sindh  High  Court  Bar  Association  vs.  Federation  of Pakistan (PLD  2009  SC  789). Although  these  petitions  are  barred by  1576  days,  yet  in  the  interest  of  justice,  we  have  heard petitioner’s  learned  counsel  at  some  length  and  have considered the submissions made even on merit.

2.  The  facts  giving  rise  to  the  instant review petitions briefly stated are that on 12.10.1999, petitioner General (R) Pervez Musharraf  who  was  then  the  Chairman  Joint  Chiefs  of  Staff Committee and Chief of the Army Staff seized power by dismissing the  government  of  the  then  Prime  Minister  Mian  Muhammad Nawaz  Sharif.  He  proclaimed a  State  of  Emergency throughout Pakistan  and  assumed  the  office  of  Chief  Executive  of the Islamic Republic  of  Pakistan,  issued  the  Provisional  Constitutional  Order No. I  of  1999  as  also  the  Oath  of  Office (Judges) Order No.  10  of 1999. On 25.1.2000 yet another Oath of Office (Judges) Order No. I of 2000 was promulgated wherein it was provided that the Judges of Superior Courts who were holding office immediately before the commencement of the said Order would not continue to hold office if the said Judges were not given or did not take Oath in the form as  set  out  in  the  Schedule  as  a  result  of  which  certain  Judges ceased  to  hold  office. These  orders  were  challenged  before  this Court through several  petitions  which  were  dismissed.  However, the  actions  of  General  Pervez  Musharraf  were  validated  with certain conditions and limitations (Syed Zafar Ali Shah v. General Pervez Musharraf, Chief Executive of Pakistan (PLD 2000 SC 869) which inter alia were:

(ii)  That  constitutional  amendments  by  Chief  Executive can  be  resorted  to  only  if  the  Constitution  fails  to provide  solution  for  the  attainment  of its  declared objectives;

(iii)  That  no  amendment  shall  be  made  in  the  salient features  of  the  Constitution  i.e.  independence  of judiciary,  federalism,  parliamentary  form  of government blended with Islamic provisions;

(iv)  That  the  Fundamental  Rights  provided  in  Part  II, Chapter I of the Constitution shall continue to hold the field but the State will be authorized to make any law or take any executive action in deviation of Articles 15, 16,  17,  18,  19  and  24  as  contemplated  by  Article 233(1)  of  the  Constitution,  keeping  in  view  the language of Articles 10, 23 and 25 thereof;

(v)  That  the  three  years  period  is  allowed  to  the  Chief Executive  with  effect  from  the  date  of  Army  Takeover i.e.  12th of  October  1999  for  achieving  his  declared objectives;

(vi)  That the Chief Executive shall appoint a date, not later than 90 days before the expiry of the aforesaid period of  three  years,  for  holding  of  a  general  election  to  the National  Assembly  and  the  Provincial  Assemblies  and the Senate of Pakistan; and

(vii)  That  this  Court  has  jurisdiction  to  review/re-examine the  continuation  of  the  Proclamation  of  Emergency, dated  12th October,  1999  at  any  stage  if  the circumstances so warrant as held by this Court in the case  of  Sardar  Farooq  Ahmed  Khan  Leghari  v. Federation of Pakistan PLD 1999 SC 57.

3.  Mr.  Justice  Iftikhar  Muhammad  Chaudhry, former  Chief Justice  of  Pakistan who  headed  the  Bench  which  delivered  the judgment  review  of  which  is  sought  (Sindh  High  Court  Bar Association  PLD 2009 SC 879 Supra) was Chief Justice of the High Court  of  Balochistan when  Oath  of  Office  (Judges)  No.1  of  2000 was  promulgated and  State  of  Emergency  was proclaimed. Since six  Judges  of  the  Supreme  Court  ceased  to  hold  office  for  not taking fresh oath and vacancies occurred, he was elevated to this Court and subsequently he became the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

4.  On 9th of March, 2007, the petitioner filed a Reference before the  Supreme  Judicial  Council  under  Article  209  of  the Constitution against  Mr.  Justice  Iftikhar  Muhammad  Chaudhry, Chief  Justice  of  Pakistan and  that was  challenged  by  the  latter through Constitution  Petition  No.  21  of 2007 which  was  accepted on  20.7.2007 by  a  9-Member  Bench  of  this  Court as  a  result  of which he was restored (Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Chief Justice of Pakistan v. The President of Pakistan, short order PLD 2007 SC 578 and detailed judgment of which is at PLD 2010 SC 61).

5.  After the restoration of the Chief Justice on account of the aforesaid judgment of this Court (PLD 2007 SC 578), a Bench of this Court was hearing a petition wherein the issue mooted was whether General Pervez Musharraf  (who  then  was  President  and Chief  of  Army  Staff)  was  qualified  to  contest an election to  the office  of  the President or  not.  Petitioner  apprehending an  adverse verdict decided  to  take  a  drastic  action  against the  Judiciary.

Sensing  this the  Chief  Justice  of  Pakistan constituted  a Bench of available 7 Judges of the Supreme Court, which, passed a restraint order [in the case of Wajihuddin Ahmed {C.M.A. No. 2869 of 2007 in  Constitution  Petition  No.  73  of  2007)] against  the apprehended instruments  and  measures  and  directed,  inter  alia, the  Judges  of Supreme  Court  and  High  Courts  not  to take  oath  under  PCO  or take any other extra-constitutional step.

6.  The  petitioner  proclaimed a State  of  Emergency  on 3.11.2007  and  prescribed  a  fresh  Oath  of  office  for  all  Judges  of the  Supreme  Court  and  High  Courts  and  it  was  provided  therein (Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007) that a Judge who did not take Oath of office under the said Order shall cease to hold office. About 15 Judges of the Supreme Court including Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr.  Justice Iftikhar  Muhammad  Chaudhry  and  56 Judges  of  the  High  Courts  were prevented  from  performing  the duties of their constitutional office as they did not take such oath.

7.  Certain Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts including  the  Chief  Justice  of  Pakistan  were  put  under  house arrest. Immediately thereafter, General Pervez Musharraf made the appointment  of  Abdul  Hameed  Dogar,  J,  as  the  Chief  Justice  of Pakistan, who was at serial No. 4 of the seniority list of the Judges of  the  Supreme  Court,  i.e.  Chief  Justice  of  Pakistan,  Rana Bhagwandas, J, (as he then was) and Javed Iqbal, J were senior to Abdul Hameed Dogar, J.

8.  Through a suspectedly prompted  petition,  the  afore-referred proclamation  of  emergency was  challenged  in the  case  of Tika  Iqbal  Muhammad  Khan  v. General  Pervez  Musharaf  and others (PLD  2008  SC  178)  and  this  Court  headed  by  Mr.  Justice  Abdul  Hameed  Dogar  validated  all  the  afore-mentioned  acts  of petitioner General Pervez Musharraf and the review petitions were dismissed  (Tika  Iqbal  Muhammad  Khan  v.  General  Pervez Musharraf,  Chief  of  Army  Staff,  Rawalpindi  and  2  others  (PLD 2008 SC 615). Meanwhile, elections were held in the country as a result of which Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani became Prime Minister of Pakistan who  in  his  first  speech  before  the  Parliament before taking Oath of office announced the release of all the Judges who had  been  detained.  After a  few  days,  petitioner  General Pervez Musharraf  resigned.  On  account  of the persistent  demand  of  Bar Associations and general public, Judges who were prevented from working,  on  account  of Oath  of  Office  (Judges)  Order,  2007 including  the  then  Chief  Justice  of  Pakistan  Mr.  Justice  Iftikhar Muhammad  Chaudhry  had  to  be  restored.  After  restoration  of Chief Justice of Pakistan and other Judges, the actions of General Pervez  Musharraf and the  appointment  of  Judges  after  3rd  of November, 2007 came under challenge and this Court pronounced the judgment in Sindh High Court Bar Association v. Federation of Pakistan (Short order at PLD 2009 SC 789 and detailed reasons at PLD  2009  SC  879)  which  is sought  to  be  reviewed through these review petitions.

9.  Learned counsel for the petitioner in support of these petitions made the following submissions:-

Raja Muhammad Ibrahim Satti, ASC

10.  The judgment  dated  31.7.2009  passed  in  Const. Petition Nos. 9 and 8/2009 is void, per-incurium and not binding as  far  as  the  petitioner  namely  General  (Retd)  Pervez  Musharaf is concerned inter alia for the following reasons:

a.  Admittedly General  (Retd)  Pervez  Musharaf  was  not a party in either of the Constitution Petitions and no relief had been sought against him.

b.  Right to  “access  to  justice  to  all”  is  a  well  recognized inviolable  right  under  Article  9  of  Constitution  and  this includes right to an impartial Court or Tribunal and this fundamental right has not been adhered to.

c.  There was  no  proper  lis  before  this  Court  while  passing judgment  of  31.7.2009  as  the  events  and  actions  of  3rd November 2007 and Proclamation of Emergency etc were not directly under challenge.

d.  The Constitution  Petitions  under  Article  184(3)  were  not competent  and  even  otherwise  this  jurisdiction  does  not extend to set aside a judgment of the Supreme Court.

e.  This Court  has  wrongly  assumed  the  jurisdiction to adjudicate the events and acts of 3rd November, 2007 as the  same  stood  validated  by  7  Members  Bench  of Supreme Court in Tikka Iqbal Khan’s case (PLD 2008 SC 178)  and  subsequent  review  of  Tikka  Iqbal  Khan’s  case was dismissed by 14 Members Bench (PLD2008 SC 615).

f.  The basic  and  fundamental  principle  of  audi  alteram partem  (that  no  one  shall  be  condemned  unheard)  had totally  been  violated  and  all  the  persons  including petitioner  General  (Retd)  Pervez  Musharaf  were condemned unheard.

g.  The judgment of 31.7.2009 is void on the sole ground of bias as admittedly the petitioner and Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, HCJP were in fact earlier having very  good  relations but later  on  turned into  adversaries and  both  were at  daggers drawn.  They were litigating against  each  other  and  the  petitioner  also  filed a Reference  against  Mr.  Justice  Iftikhar  Muhammad Chaudhry,  HCJP  and  on  3rd  November  2007  the Emergency was imposed for the second time to get rid of Mr.  Justice  Iftikhar  Muhammad  Chaudhry  and  some members  of  Judiciary.  As such  the  bias  and  enmity between Mr.  Justice Iftikhar  Muhammad  Chaudhry  and General  (Retd)  Pervez  Musharaf  was  obvious  and therefore,  Mr.  Justice  Iftikhar  Muhammad  Chaudhry, CJP  was  disqualified  to  hear  and  decide  the  matter concerning him.  More  so  when  earlier  on he  had  also recused  himself  to  hear  cases  of  General  (Retd)  Pervez Musharaf  on  18.10.2007  and  thereafter  he  himself entertained, constituted the Bench and presided over the Bench  and  decided  the  matter  through the judgment  of 31.7.2009  against  General  (Retd)  Pervez  Musharaf against  whom  he  was  totally  biased  and  inimical  and thus the judgment is a nullity on the basis of bias.

h.  It is a recognized principle of law and jurisprudence that justice  is  not  only  to  be  done  but  the  same  should manifestly  be  seen  to  be  done. In the  judgment  under review, this basic principle of administration of justice is not reflected.

i  Very important questions of Constitutional interpretation were  involved  and  both  the  Attorney  General  and Federation  had  failed  in  their  duty  to  assist  the  Court and defend the case for which they were under legal and lawful  obligation  but  they  avoided  the  same  for  political reasons  and  even  so  this  Court  was  bound  to  correctly interpret  the  Constitution  and  apply  the  law  on  the subject which has not been done in the instant case and the  entire  case  has  been  decided  before  obtaining  the view points of the persons who were to be affected by the judgment.

j.  At one stage this Court had considered to issue a notice to the petitioner without adding him as a party or getting amended  Constitution  Petitions  and  just  as  a  formality sent  a  Notice  to  the  petitioner  at  his  residence  at  Chak Shahzad, Islamabad whereas it was known to everybody that General (Retd) Pervez Musharaf was abroad and was being  subjected  to  life  threats  and  could  not  come  to Pakistan. The  servant  at  petitioner’s  residence at Chak Shahzad  refused  to  receive the notice  and  he  informed the  Process  Server  that  General  (Retd)  Pervez  Musharaf was  abroad  and  thereafter  no  step  had  been  taken  for proper  service  of  the  petitioner  and  the  judgment  was announced  even  without  declaring  ex-parte  proceedings and thus the judgment is per incurium, void and coram non  judice  as  there  was  no  view  point  of  the  other  side and the entire judgment was based on the arguments of the petitioners.

k.  The  judgment  passed  and  the  findings  recorded  qua General  (Retd)  Pervez  Musharaf  are  not  sustainable in the  eyes  of  law  as  the  factual  controversies  have  been decided  in  Constitutional  jurisdiction  which  are  against law  and  that  too  without  any  opportunity  of  rebuttal afforded to the petitioner.

l.  The judgment is also to some extent self-contradictory as the  binding  and  operative  judgment  is  contained  in  a Short  Order  reported  as  Sindh  High  Court  Bar Association v. Federation of Pakistan (PLD 2009 SC 789).

The Short Order does not speak of any act of abrogation or  subversion  of  the  Constitution  or  prosecution  of General (Retd) Pervez Musharaf for acts and events of 3rd November  2007  rather  this  Hon’ble  Court  simply declared those actions as unconstitutional and rightly so.

