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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Pakistan apex court cites Indian Supreme Court to justify order

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 17, 2013
First Published: 00:19 IST(17/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:30 IST(17/1/2013)

The ongoing tension between South Asia's two big neighbours has not deterred the supreme court of Pakistan from relying heavily on judgments delivered by India's apex court to justify its verdict ordering the arrest of Pakistan PM Raja Pervez Ashraf on graft charges.

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The Pakistan government, however, said on Wednesday that it would serve full term and hold polls by May 15.

The two judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, in its 90-page verdict delivered on Tuesday, has cited 10 judgements from India's Supreme Court to drive home its point that courts have the power to judicially review government policies in exceptional circumstances.

"It is well settled that normally in exercise of powers of judicial review courts do not scrutinize policy decisions as was also decided by India's Supreme Court in 2002 in the case of BALCO Employees Vs Union of India, which made it clear that this will apply only in cases where government decisions are bonafide and not for any other consideration," the Pakistan's top court stated. 

In rejecting Pakistan premier Ashraf's argument that the Supreme Court cannot adjudicate in the matter of contracts awarded by him in his capacity as the country's minister for water and power, the Supreme Court again relied on four judgments of India's apex court and also cited a verdict delivered by Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2009.

"As far as transparency in the process of awarding a contract is concerned, it squarely falls within the jurisdiction of this court's available power of judicial review. Reference may be made to the case of Ramana Dayaram Shetty v. International Airport Authority of India [Supreme Court (1979) SCC 489], three other related judgments and judgment dated 24.08.2009 of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Nokia Siemens Networks Pvt Ltd v Union of India," the Pakistan Supreme Court stated.

Chief Justice Chaudhary and his colleague, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain have referred to a wide range of judgments by India's Supreme Court delivered between 1979 till date to strengthen their point that corruption in high places cannot be ignored merely by "hiding behind technical points in a desperate bid to defend the indefensible acts by those occupying responsible positions."


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