'Despicable, unprecedented,' says Law Minister.


Byline: Maqbool Malik

Islamabad -- The federal government on Thursday announced filing a reference in Supreme Judicial Council against special court judge Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth for writing Para 66 in the detailed judgment of the high treason case against former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

This was stated by Law Minister Farogh Nasim at a joint press conference along with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Minister of State for Interior and Accountability Shehzad Akbar.

'The observation of Justice Waqar Ahmed in paragraph 66 of the detailed judgement indicates that he is incompetent and unfit for the job so the senior judges of the Supreme Court should restrain Justice Waqar Ahmed from any administrative and judicial work,' Farogh Nasim said.

The minister said a reference against a judge could not be filed over a judgement but one's 'mental health and competency could be challenged as per the rules set by former CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry'.

The law minister said that Justice Waqar's observation that law enforcement agencies should arrest Pervez Musharraf and if found dead his dead body should be hanged at D-Chowk in Islamabad for three days, which was against the law and the Constitution, and also unprecedented as well as despicable.

'This is unprecedented and despicable judgment. Public hanging is against the Constitution and Islam,' he added.

Referring to a past judgment by Supreme Court Justice Naseem Hasan Shah in which the 'universal declaration of human rights in Islam' had been referenced as well as Article 14 which speaks of the 'fundamental right of the dignity of man' was invoked, the law minister said it was ruled that public hangings were in contravention to the Constitution and Islam.

He said there was no room in Article 6 of the Constitution; in the High Treason Act, 1973; in the Criminal Amendment Act of the Special Court, 1976; for a judge to have authority to present such an observation.

'With due respect, this is an unprecedented, despicable and completely wrong observation by the judge,' he added.

The law minister then spoke of Article 209 under which Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan had, earlier in the day, announced his intention for a trial against the judge.

Nasim said that Article 209 comes into effect when there is misconduct due to 'incompetence' or when there is 'questionable mental capacity'.

'In Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's time...

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