Benazir asks SC to take suo moto action against Saif

By Javed Jaidi

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the opposition Benazir Bhutto has urged Supreme Court of Pakistan to take suo moto action against Senator Saif for insulting the judiciary.

Benazir Bhutto was reacting to Senator Saif's remarks in which he had said that if he had given instructions to the Appellate Tribunal, then not even the 'father' of the judge would have dared a verdict in favour of Jang Group of Newspapers. She said that it was the gravest contempt of judiciary and judicial process and urged the Supreme Court to take suo moto notice of it.

Benazir Bhutto said that the tape recording of conversation of Senator Saif with Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman transcripts of which had been published in Friday's newspapers, be immediately taken into possession by the Supreme Court and an investigation ordered. "When Saif said that he can even fix up the fathers of judges if they give verdicts against him, he in fact wishes to state that he controlled the judiciary and the judicial processes in the country," Benazir said. She urged the Supreme Court to take suo moto notice so as to dispel the impression about the judiciary sought to be given by Nawaz and his henchman Senator Saif.

The opposition leader also asked President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar what action he had taken as head of the state and custodian of the Constitution against this new threat posed to the judiciary by a haughty and arrogant regime. She said the president would be equally guilty of abetting in the crime of insulting the judiciary if he failed to take any action against the government.

The PPP chairperson said that she was simply appalled and outraged at the audacity of the rulers to publicly use such derogatory and insulting language about the judicial process. She was of the view that confidence in judiciary would be seriously undermined if notice was not taken of such derogatory remarks and action against contemners not taken under the law.

She reminded that a contempt case was already pending against Senator Saif and another case of physical assault on Supreme Court in November 1997 still awaiting a decision. "It seems that lack of progress in disposing of these cases against the rulers had encouraged them to even use abusive language against the judges and their fathers," she added.

The News International Pakistan