Because  every  violation  of  the  Constitution  is  neither High  Treason  nor  subversion  or  abrogation  of the Constitution  as  held  in  Sharaf  Faridi’s  case  and  also  as reflected under Article 45 of the Constitution.

m.  On the basis of the short order passed in the Sindh High Court  Bar  Supra,  C.P.  No.  454/2009  was  filed  in  Sindh High  Court  and  a  Division  Bench  of  the  said  Court comprising  of  two  Hon’ble  Judges  including  the  Hon’ble Chief Justice of High Court of Sindh who was a member of the 14-member Bench in Sindh High Court Bar Supra disposed  of  the  said  constitution  petition  with  following observations:-

“However  we  are  also  conscious  of  the  fact  that the  Hon’ble  Supreme  Court  of  Pakistan  in  the judgment dated 31.7.2009 in Constitution Petition No.8 and 9/2009 has not issued any direction for prosecution  of  General  (Retd)  Pervez  Musharaf hence  we  restrained  ourselves  from  doing. Therefore,  it  should  be  appropriate  for  the petitioner  to  approach  and  make  such  prayer before  the  Supreme  Court  of  Pakistan  and  seek direction in this respect”.

n.  Even  otherwise  it  was  earlier  held  by  a  five  Members  Bench of the Supreme Court that the Supreme Court had not issued any direction for prosecution of the petitioner for  High  Treason  because  it  is  within  the  domain  of  the Federal Government (Moulvi Iqbal Haider v. Federation of Pakistan 2013 SCMR 1683).

o.  It  is  also  not  out  of  place  to  mention  that  though  the judgment  in  Sindh  High  Court  Bar  Supra  was announced  on  31.7.2009  but  even  the  petitioner  in Constitution Petition Nos. 8 and 9/2009 did not file any review  petition  for  prosecution  of  General  (Retd)  Pervez Musharaf for High Treason. Another petition was filed by the  Communist  Party  of  Pakistan  against  about  627 respondents  including  Generals,  Corps  Commanders, Chief  of  Air  Force,  Prime  Minister,  Cabinet, Parliamentarians and others in this respect but the same was  not  entertained  by  the  office  of  Supreme  Court. Moulvi  Iqbal  Haider  filed  CP.  No.  2255/2010  which remained  pending  for  about two  and  half  years  but  no order  was  passed,  however  on  return  of  General  (Retd) Pervez Musharaf the petition of Moulvi  Iqbal Haider was heard.  It  was  initially  fixed  before  a  two  Member  Bench but subsequently another Hon’ble Judge was included in the  Bench  whereas  the  application  was  made  for constitution  of  Full  Court  or  a  Larger  Bench  of  14 Members (as the judgment of 31st  July was passed by 14 Members)  but  Hon’ble  Chief  Justice  did  not  agree  to constitute  Larger  Bench  or  Full  Court  and  ultimately culminated  in  the  order  dated  3.7.2013 and  reported  as (2013 SCMR 1683).

p.  The judgment needs to be reviewed if not set aside in toto as  it  also  violates  the  doctrine  of  past  and  closed transaction and also the principle that the judgments of Supreme  court  operate  prospectively  and  not retrospectively.

11.  During  the  course  of  arguments,  Raja  Muhammad Ibrahim Satti admitted, on Court query, that petitioner General (R) Pervez Musharraf had a notice of the petition filed by Moulvi Iqbal Haider before the Sindh High Court through citation published in Daily Dawn and further that after dismissal of the said petition by the said Court Moulvi Iqbal Haider challenged the order before the Supreme  Court  in  which  General  Musharraf  was  represented  by him  (Raja  Muhammad  Ibrahim Satti).  The  case  is  reported  as Moulvi Iqbal Haider Vs. Federation of Pakistan through Ministry of Law & Justice (2013 SCMR 1683).

12.  The  petitioner  had  proclaimed  State  of  Emergency pursuant  to  a  letter  received  from  the  then  Prime  Minister  of Pakistan  (letter  reproduced  in  PLD  2009  SC  879  supra  at  page 1035  para  58).  At  this  stage,  the  Court  asked  him  as  to  whether the Prime Minister advised the President to act in violation of the Constitution to which the answer was no. The Court further asked him  whether the  Prime  Minister  had  given  any  advice  to  impose State of Emergency or the petitioner acted in his own discretion, to which  Mr.  Satti  replied  that  the  petitioner  acted  in  his  own discretion. He referred to the judgment of this Court in Tikka Iqbal Muhammad  Khan  Vs.  General  Pervez  Musharraf  (PLD  2008  SC 178) to contend that in the said judgment this Court had validated the imposition of state of emergency and all orders passed by the petitioner.  He  added  that  one  of  the  factors  mentioned  by  the Prime  Minister  in  his  letter  for  deteriorating  law  and  order situation was the interference by the Courts. He submitted that in the  afore-cited  case  PLD  2008  SC  178  supra  some  judges  of  this Court  during  hearing  of  the  said  case  recused  themselves  on  the ground  that  they  had  at  one  stage  or  the  other  released  certain accused  in  terrorist  cases  but  nevertheless  they  were  invited  to take  oath  by  the  then  President.  He  in  particular  referred  to  that paragraph  of  the  proclamation  of  emergency  which  specifically mentions  that  the  same  was  being  done  after  deliberations  in meetings  with  the  Governors,  Cabinet  Ministers  and  the  Corps Commanders.  The  Court  at  this  stage  referred  to  Abdul  Hameed Dogar,  former  Judge/CJP  Vs.  Federation  of  Pakistan  (PLD  2011 SC 315 at page 321 para 8) wherein Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar who was made the Chief Justice after the imposition of the state of emergency admitted and regretted that he did not comply with the 7 Member Bench’s order of this Court dated 3.11.2007.

13.  A  three  Member  Bench  passed  the  order  for proceedings  against  General  Musharraf  for  ‘high  treason’  and unless  the  judgment  under  challenge  is  reviewed,  the  Special Court  /  Tribunal  constituted  to  try  the  petitioner  is  likely  to  be influenced  by  the  observations  made  therein.  He  referred  to Shoukat Ali Dogar Vs. Ghulam Qasim Khan Khakwani (PLD 1994 SC 281) and Emperor v. Khwaja Nazir Ahmad (AIR 1945 PC 18) to contend that the Court should not interfere in the function of the investigating agency. He referred to Sharf Faridi v. The Federation of Islamic Republic of Pakistan through Prime Minister of Pakistan and another (PLD 1989 Karachi 404) and Government of Sindh Vs. Sharaf  Faridi  (PLD  1994  SC  105)  to  argue  that  every  violation  of the Constitution does not amount to ‘high treason’. He added that the  petitioner  in  his  capacity  as  President  could  be  impeached under  Article  47  of  the  Constitution  but  when  asked  he  admitted that the order was passed by the petitioner in his capacity as Chief of  Army  Staff  and  not  as  President.  He  referred  to Article  12  to contend  that  the  law  has  to  have  prospective  effect  and  not retrospective and Article 6 as presently worded can not be applied retrospectively. He lastly contended that in view of Article 270AA of the Constitution, PCO 2002 and 2007 are on same footing.

Syed Sharif ud Din Pirzada, Sr. ASC

14.  Mr. Sharif ud Din Pirzada, learned Sr. ASC submitted that  the  judgment  under  review  stands  vitiated  on  account  of personal bias that the former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar  Muhammad  Chaudhry  had  against  the  petitioner  since petitioner had filed a Reference against him and had also imposed state  of  emergency  on  account  of  which  he  was  rendered dysfunctional. He further contended that the salutary principles of due  process  and  right  to  fair  trial  have  been  violated.  Learned counsel relied on the following case law on question of bias:-

i)  Matlub Hussain v. Gaman with others and the Crown (PLD 1951 FC 115).

ii)  Asif  Ali  Zardari  Vs.  The  State (PLD  2001  SC  568 at   page 587),

iii)  All  Pakistan  Newspapers  Society  Vs.  Federation  of Pakistan (PLD 2012 SC 1 at page 58, para 55)

iv)  AWG Group Ltd and another v. Morrison and another  (2006 (1) All ER 967 at page 971)

v)  Anwar and another v. The Crown (1955 FC 185 at 227 and 233)

vi)  Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Vs. State (1977 SCMR 514)

15.  Responding  to  a  Court  query  as  to  whether  the principle of severance can be applied in this case to which his reply was  that  it  cannot  be  applied  in  the  present  case  because  the former Chief  Justice  was  in  a  commanding  position  and  he  could influence  the  other  Judges.  He  referred  to  Bangalore  principles reproduced  in  Shimon  Shetreet’s  book  “Culture  of  Judicial Independence” at page 598. The Court confronted him with the law laid  down  by  this  Court  in  Nadeem  Ahmed  Vs.  Federation  of Pakistan (2013  SCMR  1062)  wherein  it  was inter  alia held  that  if one  member  is  disqualified, this  would  not  vitiate  the  judgment given by the Court.

16.  Having  considered  the  submissions  made,  the questions which crop up for consideration in these review petitions mainly are as follows:-

(i)  Whether  there  are  grounds  tenable  in  law  to  condone delay of 1576 days in filing these petitions;

(ii)  Whether  while  passing  the  judgment  under  challenge, petitioner  was  not  issued  any  notice  and  the  judgment under challenge can be interfered with on the ground that petitioner was condemned unheard;

(iii)  Whether the judgment under challenge is reflective of an element  of  bias  which  can  be considered  as  a  ground  in review jurisdiction to ensure substantive justice;

(iv)  Whether the conclusion drawn and the findings rendered in  the  judgment  review  of  which  is  sought  are  patently incorrect and something obvious has been overlooked by the  Court  which,  if  considered,  would  warrant  review  of the said judgment;

(v)  Whether  the  error  in  the  judgment is  so  apparent  and material that if the same had been brought to the notice of this Court before the pronouncement of the judgment, a different conclusion could have been drawn; and

(vi)  Whether  the  judgment  under  challenge  has  the  effect  of giving retrospective effect to Article 6?

Q. No.1   Whether there are grounds tenable in law to  condone  delay  of  1576  days  in filing these petitions;

 17.  This  petition  is  barred  by  1576  days  and  in  the application (Civil  Misc.  Application  No.  8164  of  2013)  filed  by petitioner  for  condonation  of  delay,  the  grounds  pressed  into service are:

1.  That the petitioner who was President of Pakistan was compelled by the circumstances to resign the office and thereafter, he left for abroad as he was having security threats to his life by Talibans and from  many  others  quarters  and  he  was  not  in  a position  to  come  to  Pakistan  and  file  the  review petition.

2.  That  it was in  March  2013  when  the  petitioner landed in Pakistan  and  by  that  time  Mr.  Iftikhar Muhammad  Chaudhry,  Chief  Justice  of  Pakistan was Head of Judiciary who was having personal enmity,  bias  and  grudge  against  the  petitioner and  the  petitioner  was  not  expecting  any  justice as  long  as  he  was  in  office,  and  so  is  evident when  he  knocked at  the  door  of  various  High Courts for justice.

3.  That  the  case  of  petitioner  squarely  falls within four  corner  of  the  case  of  Mian  Muhammad Nawaz  Sharif  where  he  filed  a  Crl.  Appeal against his conviction after about 9 years but that delay  was  condoned  in  similar  situation  and  the case of the petitioner is even more plausible as if the  judgment  is  not  reviewed  the  same  is  to  be used against him in High Treason  against  which entails  the  penalty  of  death or life  imprisonment and, therefore, the judgment of Mian Muhammad Nawaz  Sharif  reported  in  PLD  2009  SC  814  is fully  applicable  and  also  the  case  of disqualification  of  Mian  Muhammad  Nawaz Sharif  reported  as  PLD  2009  SC  531  is  relevant for condonation of delay.

4.  That  now  after  superannuation  of  Mr.  Justice Iftikhar  Muhammad  Chaudhry,  Chief  Justice  of Pakistan  the  petitioner  after  obtaining  the certified  copy  and  engaging  the  counsel  is  filing the instant review petition without any delay and as  such  the  delay  caused in  filing  of  the  review petition  was  beyond  the  control  of  the  petitioner and thus there is sufficient cause for condonation of delay.”

18.  In  support  of  the  application,  learned  counsel contended  that  since  the  petitioner  had  filed  a  Reference  against the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry  who  presided  over  the  Bench (which  delivered  the judgment  under  review)  petitioner apprehended  utter  bias  from him and therefore as long as he remained Chief Justice, he did not file  a  review  petition.  The  argument is  not a sufficient  ground  in law  to  condone  the  delay.  Because, first he  could have appeared during hearing of the said case and asked that Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry should not hear the case; second even after the  pronouncement  of  the  judgment  he  could  file  review  petition and  could  have  requested the  Court  that  the  then  Chief  Justice who  presided  over  the  Bench should  not  hear  the  review  petition and may  recuse  himself; and  third in  the  judgment  under consideration  despite  the  finding  that  the  imposition  of  State  of Emergency  by  Chief  of  Army  Staff  was  unconstitutional  and  void, the Court did not direct the trial of the petitioner under Article 6 of the Constitution; if there was bias there could have been directions to that effect; and fourth the Bench which disposed of the petition in view of the undertaking given by the Federal Government that it shall  proceed  against  the  petitioner  under  Article  6 (in C.P.  No. 2255 of 2010 reported at 2013 SCMR 1683) was not presided over by the then Chief Justice against whom bias is alleged.

19.  The  contention  that  the  delay  be  condoned  since  the petitioner was not heard or that the judgment on that count is void ab  initio and  that  no  limitation  runs  against  a  void  order  is  not tenable  because  even  against  a  void  order,  limitation  would  run and  would  be  computed  from  the  date  of  knowledge.  In Muhammad Raz Khan v. Government of NWFP (PLD 1997 SC 397), this Court specifically adverted to the question whether a party can be  extended  indulgence which  pleads  that  the  order  was  not challenged in time as it was void. The Court repelled the argument and held:-

“Principle  of  justice  and  fair  play  does  not  help those  who  were  extraordinary  negligent  in asserting their right and despite becoming aware about  alleged void order  adverse  to  their  interest remain  in  deep  slumber.  Therefore,  according  to our  considered  opinion,  facility  regarding extension of time for challenging orders cannot be legitimately  stretched  to  any  length  of unreasonable  period  at  the  whims,  choices  or sweet  will  of  affected  party.  Thus,  order  termed as  nullity  or  void could  at  best  be  assailed  by computing  period  of  limitation  when  he  factually came  to  know  about  the  same.  When  a  person presumes that adverse order is a nullity or totally devoid  of  lawful  authority  and  ignores  it  beyond the  period  specified  by  law  of  limitation,  then  he does so at his own risk. Therefore, in all fairness terminus  a  quo  will  have  to  be  fixed,  the  date  of knowledge  of  alleged  void  order;  which  too  must be  independently  established  on  sound  basis.  In this  behalf  we  derive  strength  from  the observations contained in PLD 1975 Baghdad-ul-Jadid 29 (Sayed Sajid Ali v. Sayed Wajid Ali) and 1978  SCMR  367  (S.  Sharif  Ahmad  Hashmi  v. Chairman, Screening Committee).”

