Court: SC decides tomorrow whether its registrar should appear before PAC or not

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has constituted a three-member special bench of the Supreme Court to decide on Tuesday whether the Registrar Dr Faqir Hussain should appear before the Public Accounts Committee PAC of the parliament or not.

The special bench comprises Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed. The bench will hear a constitutional petition filed by Karachi Bar Association president Mehmoodul Hassan against summoning of Registrar by the PAC.

The petitioner has submitted that the powers fundamental to the Constitution rested on the principles that the judiciary should be insulated from the influence of the parliament and that of the executive. He submitted that summoning of the Registrar of SC before the PAC was a violation of the independence of the judiciary and separation of powers as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan and more specifically Article 175 3.

The petitioner submitted that revenues/expenditures of the Supreme Court by way of federal consolidated funds were, in any case, audited by the Auditor General of Pakistan. Besides, the SC had also put in place a transparent system in association with the AGP whereby disbursement from the budget of the Supreme Court were audited prior to such disbursement as well as after the said amount had been disbursed.

He said that in the light of a separate and independent method of audit already available for the Supreme Court, the said actions of the PAC were clearly without jurisdiction.

The PAC had summoned Dr Faqir Hussain to explain court’s position against audit objections raised by auditor general of Pakistan. However, the Registrar had refused to appear before the PAC for the settlement of court’s account. The Registrar was of the view that the committee lacked constitutional support to summon him.

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