Can parliament make ‘self-serving’ laws, wonders CJP

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pak­is­tan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Fri­day wondered whether the parliament could be expected to make a “self-serving legislation” when it’s in a “transitory period and the elections have to be held”.

“We are the guardians of the Constitution and it is not a joyful enterprise for the courts to do legislation instead or show over activism. But we have to protect the Constitution, the constitutional machinery and the rule of law,” observed the CJP.

The observation came during the hea­ring of a challenge by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan, through his counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed, to rec­ent amendments made to the Nat­ional Accountability Ordinance (NAO).

Headed by the CJP, the three-judge Supreme Court bench that heard the case has Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah as its other members.

SC hears Imran’s petition against changes to NAO; govt lawyer says courts must not get involved in political disputes

“These are not ordinary times but exceptional times where the erstwhile ruling party was not performing its duties since it has boycotted out of the parliament while the beneficiaries were amending laws,” regretted the CJP.

Justice Shah wondered if the court should bother about the political temperature outside and asked which forum the people should approach to seek remedy if they were upset in case NAO was completely repealed in future.

Senior counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan, who appeared on behalf of the federal government, replied by citing that the United States Supreme Court always followed the latest election results, meaning they stood with the government in power while deciding constitutional cases.