20.  In  Qaisar  Mushtaq  Ahmad  v.  Controller  of Examinations (PLD  2011  SC  174),  this Court  while  dismissing  an appeal which was barred by 14 days held as follows:-

“The  fact  that  the  applicant  himself  for unexplained  reasons  allowed  his  appeal  to become  time  barred,  thus  filed  the  C.P.L.A.,  in which  his  request  for  the  conversion  etc.  was specifically  disallowed,  can  by  no  stretch  of  any factual  or  legal  imagination  be  considered  a ground  for  the  condonation  of  delay.  We  are  not convinced,  if  the  case  of  the  applicant  is  covered by  the  cases  reported  as  Zulfiqar  and  others  v. Shahdat Khan (PLD 2007 SC 582) as in that case the  Court  for  certain  reasons  allowed  the conversion  of  C.P.L.A.  into  an  appeal  or  treated alike, whereas in the present matter the situation is  converse,  due  to  the  order  dated  9-5-2005 whereby  the  Court  declined  the  request  of conversion, rather it was observed that the direct appeal  so  initiated  by  the  applicant  shall  be subject to all just exceptions (emphasis supplied).

This  order  as  mentioned  above  has  attained finality, therefore it cannot be directly or indirectly revisited. The question thus now to be resolved is not  about  the  conversion  of  the  C.P.L.A.  into  an appeal  or  vis-a-viz,  but  whether  for  the  un-disclosed,  unexplained  and  abstract  reasons, which  the  applicant  still  has  described  in  this application  as  beyond  his  control  (emphasis supplied),  the  delay  can  be  condoned.  In  my considered  view,  this  in  the  given  circumstances of the case is not permissible,  as it shall  amount in  an  indirect  manner,  to  provide  vantage  and gain  to  the  delinquent  party  for  its  unexplained inaction  in  approaching  this  Court  in  proper remedy, which he could not achieve in the earlier C.P.L.A.,  (see  order  dated  9-5-2005),  over  the other  side  which  has  earned  a  right  for  such lapse  of  the  applicant;  the  other  judgment reported  as  Chairman,  N.-W.F.P.  Forest Development  Corporation  and  others  v.  Khurshid Anwar Khan and others (1992 SCMR 1202) cited by  the  applicant’s  counsel  is  also  inapt  to  the present  case  and  is  distinguishable  on  its  own facts.”

21.  In Messrs Blue Star Spinning Mills v. Collector of Sales Tax (2013 SCMR 587), this Court clearly held that the rule that no limitation runs against a void order is not an inflexible rule that a party cannot sleep over to challenge such an order; that it is bound to do so within the stipulated/prescribed period of limitation from the  date  of  knowledge  before  the  appropriate  forum.  It  has never been petitioner’s  plea  that  he did  not  have  the  knowledge  of  the impugned  judgment.  Even  otherwise  it  has  been  admitted  by petitioner’s learned counsel that one Maulvi Iqbal Haider had filed a  constitution  petition  bearing  No.  454  of  2010  wherein  he  had sought trial of the petitioner in view of the judgment of this Court in Sindh High Court Bar Supra. But the said petition was disposed of with a direction that the petitioner should approach this Court.

Maulvi Iqbal Haider thereafter filed Civil Petition No. 2255 of 2010 before this Court.  It remained pending for 2½ years and no order was passed for trial of the petitioner and eventually on 3.7.2013 a Bench  of  three  Judges  disposed  of  the  petition whereafter Special Tribunal  was  constituted  to  try  the  petitioner.  For  two  to  three years, the question of petitioner’s trial in the light of the judgment of  this  Court  in Sindh  High  Court  Bar Supra remained  pending either before  the  High  Court  of  Sindh  or  before  this  Court  but petitioner  never  filed  any  application  for  review  of  the  judgment. This conduct is reflective of an element of contumacy which does not warrant indulgence in review jurisdiction.

22.  The reliance  of learned  counsel  for  the  petitioner  on two judgments of this Court wherein limitation of many years was condoned  would  be of  no  avail as  the  facts  and  circumstances  of those  cases  are  distinct.  In  Federation  of  Pakistan  v.  Mian Muhammad  Nawaz  Sharif  (PLD  2009  SC  644),  petitioner Muhammad  Nawaz  Sharif  had sought  review of  a three  Member judgment of this Court whereby he was disqualified to contest the elections without hearing him. While condoning the delay in filing the  review  petitions,  the  Court  had  taken  note  of  the circumstances under which initially the said review petitioner was restrained  from  returning  to  this  country  and  thereafter  on account  of  removal  of  Judges of  the  Supreme  Court  and  High Courts pursuant to imposition of State of Emergency 2007, he and those  of  his  party  men  who  were  contesting  General  Elections  of 2008  had made  a  public Oath that  they would not  appear  before the Supreme Court till the lawful judiciary was restored. The Court in the said judgment observed:-

“The  case  of  the  petitioners  who  happen  to  be  real brothers  is  that  as  leaders  of  one  of  the  main  stream political parties i.e. Pakistan Muslim League (N), they had taken  a  public  stand  against  the  Imposition  of  “State  of Emergency” on 3rd of November, 2007 by  General Pervez Musharraf, the  arbitrary  and  unconstitutional  removal  of judges  of  the  superior  courts  and  were  party  to  a  public and  collective  oath  taken  by  all  the  candidates  of  their party in the General Elections held in February, 2008 that if  elected,  they  would  struggle  for  the  restoration  of superior  judiciary  and  till  then  they  had  decided  to abstain  from  appearing  before  the  court  then  constituted. This stand it  was contended  was neither directed against the  judiciary  as  an  institution  nor  any  particular  judge was  targeted  but  it  was  more  an  effort  to  save  the Constitution  and  the  institution  of  judiciary  which  is  the third  most  important  organ  of  the  State.  (Emphasis is supplied).

24.  While  rendering  the  judgments  under  review,  the Court  did  not  have  the  benefit  of  hearing  the  petitioners on account of which their stance could not be appreciated.

The  petitioners  in  their  letter  to  the  Chief  Election Commissioner  and in their  public  statements  had expressed  great  anguish  over  the  imposition  of  the  “State of Emergency”, the unconstitutional removal of judges and induction  of  judges  through  the  Provisional  Constitutional Order.  In  all  fairness,  the  Court  which  passed  the judgment  under  review,  shared  this  anguish  on  moral plane but opted a course which in their perception was in institutional  interest.  In  Para-29  of  the  judgment (in case of  Mian  Muhammad  Nawaz  Sharif)  while  referring  to  the “Imposition  of  State  of  Emergency”  on  3rd  of  November, 2007 and the issuance of Provisional Constitutional Order under  which  the  judges  were  asked  to  take  the  oath,  it was  observed,  ”  ………The  Judges  who  were  offered  and invited to take oath were in an enigma as to take or to refuse the  oath.  In  case  of  refusal,  the  judicial  institution  was  to suffer  greatest  harm  and  its  fabric  which  was  woven  in  a period of more than 150 years, was to collapse completely. In the event of refusal to take the oath, it was expected that this judicial  institution  might  be  occupied  by  such  persons  who had  no  knowledge  and  expertise  of  delivering  justice.  There were  many  other  considerations  also  in  their  mind.  To  save the judicial institution, to create hindrance and to prevent the spreading  of  chaos  in  the  country,  for  the  better  interest  of this institution and for the whole betterment of the citizens of Pakistan,  it  was  decided  that  the  offer  of  oath  might  not  be declined.”

25.  Notwithstanding  the  sharing  of  moral  perception,  the Court repelled the reasons for non-appearance on the ground that  the  petitioners  were  by  implication  attributing  personal bias  to  the  judges.  It  was  observed  that  Judges  “are assessors  of  their  own  conscience,  as  they  knew  that  they are  answerable to the Allah Almighty. Why they should feel bias in favour of any one? When they are not involved in any referred  to  incident,  which  has  already  become  a  past  and closed  transaction.  There  are  no  reasons  and  grounds  to possess  the  bias  against  petitioners  and  their  candidate.”

However,  on  a  deeper  appreciation  of  the  stance  taken  and after hearing their learned counsel, it has been found by us that  petitioners’  non-appearance  was  not  attributable  to  a personal  bias  against  the  Court  then  constituted  but  on account of a public stand that they had taken before entering the process of elections i.e. the collective oath which they and all  the party candidates  had  taken  on  the  issues  relating  to the  Imposition  of  “State  of  Emergency”  on  3rd  of  November, 2007 and a resolve to launch a movement for the restoration of  superior  judiciary.  The  restoration  of  the  Hon’ble  Chief Justice  of  Pakistan  and  other judges  who  were  deposed  on the  imposition  of  “State  of  Emergency”  and  the  immediate appearance  of  the  petitioners  by  way  of  filing  these  review petitions  indicate  that  the  stance  taken  was  based  on  a certain moral grounds (sic) which stood vindicated. The same cannot  be  dubbed  as  either  contumacious  or  reflective  of acquiescence to warrant the impugned findings.

26.  There is  yet  another  aspect  of  the  matter.  Notice  was issued to the petitioner Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif (in Civil Petition  No.905  of 2008) filed by  Khuram  Shah  but  the review  petitioner  did  not  appear.  The  Court  heard  the respondent-petitioner  and  others  at  some  length  and  after conclusion  of  arguments,  the  same  day  on  25-2-2009 converted the civil petition into appeal and allowed it  which, as was candidly argued by learned Attorney General, is not in consonance with Order XIII Rule 6, Order XIV, Rule 2 and Order XVI, Rule I of the Supreme Court Rules which mandate as under:–

“——————————

——————————-

——————————-

——————————-

Order  XIV,  Rule  2.–Where  an  appeal  has been  admitted  by  an  order  of  this  Court,  the Registrar  shall  notify  the  respondents  of  the order  of  this  Court  granting  leave  to  appeal, and shall also transmit a certified copy of the order  to  the  Registrar  of  the  High  Court concerned.

Order  XVI,  Rule  1.–The  respondent  shall enter  an  appearance  within  30  days  of  the receipt  of  notice  from  the  Registrar  regarding grant  of  leave  to  appeal  to  the  appellant, under Rule 2, Order XIV, but he may enter an appearance at any time before the hearing of the  appeal  on  such  terms  as  the  Court  may deem fit.”

27. We agree with learned Attorney General for Pakistan that after the grant of leave, Order XVI Rule I provides 30 days’ time for the respondent  to  appear.  In  the  instant  cases,  however,  instead  of waiting  for  30  days  to  enable  the  petitioner/respondent  to  appeal, the  Court  allowed  the  appeal  immediately  when  the  petition  was converted into appeal.

28.  No one  should  be  condemned  unheard  is  an  old  adage  ever since  the  advent  of  judicial  dispensation.  In  Commissioner  of Income  Tax,  East  Pakistan  v.  Syeedur  Rehman  (PLD  1964  SC 410),  this  Court  went  to  the  extent  of  classifying  an  order  passed without  hearing  as  a  void  order.  In  the  afore-referred circumstances,  we are of the view that non- hearing of petitioners is  an  error  on  the  face  of  record  meriting  interference  in  review jurisdiction.”

23.  Again  in Muhammad  Nawaz  Sharif  v.  the  State (PLD 2009  SC  814), the Court  condoned  the  delay  in  filing  criminal petition for leave to appeal by observing as follows:-

16.  The period of delay of more than eight years in filing the  present  petition  for  leave  to  appeal  can  be  broadly divided in  two  phases;  the first is  the petitioner’s  absence from  the  country  for  about  seven  years  and  the  second  is his  abstinence  from  approaching  this  Court  for  almost  a year  and  a  half  after  his  return.  For  the  purpose  of condonation of delay for the first phase, the circumstances under  which  the  petitioner  left  the  country  are  not  as relevant  as  the  resolution  of  the  issue  whether  the petitioner  was  prevented  from  returning  to  the  country.  It has been the consistent stand of the petitioner that despite efforts he had not been allowed to return to Pakistan. This stand is substantiated by the judgment pronounced by this Court  in  the  case  of  Pakistan  Muslim  League  (N)  v. Federation of Pakistan and others (PLD 2007 SC 642) (ibid) and the ensuing events. It was declared that the petitioner was  entitled  to  enter  and  remain  in  Pakistan  and  that  no hurdle or obstruction was to be created by any authority to prevent  the  petitioner’s  return.  Pursuant  to  the  said direction,  the  petitioner  embarked  on  a  return  journey  to Pakistan  and  took  a  flight  from  London  to  Islamabad. However,  after  landing  at  Islamabad,  he  was  not  allowed to  leave  the  airport  and  was  sent  out  of  the  country.  In view  of  violation  of  the  order  of  this  Court,  an  application for contempt of Court was filed before this Court. A similar abortive attempt was earlier made in the year 2004 by the petitioner’s brother, Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, and he was not allowed to leave the airport and put on a flight destined for overseas. The above facts clearly demonstrate that  the  petitioner  was  prevented  from  returning  to Pakistan.

17.  The petitioner returned to the country on 27.11.2007 but  did  not  file  the  petition  for  leave  to  appeal  until 28.4.2009.  The  explanation  for  this  delay  is  mentioned  in Paras J, K and L of the application of condonation of delay (Cr.  Misc.  A.  No.  168  of  2009) w h i c h are  reproduced  as under:–

 “(j)  That  it  is  a  matter of record  that  the  petitioner had,  on  his  return  to  Pakistan,  publicly  pledged, at the very outset, neither to accept nor to condone the  aforesaid  constitutional  deviation  whereby, inter  alia,  63  hon’ble  Judges  of  the  Superior Courts  had  been  forcibly  restrained  from continuing  to  perform  their  judicial  functions.  It was  because of this  reason  that  all  the candidates of the  Pakistan  Muslim  League  (N) contesting General Election 2008, pledged on oath to  restore  the  judiciary  to  pre  November  3,  2007 position,  and  this  ceremony  of  collective  oath  of Pakistan Muslim League (N) candidate was widely publicized  and  covered  by  the  media.  Moreover, the petitioner had repeatedly declared that he will not  appear  before  the  judges  of  the  Superior Courts  till  the  entire  set of judges  who  were illegally  deposed  on  November  3,  2007,  including the  hon’ble  Chief  Justice  Iftikhar  Muhammad Chaudhry, were restored.

(k) —————-

(l)  That  it  was  only  on  March  17,  2009  that, pursuant  to  a  long  and  arduous  struggle of the lawyer’s  fraternity,  as  well  as  the  indefatigable efforts  made  by,  inter  alia,  the  Pakistan  Muslim League  (N),  that  the  illegally  and unconstitutionally  deposed  judges  have  been restored  to  their  original  position  with  effect  from pre  November  3,  2007.  there  being  no  longer  any constraint  upon  the  petitioner  for  appearance before  the  Hon’ble  Judges,  he  has  immediately initiated  action  for  challenging  the  Judgment passed  by  the  Full  Bench of the Sindh High Court in the instant case.”

Admittedly there was no such restraint order against the petitioner to  come  to  this  country  and  file  review  petition.  He  has  failed  to show  a  cause  or  reason  sufficient  in law  to  condone  such  an inordinate  delay.  The  petition  merits  dismissal  on  this  short ground alone.

Q.  No.  2: Whether  while  passing  the  judgment  under challenge, petitioner was not issued any notice and  whether  the  judgment  under  challenge can  be  interfered  with  on  the  ground  that petitioner was condemned unheard;

24.  The  principle  of audi  alteram  partem or  that  nobody should  be  condemned  unheard  is  a  time  honored  principle  of natural justice. However, facts of each case have to be considered before  delay  can  be  condoned  and  this  principle  cannot be  made an inflexible rule to give license to someone who knowing fully well that  a  lis  is  pending  against  him  or  that  a  judgment  has  been passed  against  him  refuses  to  appear  and  when  the  judgment  is passed  fails  to challenge  it  in  time.  In  the  instant  case,  we  note that the Court had issued a  notice  to  petitioner  on  his  available address  in  Islamabad  and  when  from  there  it  transpired  that  he was abroad, the notice was widely published and televised. In Para 6 of the judgment under challenge it has specifically been noted as follows:-

“On  22.7.2009  a  notice  was  issued  to  General Pervez Musharraf (Rtd.) on his available  address intimating him about the proceedings in this case and  29.7.2009  as  the  date  fixed  therein  before this  Court.  The  Process  Serving  Officer  reported on  the  same  day  that  he  had  gone  to  the residential  place  viz.  C-1,  B  Park  Road,  Chak Shahzad,  Islamabad  where  a  person  identifying himself  as  Muhammad  Hussain  son  of  Amir  and that on former’s offer the latter refused to receive the  notice.  The  factum  of  issuance  of  the  afore-referred  notice  was  widely  televised  through National  and  International  T.V.  channels.  Also,  it was  widely  published  in  National  and International  print  media,  but,  on  the  date  so fixed no one entered appearance.”

25.  Even  otherwise,  it  has  never  been  the  case  of  the petitioner, not  even  in  the  body  of  this  petition that  he  was  not aware  of  the  pendency of  proceedings  which  culminated  in  the judgment of this Court in Sindh High Court Bar (Supra) review of which is sought.

Q.  3  Whether  the  judgment  under  challenge  is reflective  of  an  element  of  bias  which  can  be considered  as  a  ground in  review  jurisdiction  to ensure substantive justice;

26.  The assertion of bias against a Judge and whether he is disqualified to hear a case on that ground has been a subject of judicial  review  in  several  cases.  In  Federation  of  Pakistan  v. Muhammad Akram Shaikh (PLD 1989 SC 689), this Court having considered  the  precedent  case  law,  laid  down  following  principles which the Court may keep in mind while deciding the question of bias:-

“(i) It is fundamental principle that in the absence of statutory authority or consensual agreement or the  operation  of  necessity,  no  man  can  be  Judge in his own cause.

(ii) A Judge who  would otherwise be disqualified may  act  in  a  case  of  necessity  where  no  other Judge has jurisdiction. That the ‘necessity’ rule is a part of the common law is undoubted.

(iii)  The  rule  of  disqualification  must  yield  to  the demands  of  necessity,  and  a Judge  or  an  officer exercising  judicial  functions  may  act  in  a proceeding  wherein  he  is  disqualified  even  by interest, relationship or the like, if his jurisdiction is  exclusive  and  there  is  no  legal  provision  for calling  in  a  substitute,  so  that  his  refusal  to  act would  destroy  the  only  tribunal  in  which  relief could  be  had  and  thus  prevent  a  termination  of the proceeding.

(iv)  An  adjudicator  who  is  subject  to disqualification  at  common  law  may  be  required to sit if there is no other competent tribunal or if a quorum  cannot  be  formed  without  him.  Here  the doctrine  of  necessity  is  applied  to  prevent  a failure of justice. So, if proceedings were brought against all the superior Judges, they would have to  sit  as  Judges  in  their  own  cause.  Similarly,  a Judge may be obliged to hear a case in which he has a pecuniary interest.”

27.  In Gullapalli Negeswararao etc v.  The State of Andhra Pradesh  and  others  (AIR  1959  SC  1376)  and Ranjit  Thakur  v. Union of India and others (AIR 1987 SC 2386), the question of bias was also considered. In the former judgment, it was held that “no man  shall  be  a  judge  in  his  own  cause;  justice  should  not  only  be done but manifestly and undoubtedly seen to be done; if a member of a judicial body is subject to a bias (whether financial or other) in favour of, or against, any party to a dispute, or is in such a position that  a  bias  be  assumed  to  exist,  he  ought  not  take  part  in  the decision or sit on the tribunal”. While in the latter judgment test of likelihood of bias was noted as follows:-

“…tests of the likelihood of bias what is  relevant is the reasonableness of the apprehension in that regard  in  the  mind  of  the  party.  The  proper approach  for  the  Judge  is  not  to  look  at  his  own mind  and  ask  himself,  however,  honestly,  “am  I biased?”;  but  to  look  at  the  mind  of  the  party before him…”

28.  In Asif  Ali  Zardari  Vs.  The  State (PLD  2001  SC  568), the  facts  are  distinguishable. Facts  in  brief were that  the  Chief Ehtesaab Commissioner filed a reference in the Lahore High Court, Lahore  against Mohtarma Benazir  Bhutto  ex-Prime  Minister  of Pakistan and her husband Asif Ali Zardari and some other officials inter alia on the ground that in their authority as holders of public office  in  collusion  with  each  other  and  with M/s  Societe  General  De  Surveillance  SA  (“SGS”)  as  well  as  Jens  Schlegelmilch,  they awarded  a  contract  for  shipment  inspection  to  M/s  SGS  after accepting  illegal  gratification  in  the  form  of  kickbacks  and commissions resulting in a huge loss to the public exchequer. Vide a  short  order  dated  15.4.1999  both  Mohtarma  Benazir  Bhutto, former  Prime  Minister  and  Asif  Ali  Zardari  were  convicted  and sentenced  to  various  terms. This  conviction  was  challenged  in appeal  which  was  allowed  by  this  Court,  the  convictions  were  set aside  and  the  case  was  remanded for de  novo trial  mainly  on  the ground  of  bias  on  the  part  of  the  bench  headed  by  Malik Muhammad Qayyum,  J.  The  Court  while  alluding  to  the  question of bias observed as under:-

“25.  No  doubt,  the  Judges  of  the  Superior  Courts  are blessed with a judicial  conscience  but question nonetheless is  whether  a  particular  Judge  of  the  Subordinate  or  the Superior  Judiciary  against  whom  the  allegation  of  bias  is alleged is possessed of judicial conscience. This litmus test is indeed  very  difficult  but  certainly  not  impossible.  The circumstances of a particular case wherein bias of a Judge is alleged  would themselves  speak  volumes  for  the  same.  In other  words, the principle is  well settled that a Judge of the Superior Court is a keeper of his own conscience and it is for him  to  decide  to  hear  or  not  to  hear  a  matter  before  him.  However, in the present case we are not inclined to adhere to the  said  settled  principle  because  bias  is  floating  on  the surface of the record.”

29.  The  Court  in  arriving  at  the  conclusion  quoted in  the preceding  paragraph  had  considered  the  circumstantial  and documentary  evidence  which  comprised  of  issuance  of  red passport to the head of the Ehtesab Court (who was not otherwise entitled) on  the  direction  of  Senator  Saif  ur  Rehman  who  was incharge  of  the  Ehtesab  cell;  the  transfer  of Ehtesab  Reference from Principal  Seat  at Lahore  to  Rawalpindi Bench  of  the  Lahore High Court; the order of the then Chief Justice, Lahore High Court to  send  the  same  judge  of  the  Lahore  High  Court to Rawalpindi who  was hearing  the  case  at  Lahore;  the  fact  that  the  accused Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was not even examined during trial; the appointment  of  Commission comprising  of the Registrar,  Lahore High Court to visit Switzerland and ascertain the genuineness and authenticity  of  certain  documents;  the  manner  in  which  the Commission  conducted  itself; the  production  of  audio  tapes  and their  transcripts  in  proof  of  the  allegation  that  the  learned judges who convicted the accused had been pressurized and forced by the authorities  in  power  to  oust  the  appellants  from  the  arena  of politics  by  securing  their  conviction  to  hold  public  office.  In the case in hand, however, it has never been the case of the petitioner that the  then  Chief  Justice  Iftikhar  Muhammad  Chaudhry  had done any overt  act  which  could  warrant  an  inference  that  he  was inimical towards him rather it is petitioner’s case that they were on good  terms  till  filing  of  the  reference  before  the  Supreme  Judicial Council  against  the  said  Chief  Justice  which  was  challenged  by him  and  the  same  was  set  aside  by  a 13-Member  Bench  of  this Court  against  which  petitioner  never  filed  any  review  application rather accepted it. As a matter of fact he welcomed the judgment. However,  a few  weeks  after  the  restoration  of  the  former  Chief Justice,  petitioner imposed  state  of  emergency;  issued  various presidential orders and after prescribing a new oath those Judges who  did  not take  the  oath  were stopped  from  working  which included the said former Chief Justice.  The events which followed and the  launching  of  the  peoples’  movement  leading  to  the restoration  of  the  then  Chief  Justice  Iftikhar  Muhammad Chaudhry  on 16.3.2009  have  already  been  narrated  above.  The judgment  sought  to  be  reviewed  in  the  afore-referred circumstances does not reflect any personal bias on his part. First, because  admittedly  after  the  setting  aside  of  the Presidential Reference and  restoration  of  the  former  Chief  Justice when  the case  of  General  (R)  Pervez  Musharraf’s  disqualification to  contest the Presidential elections while in Army uniform (as Chief of Army Staff) was  taken  up, the  said  former  Chief  Justice constituted a Bench and did not include himself as a member of the said Bench. Second, petitioner’s counsel has not referred to any case in which after his reinstatement for the second time on 24.3.2009 the then Chief  Justice passed  any  adverse  order  against  the  person  of  the petitioner.  Even  in  the  judgment  under  review, the  Bench  headed by  him  did  not  direct  trial  of  petitioner  under  Article  6  of  the Constitution  and  in fact  this  is  one  of  the  grounds  to  seek  review that though the Bench which delivered the judgment in Sindh High Court Bar Association’s case did not direct trial but a 3 Members Bench  in Moulvi  Iqbal  Haider  vs.  Federation  of  Pakistan  through Secretary M/o  Law  and  Justice (2013  SCMR  1683) directed  trial under Article 6 of the Constitution.

30.  This  brings  us  to  questions  No.  (iv)  and  (v)  which  we propose to deal jointly. These are as follows:-

(iv)  Whether the conclusion drawn and the findings rendered in the  judgment  review  of  which  is  sought  are  patently incorrect  and  something  obvious  has  been  overlooked  by the Court which, if considered, would warrant review of the said judgment; and

(v)  Whether  the  error  in  the  judgment  is  so  apparent  and material  that if the same had been brought  to  the notice of this  Court  before  the  pronouncement  of  the  judgment,  a different conclusion could have been drawn?

31.  For  a  proper  appreciation  of  the  afore-referred  two issues, it would be pertinent to first examine the nature of review jurisdiction. Article 188 of the Constitution provides that subject to the provisions of any act of the Parliament and any rules framed by the  Supreme  Court, to  review  any  judgment  pronounced  or  any order made by it; Order XXVI, rule 1 of  the Supreme Court Rules lays down that subject to law and practice of this Court, the Court may  review  its  judgment/order in  civil  proceedings  on  grounds similar to those mentioned in Order XLVII, rule 1 of C.P.C. and any criminal proceeding on the ground of an error apparent on the face of  the  record.  Order  XLVII  of  C.P.C.  stipulates  that  a  party  may apply  for  review  if  it  is  aggrieved  by  the  orders  or  decrees,  or decisions  mentioned  in  sub  clauses  (a),  (b),  (c)  of  rule  1  on  three grounds  namely,  discovery  of  new  and  important  matter  or evidence  which,  after  the  exercise  of  due  diligence  was  not  within its knowledge or could not be produced by it at the time when the decree was passed or order made, or on account of some mistake or  error  apparent  on  the  face  of  the  record,  or  for  any  other sufficient reason.

32.  The  scope  of  review  jurisdiction  came  up  for consideration before this Court in Lt. Col. Nawabzada Muhammad Amir  Khan  v.  The  Controller  of  Estate  Duty,  Government  of Pakistan,  Karachi  and  others (PLD  1962  SC  335), and this  Court speaking  through  its  Chief  Justice  Mr.  Justice  Cornelius  as  he then was observed as follows:-

“For the present purpose, the emphasis should, in my  opinion,  be  laid  upon  the  consideration  that, for  the  doing  of  “complete  justice”,  the  Supreme Court is vested with full power, and I can see no reason why the exercise of that full power should be  applicable  only  in  respect  of  a  matter  coming up  before  the  Supreme  Court  in  the  form  of  a decision  by  a  High  Court  or  some  subordinate Court.  I  can  see  no reason  why  that  purpose,  in its full scope, should not also be applicable for the purpose of reviewing a judgment delivered by the Supreme Court itself provided that there be found a necessity within  the  meaning of the expression “complete  justice” to exercise that power. It  must, of  course,  be  borne  in  mind  that  by  assumption, every  judgment  pronounced  by  the  Court is  a considered  and  solemn  decision  on  all  points arising  out  of  the  case,  and  further  that  every reason  compels  towards  the  grant  of  finality in favour  of  such  judgments  delivered  by  a  Court which  sits  at  the  apex  of  the  judicial  system. Again, the expression “complete justice” is clearly not to be understood in any abstract or academic sense.  So  much  is  clear  from  the  provision  in Article  163  (3)  that  a  written  order  is  to  be necessary  for  the  purpose  of  carrying  out  the intention  to  dispense  “complete  justice”.  There must  be  a  substantial  or  material  effect  to  be produced  upon  the  result  of  the  case if,  in  the interests  of  “complete  justice”  the  Supreme  Court undertakes to exercise its extraordinary power of review of one of its own considered judgments. If there be found material irregularity, and yet there be no substantial injury consequent thereon, the exercise  of  the  power  of  review  to  alter  the judgment  would not necessarily be required. The irregularity must be of such a nature as converts the  process  from  being  one  in  aid  of  justice  to  a process  that  brings  about  injustice.  Where,  how-ever,  there  is  found  to  be  something  directed  by the  judgment  of  which  review  is  sought  which  is in  conflict  with  the  Constitution or  with  a  law  of Pakistan,  then it  would be  the duty of the Court, unhesitatingly  to  amend  the  error.  It  is  a  duty which  is  enjoined  upon  every  Judge  of  the  Court by  the  solemn  oath  which  he  takes  when  he enters  upon  his  duties,  viz.,  to”  preserve,  protect and  defend  the  Constitution  and  laws  of Pakistan”.

 33.  In  Abdul  Ghaffar-Abdul  Rehman  v.  Asghar  Ali  (PLD 1998 SC 363), this Court after having examined a plethora of case law both from Pakistan & India laid down principles which a Court should consider before exercising review jurisdiction:

17.  From  the  above  case-law,  the  following principles of law are deductible:

(i)  That  every  judgment  pronounced  by  the Supreme  Court  is  presumed  to  be  a  considered, solemn and final decision on all points arising out of the case;

(ii)  that if the Court has taken a conscious and deliberate  decision  on  a  point  of  fact  or  law,  a review petition will not lie;

(iii)  that  the  fact  the  view  canvassed  in  the review petition is  more reasonable  than  the view found  favour  with  the  Court  in  the judgment/order of which review is sought, is not sufficient to sustain a review petition;

(iv)  that  simpliciter  the  factum  that  a  material irregularity  was  committed  would  not  be sufficient  to  review  a  judgment/order  but  if  the material  irregularity  was  of  such  a  nature,  as  to convert  the  process  from  being  one  in  aid  of justice  to  a  process  of  injustice,  a  review  petition would lie;

(v)  that  simpliciter  the  fact  that  the conclusion recorded  in  a  judgment/order  is  wrong  does  not warrant  review  of  the  same  but  if  the  conclusion is  wrong  because  something  obvious  has  been overlooked  by  the  Court  or  it  has  failed  to consider  some  important  aspect  of  the  matter,  a review petition would lie;

(vi)  that if the error in the judgment/order is so manifest  and  is  floating  on  the  surface,  which  is so material that had the same been noticed prior to  the  rendering  of  the  judgment  the  conclusion would  have  been  different,  in  such  a  case  a review petition would lie;

(vii)  that  the  power  of  review  cannot  be  invoked as  a  routine  matter  to  rehear  a  case  which  has already  been  decided  nor  change  of  a  counsel would  warrant  sustaining  of  a  review  petition, but the same can be pressed into service where a glaring  omission  or  patent  mistake  has  crept  in earlier by judicial fallibility;

(viii)  that  the  Constitution  does  not  place  any restriction  on  the  power  of  the  Supreme  Court  to review its earlier decisions or even to depart from them nor the doctrine stare decisis will come in its way so long as review is warranted in view of the significant  impact  on  the  fundamental  rights  of citizens or in the interest of public good;-

(ix)  that  the  Court  is  competent  to  review  its judgment/order  suo  motu  without  any  formal application;

(x)  that under the Supreme Court Rules, it sits in  divisions  and  not  as  a  whole.  Each  Bench whether small or large exercises the same power vested  in  the  Supreme  Court  and  decisions rendered by the Benches irrespective of their size are  decisions  of  the  Court  having  the  same binding nature.”

34.  In  Justice  Sajjad  Ali  Shah  v.  Malik  Asad  Ali  (1999 SCMR 640), the afore-referred view was reiterated.

35.  In Justice  Khurshid  Anwar  Bhinder  v.  Federation  of Pakistan (PLD 2010 SC 483), this Court held:

“A review is by its very nature not an appeal or a rehearing merely on the ground that one party or another  conceives  himself  to  be  dissatisfied  with the decision of the court, but that it should only be granted  for  some  sufficient  cause  akin  to  those mentioned  in  Order  XLVII,  Rule  1  of  the  Code  of Civil  Procedure,  the  provisions  whereof incorporate  the  principles  upon  which  a  review was usually granted by Courts of law in England.

The  indulgence  by  way  of  review  may  no  doubt be  granted  to  prevent  remediable  injustice  being done  by  a  court  of  last  resort  as  where  by  some inadvertence an important statutory provision has escaped  notice  which,  if  it  had  been  noticed, might  materially  have  affected  the  judgment  of the  court  but  in  no  case  should  a  rehearing  be allowed upon merits.”

36.  The  facts  of  the  case  in  hand  are  rather  straight  i.e. the  imposition  of  state  of  emergency,  the  promulgation  of Presidential  Order  2007,  the  requirement  of taking  fresh  Oath by Judges  and  those  who  did  not,  ceased  to  be  Judges.  The appointment of Mr. Abdul Hameed Dogar as Chief Justice after the former  Chief  Justice  was  held  to  have  ceased  to  hold  office,  the judgment  of  Tikka  Iqbal’s  case  whereby  a  Bench  headed  by  Mr. Abdul Hameed Dogar validated the actions taken by the petitioner on  3rd  of  November,  thereafter  the  turn  of  events,  the  movement for  restoration  of  judiciary  and  the  ultimate  restoration  of  Chief Justice  and  other  Judges  and  the  vires  of  the  actions  taken  were examined  by  the  Court  headed  by  the  restored  Chief  Justice,  Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and the pronouncement of the  Sindh  High  Court  Bar  (Supra).  The  view  taken  in  Sindh  High Court  Bar  (Supra)  is  that  the  Chief  of  Army  Staff  could  not  have imposed emergency as he had no power under the Constitution to do so; that the former Prime Minister had addressed a letter to the President and not to the Chief of Army Staff about the deteriorating law  and  order  situation  and  orders  of  some  of  the  Judges  of  this Court  which  according  to  him  were  not  appropriate in  the  given circumstances  in  the  country.  The  full  Bench  of  this  Court  had unanimously  declared  the  actions  taken  to  be void  ab  initio and non est and held as follows:-

“60.  From  the  contents  of  the  letter  of  the  Prime Minister,  it  cannot  be  said  that  he  issued  any direction  to  the  Armed  Forces  in  terms  of  Article 245  of  the  Constitution  to  act  in  aid  of  the  civil power,  nor  the  actions  of  General  Pervez Musharraf  of  3rd  November,  2007  could  be  said to have been taken or done while acting in aid of the  civil  power.  Even  otherwise,  the  letter  was addressed to the President of Pakistan and not to the  Chief  of  Army  Staff.  But  for  the  sake  of argument, it  may be stated  that even if the letter was addressed to the Chief of Army Staff, it could not be construed to give to the latter any power to take  the  kind  of  steps  that  he  took  in  pursuance of the aforesaid letter.

80.  Seen  in  the  above  perspective,  the  actions  of General  Pervez  Musharraf  dated  3rd  November, 2007  were  the  result  of  his  apprehensions regarding  the  decision  of  Wajihuddin  Ahmed’s case  and  his  resultant  disqualification  to  contest the election of President. Therefore, it could not be said  that  the  said  actions  were  taken  for  the welfare  of  the  people.  Clearly,  the  same  were taken  by  him  in  his  own interest  and  for  illegal and  unlawful  personal  gain  of  maneuvering another  term  in  office  of  President,  therefore,-the same  were  mala  fide  as  well.  The  statement made  in  Proclamation  of  Emergency  that  the situation had been reviewed in meetings with the Prime  Minister,  Governors  of  all  the  four Provinces,  and  with  Chairman,  Joint  Chiefs  of Staff Committee, Chiefs of the Armed Forces, Vice Chief  of  Army  Staff  and  Corps  Commanders  of the  Pakistan  Army,  and  emergency  was proclaimed in pursuance of the deliberations and decisions of the said meetings, was incorrect. The Proclamation  of  Emergency  emanated  from  his person,  which  was  apparent  from  the  words  “I, General Pervez Musharraf….” used in it.

          ——————————————

 85.  In  the  light  of  the  above  discussion,  the actions  of  General  Pervez  Musharraf  dated  3rd November, 2007, viz., Proclamation of Emergency, PCO No. 1 of 2007 and Oath Order, 2007, etc. are held  and  declared  to  be  unconstitutional,  illegal, mala  fide  and  void  ab  initio.  In  pursuance  of  the aforesaid  declaration,  it  is  further  held  and declared  that  the  Chief  Justice  of  Pakistan,  the Judges  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  Pakistan,  Chief Justices  and  Judges  of  High  Courts  who  were declared  to  have  ceased  to  hold  office  by  the notifications  issued  by  the  Ministry  of  Law  and Justice,  Government  of  Pakistan  in  pursuance PCO No.1 of 2007 and Oath Order, 2007 shall be deemed  never  to  have  ceased  to  be  such  Chief Justices  or  such  Judges,  irrespective  of  any notification  issued  regarding  their  reappointment or  restoration.  The  notifications  issued  by  the Ministry  of  Law  in  this  behalf  are  declared  to  be null and void.”

37.  The afore-referred declarations and findings could not be subject matter of review as neither there is any discovery of new or  important  matter  or  evidence  which  after  the  “exercise  of  due diligence” was not within the knowledge of the petitioner or could not  be  produced  by  him  at  the  time  when  the  judgment  under challenge  was  passed.  As  noted  in  para  16  above,  in  fact, petitioner’s learned counsel frankly admitted, on Court query, first that the then Prime Minister Mr. Shaukat Aziz had written a letter to  the  President  of  Pakistan  and  not  to  the  Chief  of  Army  Staff; second that the Prime Minister had not advised him to impose the State  of  Emergency  rather “the  petitioner  acted  in  his  own discretion”.  This  frank  admission  by  his  counsel  has  further weakened his case for review. How could petitioner in his capacity as  Chief  of  Army  Staff  or  even  as  President  act  on  his  own discretion. He  had  no  power  under  the  law  to  impose  State  of Emergency  and  make  Judges  of  the  Supreme  Court  and  High Courts dysfunctional notwithstanding the mandate of Article 48 of the Constitution which inter alia stipulates that:

[48. (1)  In  the  exercise  of  his  functions,  the President  shall  act  [on  and]  in  accordance  with the advice of the Cabinet [or the Prime Minister]:   [Provided  that  [within  fifteen  days]  the President may require the Cabinet or, as the case may  be,  the  Prime  Minister  to  reconsider  such advice,  either  generally  or  otherwise,  and  the President  shall[,  within  ten  days,]  act  in accordance  with  the  advice  tendered  after  such reconsideration.]”

38.  Yet another argument raised was that although in the judgment  under  challenge,  there  was  no  direction  for  trial  of petitioner under Article 6, but a 3-Member Bench has directed trial (2013  SCMR  1683)  which  is  not  warranted  in  law.  First  this argument  is  no  ground  to  seek  review  of  the  judgment  under challenge because it seems the petitioner’s grievance is against the order of the three Member Bench (2013 SCMR 1683). But the said judgment has not been challenged in review. Second, a violation of Article  6  has  two  aspects/consequences  i.e. constitutional and criminal.  In  the  judgment  under  review,  the  former  aspect  was dealt  with  and  the  Court  held  that  the  acts  of  petitioner  were violative  of  the  constitutional  provisions.  While  in Moulvi  Iqbal Haider  v.  Federation  of  Pakistan  (2013  SCMR  1683),  the  Court dealt with the latter aspect i.e. criminal. But while doing so it did not give a finding on merit, lest it may prejudice the case of either side  during  trial.  Rather  the  Court  disposed  of  the  case  on  the statement of Attorney General for Pakistan who said:

(1)  The  Prime  Minister  has  directed  the Secretary  Interior  to  forthwith  direct  the Director-General  FIA  to  constitute  a  special investigative  team  of  senior  officers  to commence  an  inquiry  and  investigation  in relation  to  the  acts  of  General  (R)  Parvez Musharraf of 3rd November, 2007 that may amount  to high  treason  under  Article  6  of the  Constitution  and  to  finalize  as expeditiously  as  possible  the  statement  of case  to  be  put  up  by  the  Federal Government  before  the  Special  Court  to  be constituted  under  the  Criminal  Law Amendment (Special Courts) Act, 1976.

(2)  The  Law  entrusts  the  investigation  of  the offence  of  high  treason  to  the  FIA  under entry No. 14 of the Schedule of the FIA Act, 1974 read with sections 3(a) and 6 thereof. However,  in  order  to  ensure  expeditious completion of the inquiry and investigation, the  Prime  Minister  is  also  considering  the constitution  of  a  Commission  to  oversee and  monitor  the  progress  of  the proceedings.

(3)  On  the  completion  of  the  investigation,  the Federal  Government  shall  file  the  requisite complaint  under  section  5  of  the  Criminal Law Amendment (Special Courts) Act, 1976 and  take  steps  to  constitute  the  Special Court  in  accordance  with  section  4  of  the said Act for the trial of the offence.”

 39.  In  Para  3  of Moulvi  Iqbal  Haider (supra), to  be  fair  to the petitioner, the Court observed:-

“3.  We  are  consciously,  deliberately  and  as submitted  by  Mr.  Muhammad  Ibrahim  Satti, learned  Senior  Advocate  Supreme  Court  for  the respondent,  not  touching  the  question  of “abrogation”  or  “subversion”  or  “holding  in abeyance  the Constitution” or “any conspiracy in that behalf” or indeed the question of suspending or  holding  the  Constitution  in  abeyance  or  the issue  as  to  abetment  or  collaboration  in  the  acts mentioned in Article 6 of the Constitution. This is so  because  any  finding/observation  or  view expressed  by  us  may  potentially  result  in prejudice  to  the  inquiry/investigation  or subsequent  trial  should  that  take  place  as  a result of such investigation.”

40.  Third the findings rendered and the conclusions drawn in  Sindh  High  Court  (Supra)  did  not in  any  manner  preclude  the passing  of  an  order  of  the  kind  passed  in  Moulvi  Iqbal  Haider’s case  (2013  SCMR  1683).  Because  if  the  Court  in  an  earlier judgment  held  the  actions  of  petitioner  Pervez  Musharraf  as unconstitutional,  it  did  not  deter  a  Bench  of  this  Court  from passing  an  order  as  a  consequence  of  the  findings  rendered therein.  Fourth  notwithstanding  the  Sindh  High  Court supra,  the discretion  to  direct  trial  under  Article  6  of  the  Constitution  lies with the Executive as reflected in the Preamble of the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Courts) Act, 1976 which stipulates, “whereas it  is  expedient  to  provide  for  the  trial  by  a  Special  Court  of  certain offences affecting the security, integrity or sovereignty of Pakistan or any part thereof, including offences of high treason and for matters connected therewith….”. It was for the exercise of the said executive discretion  that  petitioners  in  Moulvi  Iqbal  Haider  (supra),  had prayed  that  the  Federal  Government  be  directed  to  lodge  a complaint  under  Article  6 of  the  Constitution  against  General  (R) Pervez  Musharraf.  Fifth  in  Moulvi  Iqbal  Haider  (supra),  the judgment per se did not amount to an order rather it is provided in the  operative  part  of  the  judgment  that  the  case  would  be investigated  and  thereafter  final  report  submitted  before  the  trial Court.  The  judgment  merely  refers  to  the  commencement  of proceedings by the Federal Government which include, but are not limited, to the task of investigation. As indicated earlier the Court has  been  conscious  not  to  make  any  expression  of  opinion  on merits  of  the  case  lest  it  may  prejudice  the  case  of  the  petitioner during trial.

(vi)  Whether  the  judgment  under  challenge  has  the  effect  of  giving retrospective effect to Article 6?

41.  To  appreciate  this  argument,  a  reference  to unamended and amended Article 6 of the Constitution and Article 12 would be pertinent:-

Un-amended Article 6

Amended Article 6

6.  (1)  Any  person  who abrogates  or  attempts  or conspires to abrogate, subverts or  attempts  or  conspires  to subvert the Constitution by use of  force  or  by  other unconstitutional  means  shall

be guilty of high treason.

(2)  Any  person  aiding  or abetting  the  acts  mentioned  in clause  (1)  shall  likewise  be guilty of high treason.

(3)  [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)]  shall  by  law

provide  for  the  punishment  of persons  found  guilty  of  high treason.

 6.  [(1)  Any  person  who abrogates  or  subverts  or suspends  or  holds in  abeyance, or  attempts  or  conspires  to abrogates or subvert or suspend

or  hold  in  abeyance,  the Constitution  by  use  of  force or show  of  force  or  by  any  other unconstitutional means shall be guilty  of  high  treason.]

(Emphasis is supplied).

(2) Any person aiding or abetting [or  collaborating]  the  acts mentioned  in  clause  (1)  shall likewise  be  guilty  of  high treason. (Emphasis is supplied)

[(2A)  An  act  of  high  treason mentioned  in  clause  (1)  or clause  (2)  shall  not  be  validated

by  any  court  including  the Supreme  Court  and  a  High Court.] (Emphasis is supplied)

(3)  [Majlis-e-Shoora  (Parliament) shall  by  law  provide  for  the punishment of  persons  found

guilty of high treason.

42.  The  argument  of  petitioner’s  learned  counsel  is grounded  on  protection  against  retrospective  punishment guaranteed under Article 12 which mandates:

“12. (1) No law shall authorize the punishment of a person——-

(a)  for  an  act  or  omission  that  was  not punishable  by  law  at  the  time  of  the act or omission; or

(b)  for  an  offence  by  a  penalty  greater than,  or  of  a  kind  different  from,  the penalty  prescribed  by  law  for  that offence  at  the time  the  offence  was committed.

(2)  Nothing in clause (1) or in Article 270 shall  apply  to  any  law  making  acts  of abrogation or subversion of a Constitution in force  in  Pakistan  at  any  time  since  the twenty-third  day  of  March,  one  thousand nine hundred and fifty-six, an offence.”

43.  Article 6  of  the  Constitution  as  it  stands  today  was amended  by  virtue  of Constitution  (Eighteenth  Amendment)  Act, 2010 (10 of 2010). The amended parts of Article 6 which have been highlighted indicate following additions/changes:-

(i)  In Article 6(1), words “or hold in abeyance”;

(ii)  In Article 6(2) words, “or collaborating”; and

(iii)  Article  6(2A):  This  is  a  new  sub-clause  whereby it  has  been  mandated  that  any  act  of  high treason  within  the  meaning  of  Article  6(1)  and Article  6(2)  “shall  not  be  validated  by  any  court including the Supreme Court and a High Court”.

44.  The nature of offence, definition and procedure of trial substantially  remain  the  same  except  that  another  mode  of suspending  the  Constitution  (hold  in  abeyance) in  the  definition clause of high treason have been added. The major change brought is  the  addition  of  Article  6(2A).  By  this  newly  added  sub-clause there  is  prohibition  for  courts  including  the  High  Court  and Supreme Court to validate it.

45.  The  Court  is  seized  of  a  review  petition  against  a judgment  wherein  neither  the  question  of  petitioner’s  trial  or  the retrospective  or  prospective  effect  of  Article  6  were  moot  points. The  argument qua  this is therefore misplaced  and  is  accordingly repelled.

46.  The Court has narrated with a measure of dismay the frequent constitutional deviations in the country. The spirit which underpins the judgment is a strong realization that we should not remain trapped by mistakes in history and turn a new leaf towards constitutionalism and the rule of law:-

“For  the  first  time,  Constitution  of  1956  was abrogated on 7th October, 1958 and Martial Law was  imposed  by  the  then  President,  Iskandar Mirza  who  dismissed  the  Central  and  Provincial Governments;  dissolved  the  Parliament  and Provincial  Assemblies  and  abolished  all  Political Parties  and  appointed General Muhammad Ayub Khan,  the  then  Commander  in  Chief  as  Martial Law  Administrator.  Iskandar  Mirza  was  soon, within  few  days,  replaced  by  the  latter.  On  25th March,  1969,  again  the  then  head  of  Army, General  Agha  Muhammad  Yahya  Khan, abrogated  the  Constitution  of  1962  and  by Proclamation  (PLD  1977  Central  Statutes  42) Promulgated Martial Law followed by Provisional Constitution  Order  (Gazette  of  Pakistan, Extraordinary 4th April, 1969). On 5th July, 1977 once again Martial Law  was imposed  throughout the  country  by  the  then  head  of  Army  Chief  viz. former General Muhammad Ziaul Haq,  who, vide Proclamation  of  Martial  Law  (PLD  1969  Federal Statutes  326)  dissolved  the  National  Assembly, the Senate, the Provincial Assemblies etc. and put the Constitution of 1973 in abeyance followed by Laws  (Continuance  in  Force)  Order,  1977.  When the  Constitution  was  revived,  it  was  undeniably, in  a  mutilated  form  by  the  notorious  Eighth Amendment.

10.  Later,  there  was  another  onslaught  on  the ongoing  democratic  system  of  governance.  On 12th October, 1999, the then Chief of Army Staff, General  Pervez  Musharraf,  now  retired,  once more,  put the Constitution  in  abeyance  and  the whole of Pakistan  was brought under  the control of  Armed  Forces.  The  National  Assembly,  the Senate  and  the  Provincial  Assemblies  were suspended,  so  also,  the  Chairman  and  Deputy Chairman  of  Senate,  the  Speaker  and  Deputy Speaker  of  the  National  Assembly  and  the Provincial  Assemblies  were  suspended  and  it was  declared  that  the  Prime  Minister,  Federal Ministers,  Parliamentary  Secretaries,  the Provincial  Governors,  the  Provincial  Chief Ministers  and  the  Advisor  to  the  Chief  Ministers would cease to hold offices, followed by issuance of Provisional Constitution Order  and the  Oath of Office  (Judges)  Order  2000.  General  Pervez Musharraf  (Rtd.),  self  styled  himself  as  Chief Executive  and  started  ruling  the  country  under the  new  dispensation.  Later,  he, unceremoniously, occupied  the office of President and  in  the  coming  years  revived  the  Constitution with Seventeenth Amendment.

11.  Again,  on  3rd  November,  2007  the  General Pervez Musharraf, (Rtd.), in his capacity as Chief of  Army  Staff,  in  the  garb  of  declaration  of emergency,  put  the  Constitution  in  abeyance, issued  Provisional  Constitution  Order  No.1  of 2007  followed  by  the  Oath  of  Office  (Judges) Order,  2007,  making  as  many  as  sixty  one  (61) Judges  of  superior  judiciary  including  Chief Justice  of  Pakistan  and  Chief  Justices  of  three Provinces  dysfunctional  for  many  of  them  either did not  agree  to  take or  were not given  the oath. Of  them  were;  from  Supreme  Court  13  out  of  18 (17 permanent  and one  ad-hoc) Judges including Chief Justice of Pakistan, 18 out of 31 Judges of the  Lahore  High  Court,  24  out  of  28  Judges including  Chief  Justice  of  High  Court  of  Sindh, 6 out  of  13  Judges  including  Chief  Justice  of Peshawar  High  Court.  It  is  quite  saddening  that all  the  five  Judges  including  the  Chief  Justice  of Balochistan High Court took oath under the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007.

—————————–

13. ……………In  order  to  save  the  judiciary  from being destroyed, for the first time in the history of this Country, a seven member Bench of this Court headed  by  the  de  jure  Chief  Justice  of  Pakistan, passed  an  order,  inter-alia,  restraining  the President  and Prime  Minister  of  Pakistan  from undertaking any such action, which was contrary to  the  Independence  of  Judiciary.  So  also  the Judges of this Court  and  that of the High Courts including  Chief  Justice  (s)  were  required  not  to take  oath  under  the  Provisional  Constitution Order  or  any  other  extra  Constitutional  step  and on  the  same  day  viz.  3.11.2007,  the  order  was served  on  the  members  of  superior  judiciary through the respective Registrars of the Courts by way  of  Fax.  It  was  also  sent  to  all  the  relevant Executive functionaries.”

 47.  The  foregoing  narration,  analysis  and  observations lead us to conclude that the judgment under review does not stand vitiated  by  any  bias  or  error  in  law  or  fact  to  warrant  review.  The petitions having no merit are accordingly dismissed. These are the detailed  reasons  for  our  short  order  dated 30.1.2014 which  reads as under:-

“For  reasons  to  be  recorded  later  in  the  detailed judgment,  we  find  the  review  petitions  filed  by petitioner  General  (R)  Parvez  Musharraf  to  be barred by  time  and  the precedent case law cited in  this  behalf  to  be  distinguishable.  Even otherwise,  we  have  considered  the  submissions made  on  merits.  The  grounds  urged  by  the petitioner’s learned counsel neither fall within the purview  of  review  jurisdiction  nor  tenable  on merit  to  warrant  interference  in  the  judgment under  challenge.  Both  the  petitions  filed  by  him are accordingly dismissed.”

CHIEF JUSTICE

JUDGE (HJ 1)     JUDGE (HJ 2)     JUDGE (HJ 3)

JUDGE (HJ 4)     JUDGE (HJ 5)     JUDGE (HJ 6)

JUDGE (HJ 7)     JUDGE (HJ 8)     JUDGE (HJ 10)

JUDGE (HJ 11)    JUDGE (HJ 13)    JUDGE (HJ 14)

JUDGE (HJ 15)

Islamabad, the 30th of January, 2014

Jawwad S. Khawaja, J.  I  have  had  the  benefit  of  reading  the  detailed judgment  of Honourable the Chief  Justice,  with  which  I  agree completely. My  aim here  is  to highlight briefly, some  additional  aspects relating  to bias  and the contention advanced  on  behalf  of the  petitioner  that  the  former Chief  Justice of  the  Court,  Justice  Iftikhar  Muhammad Chaudhry was biased against the petitioner General Pervez Musharraf and that in hearing the case  relating  to  the  Proclamation  of  Emergency he  was  acting  as  a  “judge  in  his  own cause”. For this reason, it was urged that the judgment dated 31.7.2009 in the said case (now sought to be reviewed) is not sustainable.

2.  Syed  Sharifuddin  Pirzada,  learned  Sr.  ASC,  almost  exclusively confined  his arguments  to  stress  the  point  that  the judgment  under  review  should  be  set  aside  as averred  in  the  Review  Petition, firstly  because  “General  (Retd)  Pervez  Musharraf  and  Mr. Justice  Iftikhar  Muhammad  Chaudhary  were rival [sic] to  each  other  and  were  dagger [sic] drawn and they were party against each other in case of Reference against Mr. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry . . . and  on filing  the  Presidential  Reference  [the]  Supreme  Judicial Council  had  suspended  Mr.  Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Chief Justice of Pakistan and. . . that [sic] again ceased to hold office for  about  ½  years  [sic]  which  show  [sic]  that  by  no  stretch  of  imagination  Mr.  Justice  Iftikhar Muhammad  Chaudhry  CJP  was  qualified  to  constitute  and  preside  over  the  Bench”  which rendered  the  aforesaid  judgment. And  secondly because  the Proclamation of  Emergency was due to “the deed [sic] and mis-deed of the [sic] Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry CJP and  therefore  he  was  not  supposed  to  be  Judge  of  his  own  cause  as  it  violates  the  basic  maxim (NEMO  DEBATE  SSE  JUDEX  IN  PROPRIA  SUA  CAUSA  [sic])  and  other  principles  of administration of justice”.

3.    In relation to the learned counsel’s first argument, the Honourable Chief Justice has already noted the counsel’s inability in  providing  evidence of any act  of the  former Chief Justice which establishes his bias against  the  Petitioner. On  29.1.2014  Mr.  Pirzada  Sr. ASC was asked to go through the Review Petition (spanning 34 pages and settled by three ASCs) and advert to that paragraph or sentence where a fact had been asserted which, if accepted, would demonstrate bias on the part of the former Chief Justice. Mr. Pirzada took some time thumbing through and shuffling papers in his file but could not point to any such factual assertion.  He,  therefore,  sought  time  (which  was allowed)  till  the  following  day.  The  next day  also  he  failed  to  show  that  any  fact  had  been  pleaded  in  support  of  the  allegation  of actual bias. The reason for setting out, in some detail this aspect of the case, will be evident from the discussion below.

4.  The assertion of bias against a Judge can take two forms recognized by our law viz. ‘actual’ bias  and ‘reasonable  perception’ of  bias even though  there  may  be  no actual  bias. Actual  bias  is  alleged on  the  basis  of  one  or  more  specific incidents showing partiality or animosity amounting to bias. In order to demonstrate such bias, a factual averment has to be  made  in  the  pleadings  of  the  party  alleging it.  The  question  as  to  whether the  factual allegation is true or not, will not arise if the relevant fact has not been pleaded. As has been noted above, the review petition was settled by three eminent Advocates of our Bar and the petitioner himself had the occasion to meet with and instruct the learned counsel. In these circumstances, in  the  absence  of  any  factual  assertion  of  actual  bias, we  can  only say that there was in fact no basis for such allegation. We may, however, advert to certain assertions made  in the  review  petition (as  noted  above) and  arguments  advanced  on  behalf  of  the petitioner inviting the Court to infer bias of the former Chief Justice against the petitioner. It  was submitted that bias  arose on  account  of the  unlawful  removal  of  the  former  Chief Justice  and  his  house  arrest  and  also  on  account  of  a  reference  having  been  filed  by the petitioner  against the former  Chief  Justice  under Article  209  of  the  Constitution,  wherein the  Supreme  Judicial  Council  had  stopped  the  former  Chief  Justice  from  performing  the duties  of  his  office. This  submission  on  its  face  is  irrational  and  without lawful  basis, as these events may show a bias harboured by the petitioner against the former Chief Justice but not the other way round. This aspect of the case has been further elaborated later in this opinion. Learned counsel for the petitioner argued that at the very least, we should accept the  allegation  of  bias  on  the  ground  that  there  was  the  possibility  of  a  ‘reasonable perception’  of  bias.  This  argument  appears  to  be  based  on  the  ratio  in  the  case  of Metropolitan Properties, Ltd. v. Lannon [(1968) 3 All E.R. 304]. The perception of bias, without there being actual bias, as noted above is also recognized by our law but again it has to be founded on a more solid footing than allegations which are imaginary or which are based on a subjective opinion divorced from objective reality. The main thrust of the argument of Mr. Pirzada,  Sr.  ASC  was  that  our  judgment  of  31.7.2009  must  be  reviewed  because  of actual  bias  on  the  part  of  the  former  Chief  Justice  or  in  the  alternate,  on  account  of  a reasonable  perception  that  there  could  have  been  bias  which  must,  without  more,  be inferred from the events noted above.

5.  The above aspect of the case may become clearer and the attitude of the petitioner in levelling  allegations  of  bias  against  the  former  Chief  Justice  could  become  more comprehensible  if  looked  at  in  the  context  of  the  petitioner’s  career  leading  up  to  his appointment  as  the  Chief  of  Army  Staff.  We  can  only  try  to  understand  the  motivation behind such allegations of bias. The inference, if  any, to be drawn is not in relation to the Court  or  the  alleged  bias  of  its  former  Chief  Justice,  it  is  to  be  drawn  in  relation  to  the petitioner himself. It appears that the petitioner, perhaps on account of his long service in the armed forces, may not have encountered dissent, disagreement or resistance to orders issued in a chain of command, necessary for a cohesive fighting force. He may, therefore, in his  own  mind,  have  considered  the  resistance  to  his  unconstitutional  Proclamation  of Emergency, by  the  Judiciary  of  the country  including  the  former  Chief  Justice,  as  a manifestation  of  disobedience  or  insubordination  and  thus ill  will  or  animus against  him.

The imperious tenor of the Proclamation of Emergency brooks no dissent and says it all : “I, General Pervez Musharraf, Chief of the Army Staff, proclaim emergency throughout Pakistan … I hereby order  and  proclaim  …  (emphasis  supplied). With  such  thinking,  it  may  not  have crossed his mind that he may actually have missed the reality that the Court and its Judges were  only  doing  their  job  in  accordance  with  the  law  and  the  Constitution.  His  logic, perhaps  not so  strange  to  him  can  be  best  explained  by  referring  to  the  wisdom  of  Hafez who  recognized  the  elements  of  ‘zarf’ and  ‘nafs’,  and  while  doing  so,  understood  the extremes  of  subjective  opinion  which  may  be  contrary  to  accepted norms  and  which  may lead a person bedevilled by subjective standards into an irrational persecution complex. As the sage of Shiraz said:

However, as noted above, Courts are required to proceed on the basis of objective/rational standards and not on the basis of unfounded subjective opinions or on the basis of assumed perceptions of bias which may border on paranoia.

6.  Judges, it may be noted, do encounter allegations of bias and also receive criticism some of which may be expressed in civil language while others may be through hate speech or outright  vilification  based  on  malice.  In either  event,  the  Judge  by  training  does  not allow  such  vilification  to  cloud  his  judgment  in  a  judicial  matter.  Even  extremely derogatory language used against Judges does not, by itself create bias, as is evident from the negligible number of contempt cases based on scandalisation of Judges, (none leading to  a  sentence) cited  in  the  case  titled Baz  Muhammad  Kakar  vs.  Federation  of  Pakistan (PLD 2012 SC 923). Courts, therefore, cannot decide questions of perceived bias by accepting the individual  and  personal views of  an  aggrieved  petitioner  and  thus  recuse  from  a  case.  It was  pointed  out  to  Mr.  Pirzada,  Sr.  ASC  that  if  a  subjective  perception  of  bias  could be made  a  basis  for  recusal  of  a  Judge merely  because  the  petitioner had  done  things  or  had taken  unconstitutional  steps  against  the  former  Chief  Justice, it  would  be  very  simple  for any litigant not wanting his case to be heard by a particular Judge to start hurling abuses at such Judge and thereafter to claim that the Judge was biased against him. For litigants and their Advocates it is important to bear this in mind while urging ‘perception of bias’ against a Judge.

7.  The  submissions  of  learned  counsel  are clearly not  tenable in  law.  In  the  present case there is not even an allegation of actual bias pleaded in the Review Petition let alone proof  of  the same. As  for  perception  of  bias,  this  has  been  discussed  above  and  will  be further  dealt  with  later.  The  acts  of  the  petitioner  to  which  learned  counsel  drew  our attention, if anything, only serve to demonstrate a sense of bias harboured by the petitioner against the former Chief Justice. The actions and conduct of the former Chief Justice on the contrary,  demonstrate  a  dignified  restraint  such  that  even  after  being  twice  unlawfully prevented from performing his constitutional duties, orders (including the judgment under review) were not passed by him or by this Court which could be considered as having been made in respect of the petitioner in a personal capacity. However, even if the perception of bias  is  for  a  moment said  to  exist,  it  is  quite  impossible to  hold  that  the  same  has  any relevance to the present review petition.

8.  Mr.  Pirzada  cited  a  number  of  precedents  to  define  the  contours  of  bias  as recognized in law and the effect which these may have on the validity of a judgment. The Hon’ble Chief Justice in the lead judgment has already discussed in some detail the ratio of these  precedents. It  may  be  added  that  the  time-honoured  principles  of  natural  justice which call for vitiating a judgment as a result of bias in a Judge, are reasonably well defined in law and cannot be disputed. The purpose of these principles is to ensure that the rights of litigants are adjudicated upon by an impartial Court. This is an established rule and the Supreme  Court  would  be  the  first  to  uphold  it.  We,  however,  are  not engaged  in  an academic exercise, to determine generally the law relating to bias. Our endeavour is to see if,  in  the  facts  and  circumstances  of  the  case  before  us,  there  was  bias  sufficient  to  justify review of our judgment dated 31.7.2009. Learned counsel failed to advert to a single right of the  petitioner  which  was  the  subject  matter  of  adjudication  in  the  case under  review and which could, by extension, be prejudiced on account of the alleged bias of the former Chief Justice.

9.  The cases cited by the learned Sr. ASC involve some personal right of a party which is in  danger  of  being prejudiced  because  of  the  bias  of  the presiding judge.  Indeed, in the Pakistani cases cited by him, the liberty of a party alleging bias was at stake. Ghulam Rasool v. Crown (PLD  1953  Federal  Court  62) concerned an  appellate ruling  by  M.  R.  Kayani,  J where he had convicted and sentenced, as judge of the Lahore High Court, the appellants therein for murder. However, prior to being elevated to the Bench, Kayani, J had, as Legal Remembrancer to the Government of Punjab, advised the government on the same murder case. On appeal, the Federal Court held that the judgment of Kayani, J was vitiated due to the ‘possibility’  of  him  being  biased  against  the  appellants  on  account  of  him  having expressed an opinion on the same case in favour of the prosecution and thus pre-judged the case.  Anwar  v.  Crown  (PLD  1955  Federal  Court  185)  also concerned  a  sentence  passed against the appellant therein on a charge of murder. The Sessions Court had acquitted the appellant,  but  the  deceased’s  father  filed  a  criminal  revision  petition  before  the  Lahore High  Court  which  was  accepted  and  re-trial  was  ordered.  The  appellant  challenged  this decision before the Federal Court on the ground that the language used by the High Court in its findings was so strong that the Sessions Court would be influenced by it and therefore he would not get a fair trial. The Federal Court however held that there was no danger of bias and upheld the order of re-trial. In Asif Ali Zardari v. State (PLD 2001 Supreme Court 568)  Mr.  Zardari,  who  was  the  spouse  of  a  former  Prime  Minister  was  convicted  by  a Division Bench of the Lahore High Court headed by Malik Muhammad Qayyum, J under the  Ehtasab  Act,  1997. The  appellant Mr.  Zardari contended  that  Qayyum,  J  was  biased because he had purportedly accepted a diplomatic passport for himself and his wife (which they  otherwise  were  not  entitled  to)  in  exchange  for  a  ruling  against  Mr. Zardari. Recordings  of  telephonic conversations  were  also  adduced  in  evidence  where  Qayyum,  J was  heard  to  be  receiving directions  from  functionaries  of  the  Federation. The  Supreme Court found that bias was “floating on the surface of the record” and decided to set aside the judgment. This, it may be noted, was an instance of actual bias.

10.   Unlike  the  above  mentioned  cases,  the  judgment  under  review  makes  no determination with respect to the personal rights of the Petitioner. The Court in the case of Sindh  High  Court  Bar  Association  was  instead  primarily  tasked  with  determining  the constitutional validity of the Proclamation of Emergency made on November 3rd, 2007 and certain acts and other instruments following the said Proclamation. While determining this issue,  the  Court  struck  down  and  declared  unconstitutional inter  alia the Proclamation of Emergency, the Provisional  Constitution  Order  No.1  of  2007  and  the  Oath  of  Office (Judges) Order of 2007. These were all indeed actions taken by the petitioner, but the Court did  not comment  on  the  criminal  or civil  consequences  which could  flow  against  the petitioner  as  a  result  of  this  determination.  The  petitioner has  conceded  this  much  in paragraph 30 of the Review Petition in the following words:

“30. That it is also pertinent to mention that though this Hon’ble Court after declaring that the Acts of 3rd November, 2007 were un-Constitutional yet in the  operative  part  of  the  judgment  this  Hon’ble  Court  did  not  mention  the prosecution of the petitioner under the High Treason Act…”

11.   The actions of the Petitioner on 3.11.2007, may have well been taken for his personal benefit,  as  the  judgment  under  review  holds,  but it  cannot  be  held  on  this  basis  that  the petitioner’s  act  of  appointment/removal of judges  of  the  superior  courts,  attempts  at making unilateral amendments  to  the  constitution,  declaring  a state  of  emergency, and so forth were personal rights of  the petitioner the  adjudication  of which showed bias  of  the former Chief Justice against the petitioner. The judgment under review was rendered by 14 Judges  of  this  Court  who  held  the  aforesaid  acts  of  the  petitioner  to  be  unconstitutional.

The Court, it may be noted, was called upon to decide constitutional questions concerning the affairs of the State. These questions were much bigger than the person of the petitioner and  the  same  were  decided  in  accordance  with  the  Constitution.  If  the  petitioner’s contention  is  accepted  it  would  be  akin  to  saying  that  a  judge who decides  against  the constitutionality  of  actions  taken  by  a  State  functionary,  thereby  demonstrates impermissible bias against such functionary rendering the Judge incapable of hearing cases involving  such  functionary.  It  is  the  very  essence  of  the  judicial  function  to  adjudicate matters coming before a Court. To illustrate this point one can, for instance, well imagine a situation where on  the  advice  of  the  Prime  Minister, the  President  files  a  reference  under Article  209  of  the  Constitution  against  a  judge  of  the  superior  courts and  the  judge is cleared  of  all  charges  by the  Supreme  Judicial  Council.    Can it  be contended that  the said judge will be incapacitated from questioning the validity of any subsequent act of the Prime Minister  or  of  the  President because  of a purported  bias? If  such  a  position  is  accepted,  it would  lead  to  the  absurd situation  that  despite  being  cleared  by  the  Supreme  Judicial Council,  the  Judge  would  become  non-functional  in  respect  of  cases  against  the  President or  the  Prime Minister. In  other  words, such  a  Judge  would  stand  accused  of  bias  without having  done  anything  to  invite  such  an  accusation  and  simply  because  he  had  been unsuccessfully proceeded  against  earlier  through  a  Presidential  reference  to  the  Supreme Judicial  Council.  Moreover,  this  position  would  provide  the  Executive  an  impermissible means  of  control  over the  Judiciary  which  is  neither  provided  for  by  the Constitution nor ever believed to have been so provided. Reading this novel check on the Judiciary into the Constitution  would  distort  and  obfuscate  the  carefully  designed  system  of  checks  and balances already made part of the Constitutional structure.  Judges, because of the nature of their  work,  at  times do encounter  invective,  and  at  times  malicious  tirades,  including abnoxious hate  speech from  litigants  and  sometimes  even  from  members  of  the  Bar.  But they  are  able  to  disregard  the  same  on  account  of  their  experience  and  training,  when hearing cases involving such persons in Court.

12.  Even  otherwise,  in  observing  that  the actions taken  by  the  petitioner  on  November 3rd  2007  were  unconstitutional,  the  Court  did  little  more  than  state  what  the  petitioner admitted  before  the  national  and  international  media.  Within  a  few  days  after  the Proclamation  of  Emergency, the petitioner himself,  in  an  interview  to  a  foreign  TV  news channel  (BBC)  admitted  that  he  had taken  unconstitutional  steps.  Relevant  portions from his  interview,  as  reported  in  the  Daily  ‘DAWN’ of  18th  November,  2007, are reproduced below:

 The daily DAWN, Islamabad, 18th November, 2007

NO ILLEGAL STEP TAKEN BEFORE NOV. PRESIDENT

“Before  March,  I  was  very  good.  Suddenly  did  I  go  mad  after  March  or suddenly my personality changed, am I Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde or what is it?” He said.

“Am I such a person?

“Please go into the details, the causes. What I am doing? Have I done anything unconstitutional, yes, I did it on Nov. 3.

“Did I do it before? Not once.” (Emphasis Added)

It is difficult in these circumstances, to hold that the petitioner could have been prejudiced by the purported bias of the former Chief Justice, as the observations made in the judgment under  review appear  to  be  in  line  with  the  public  pronouncement  of  the  petitioner  noted above. It is also important to note here that the said interview was within the knowledge of the  Bench which  rendered  the  judgment  under  review  and  was  quoted  in  the  said judgment.  There  is  no  denial  of  the  said  interview  from  the  petitioner  whether  in  the Review Petition or otherwise.

13.  This brings me to the petitioner’s other argument i.e. the former Chief Justice acted as a “judge in his own cause” in deciding a matter related to the Proclamation of Emergency.

The petitioner contends that it was the “deed and mis-deed” [sic] of the former Chief Justice which led to the Proclamation of Emergency and therefore he was biased in deciding this case  against the  petitioner.  This  argument is  both  fallacious  and fails  to  recognize  the objective reality of Constitutional rule.

14.   The Proclamation of  Emergency,  it  will  be  seen,  did  not  target  the  former  Chief Justice  alone,  it  targeted  the  Judiciary  of  the  country.  This  much  is  clear  even from  a cursory reading of the text of the Proclamation of Emergency and the advice of the Prime Minister quoted  below which  was  purportedly  relied  upon  by  the petitioner  in  taking  his actions  of  3.11.2007.  The  grounds  of  the  Proclamation  of  Emergency  are  reproduced  at paragraph 47 of  the judgment under  review and  the  aforementioned  letter  of  the  Prime Minister  is  reproduced  at  paragraph 58  of  the  same judgment.  These  two  documents,  on account of their relevance to the petition in hand, are reproduced hereunder in extenso:

Text of the Proclamation of Emergency

“WHEREAS  there  is  visible  ascendancy  in  the  activities  of  extremists  and incidents  of  terrorist  attacks,  including  suicide  bombings,  IED  explosions, rocket  firing  and  bomb  explosions  and  the  banding  together  of  some  militant groups have taken such activities to an unprecedented level of violent intensity posing a grave threat to the life and property of the citizens of Pakistan;

WHEREAS  there  has  also  been  a  spate  of  attacks  on State  infrastructure  and on law enforcement agencies;

WHEREAS some members of the judiciary are working at cross purposes with the  executive  and  legislature  in  the  fight  against  terrorism  and  extremism thereby  weakening  the  Government  and  the  nation’s  resolve  and  diluting  the efficacy of its actions to control this menace;

WHEREAS  there  has  been  increasing  interference  by some  members  of  the judiciary  in  government  policy,  adversely  affecting  economic  growth  in particular;

WHEREAS  constant  interference  in  executive  functions,  including  but  not limited  to  the  control  of  terrorist  activity,  economic  policy,  price  controls, downsizing of corporations and urban planning, has weakened the writ of the government; the police force has been completely demoralized and is fast losing its efficacy to fight terrorism and Intelligence Agencies have been thwarted in their activities and prevented from pursuing terrorists;

WHEREAS  some  hard  core  militants,  extremists,  terrorists  and  suicide bombers, who were arrested and being investigated were ordered to be released.

The  persons  so  released  have  subsequently  been  involved  in  heinous  terrorist activities,  resulting  in  loss  of  human  life  and  property.  Militants  across  the country have, thus, been encouraged while law enforcement agencies subdued;

WHEREAS some  judges by  overstepping  the  limits  of  judicial  authority  have taken over the executive and legislative functions;

WHEREAS the Government is committed to the independence of the judiciary and  the  rule  of  law  and  holds  the  superior  judiciary  in  high  esteem,  it  is nonetheless  of  paramount  importance  that  the  Honourable  Judges  confine  the scope  of  their  activity  to  the  judicial  function  and  not  assume  charge  of administration;

WHEREAS  an  important  Constitutional  institution,  the  Supreme  Judicial Council,  has  been  made  entirely  irrelevant  and  non  est  by  a  recent  order  and judges  have,  thus,  made  themselves  immune  from  inquiry  into  their  conduct and put themselves beyond accountability;

WHEREAS  the  humiliating  treatment meted  to  government  officials by  some members  of  the  judiciary  on  a  routine  basis  during  court  proceedings  has demoralized  the  civil  bureaucracy  and  senior  government  functionaries,  to avoid being harassed, prefer inaction;

WHEREAS the law and order situation in the country as well as the economy have been adversely affected and trichotomy of powers eroded;

WHEREAS a situation has thus arisen where the Government of the country cannot  be  carried  on  in  accordance  with  the  Constitution  and  as  the Constitution provides no solution for this situation, there is no way out except through emergent and extraordinary measures;

AND WHEREAS the situation has been reviewed in meetings with the Prime Minister,  Governors  of  all four  Provinces,  and  with Chairman  Joint  Chiefs  of Staff  Committee,  Chiefs  of  the  Armed  Forces,  Vice-Chief  of  Army  Staff  and Corps Commanders of the Pakistan Army;

                NOW,  THEREFORE,  in  pursuance  of  the  deliberations  and  decisions  of  the said meetings:-

1. I, General Pervez Musharraf, Chief of the Army Staff, proclaim Emergency throughout Pakistan.

 2. I hereby order and proclaim that the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan shall remain in abeyance.

3. This Proclamation shall come into force at once.”

    (emphasis added)

                ……………..

                Text of the letter of Prime Minister

                “SUBJECT:  NATIONAL SECURITY SITUATION.

Dear Mr. President,

I  am  writing  to  you  to  share  my  thoughts  on  the  current  national  security situation and the risks that it represents for the future of Pakistan.

2.  The  Government  has  made  serious  and  sincere  efforts  to  revive  the economy, maintain law and order and to curb extremism and terrorism in the  country.  In  the  last  few  months,  however,  militancy, extremism  and  terrorist activities  have  been  in  ascendance,  particularly  in  some  districts  of  NWFP where the writ of  the government is being eroded and non-State militants are apparently  gaining  control.  There  have  been  a  number  of  bomb  blasts  and suicide attacks in other parts of the country including the recent suicide attack on  a  political  rally  in  Karachi  on  18th October,  2007.  During  the  last  ten months, 1322 precious lives have been lost and 3183 persons have been injured.

Details  of  such  incidents  between  April –  October,  2007  are  enclosed.  The executive measures taken against extremist elements to contain militancy and terrorist activities have, on a number of occasions, been called into question by some members of the judiciary making effective action impossible.

3.  There  has  been  increasing interference  by  some  members  of  the judiciary  in  government  policy,  adversely  affecting  economic  growth,  in particular.  The  cornerstone  of  the  economic  policies  of  the  government  is privatization,  liberalization  and  deregulation  which  create  economic  growth and investment. Both local and foreign investment has been negatively affected.

4.  It cannot be disputed that the legality of executive measures is open to judicial  scrutiny.  The  wisdom  or  necessity  of  a  policy  or  a  measure  is  an executive function and not open to judicial review, however, in the recent past, some  members  of  the judiciary  have, nevertheless,  departed  from  these norms.

While we all are committed to the independency of the judiciary and the rule of law  and  hold  the  superior  judiciary  in  high  esteem,  it  is  nonetheless  of paramount  importance  that  the  Honourable  Judges  confine  the  scope  of  their activity  to  the  judicial  function.  While  judges  must  adjudicate  they  must neither legislate nor assume the charge of administration.

5.  Most  importantly,  constant  interference  in  executive  functions, including  but  not  limited  to  the  control  of  terrorist  activity,  economic  policy, price controls, downsizing  of  corporations  and  urban planning,  has  weakened the writ of the government. This has increased the incidents of terrorist attacks thereby posing grave threat to the life and property of the citizens of Pakistan and negatively impacting the economy. Wide-ranging suo motu actions of the courts  negate  the  fundamentals  of  an  adversarial  system  of  justice.  The  police force  has  been  completely  demoralized  and  is  fast  losing  its  efficacy  to  fight terrorism.  Intelligence  Agencies  have  been  thwarted  in  their  activities  and prevented from pursuing terrorists.

6.  A  large  number  of  hard  core  militants,  extremists,  terrorists  and suicide bombers, who were arrested and being investigated have been released.

The  persons  so  released  are  reported  to  be  involved  in  heinous  terrorist activities,  resulting  in  loss  of  human  life  and  property.  Militants  across  the country have, thus, been encouraged while law enforcement agencies subdued.

7.  There  is  a  widespread  perception  of  overstepping  the limits  of judicial authority and taking over of executive functions. Privatization is at a standstill while  domestic  and  foreign  investors  are  being  compelled  to  reconsider investment plans thus adversely affecting the economy.

8.  On  the  other  hand,  an  important  constitutional  institution,  the Supreme Judicial Council, has been made entirely irrelevant by a recent order.

Detailed reasons for this order are still awaited despite a lapse of three months. Judges  have,  thus,  made  themselves  immune  from  inquiry  into  their  conduct and are now beyond accountability.

9.  The  law  and  order  condition  in  the  country  as  well  as  the  economy have been adversely affected and trichotomy of powers eroded. A situation has thus  arisen  where  the  routine  and  smooth  functioning  of  government  machinery is becoming increasingly difficult and causing grave concern among ordinary citizens about their security. As evident from the attached list, there has  been  an  unusual  increase  in  security  related  incidents  highlighting  the gravity of the situation.

10.  Mr.  President,  the  contents  of  this  letter  reflect  my  views  and  public opinion  about  the  current  scenario.  For  any  State  to  function,  all  the  three pillars of State must act in harmony in the best national interest. Pakistan is a country  that  achieved  independence  after  immense  sacrifices  and  has tremendous potential to develop prosper and be recognized among the comity of nations as a country with an exciting future.

Yours sincerely,

Sd/-  (Shaukat Aziz)

General Pervez Musharraf

President

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad.”   (emphasis supplied)

15.   Nowhere  in  the  above  quoted  texts  is  the  former  Chief  Justice  mentioned  as  the cause for declaring the emergency and he was certainly not the only one affected by it. In a narrow  context,  all  judges  of  the  superior  courts  in  office  on  November  3rd, 2007  were directly affected by the Proclamation of Emergency. The majority of these judges suffered from this  act,  as  they  were  unlawfully prevented  from  performing  the  duties  of  their Constitutional  office.  The  remaining  judges  in  the  minority  who  decided  to  take  the unconstitutional oath of office, on the other hand, could be perceived as beneficiaries of the aforesaid  act  of  the  petitioner.  Therefore,  at  the  time  the  case  of  Sindh  High  Court  Bar Association was being  heard, the  14 Hon’ble  Judges  on  the Bench (other than myself) had been Judges in the Supreme Court and/or a High Court on 3.11.2007 and were thus direct ‘affectees’  of  the  unconstitutional  Proclamation  of  Emergency  made  that  day  by  the petitioner. Yet, as per Mr. Pirzada only the former Chief Justice acted as a judge in his own cause.  The  argument  of  the  learned  counsel  is  therefore  clearly  fallacious:  if  the  Chief Justice  acted  in  his own cause  by  hearing  this  case,  then  so  did 12  other  Judges  on  the Bench. If the petitioner seeks to draw a distinction between the former Chief Justice and the 12  other  Judges  simply  on  the  basis  of  the  reference  he  filed  against  the  former  Chief Justice,  the  distinction  would  be illogical  and quite  misleading. Such  reference  (as  noted earlier) can raise an inference that it was the petitioner who was biased against the former Chief Justice and not the other way round.

 16.   Having  observed  as  above,  the  submission  of  Mr.  Pirzada  also  fails  on  another ground.  If  indeed  there  were  no  Judges who  could  satisfy  the impartiality litmus  test the petitioner proposes for the former Chief Justice, could the Court justifiably stand back and ignore the crucially important constitutional questions of national importance raised in the case of the Sindh High Court Bar Association. Such option was not available to the Court and it, therefore, had to assume jurisdiction since no one else could. This position finds support from numerous precedents such as Federation of Pakistan v. Muhammad Akram Sheikh (supra) which has been cited in the lead judgment as well and which holds in relevant part that, “a judge who would otherwise be disqualified may act in a case  of necessity where no other judge has jurisdiction.” I therefore find no merit in the argument of Mr. Pirzada, Sr. ASC even on this score.

 17.  Before  concluding  this  opinion,  I must take note  of  the  statements  of the Quaid-e-Azam that Mr. Pirzada elaborated on. He cited the following speech of the Quaid from his book “The Collected Works of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah” (Vol. II) pages 308-309:

         Excerpt from the book by S. Sharifuddin Pirzada

“On  17  February  1925  Sir  Hari  Singh  moved  a  resolution  for  the establishment of a Supreme Court in India for the quick disposal of civil suits, previously disposed of by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and for the  disposal  of  appeals  in  serious  criminal  cases.  Colonel  Sir  Henry  Stanyon opposed on the grounds that it would involve heavy expenditure; considerably lower the prestige of the provincial High Courts; the disposal of appeals would not be more quick than those of the privy Council; and the provincial advocates to  be  taken  to  conclude  the  struggle  in  the  Supreme  Court  would  not  be  less costly than those obtained in England.

The  Home  Member,  Hon.  Sir  Alexander  Muddiman,  and  Pandit  Motilal Nehru also spoke against the resolution. Supporting the resolution, Mr. M. A. Jinnah refuted the arguments advanced by the Members opposing the motion”.

……………..

Excerpt from Quaid-e-Azam’s speech

“…  My  Honourable  friend,  Sir  Henry  Stanyon,  said  that  it  will  lower  the prestige  of  the  provincial  High  Courts.  Why?  I  really  fail  to  see  it.  How  is  it going to lower the prestige of the provincial High Courts? Then you find in the Privy Council for which I have great respect, although I have no hesitation in saying  that  the  Privy  Council  have  on  several  occasions  absolutely  murdered Hindu law, and slaughtered Muhammadan law – with regard to common law, the English law, of which they are the masters, undoubtedly they command the greatest respect of every practitioner and of every Judge in this country …”.

18.  Although in these  statements  I  could  see no  direct  relevance  to  the  present  case,  it must  be  said  that  as  an  indomitable constitutionalist  and  parliamentarian, the Quaid-e-Azam  would  have  been  severely  disappointed  with  the  long  list  of  constitutional deviations  that  this  country  has  been  subject  to. Perhaps,  with  the  sounding  of  the  death knell  (in  the  judgment  under  review)  for  the  concept  of  constitutional  deviations  and martial  law,  we  have  now  started  on  the  path  to  becoming  the  nation  founded  on constitutionalism that our Founder envisioned.

19.  Lastly, we must remain cognizant of a central tenet of the rule of law, that the law must  be  widely accessible  to  the  public.  It  is  particularly  important  for  the public  to understand the aspects of law elaborated upon in this note. I refer to Articles 28 and 251 of the Constitution and the imperative highlighted therein of promoting languages other than English. To fulfil this need, the note has also been written in the national language to make it accessible to a wider section of those who are unable to understand the alien language of this note. It is hoped that this will free the people from reliance on pontificating pundits (to whom they are currently beholden) who themselves, at times, donot have a good grasp of the  English  language.  It  is  a  result  of  the  initiative  of  the  former  Chief  Justice  that  a translation  department  has  been  set  up  in  the  Court  and  judgments  in  cases  of Constitutional  and  public  importance  are  being  written  or  translated  in  the  national language.

 (Jawwad S. Khawaja)

Judge

One comment

  1. […] SC Judgment in General (R) Parvez Musharraf’s Case Dated 10th of April, 2014 (Civil Review Petition Nos. 328 & 329 of 2013 in Constitution Petition Nos. 8 & 9 of 2009)  […]



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