Pakistan minister may depose against Justice Chaudhry
Apr 15, 2007 - 3:30:07 PM

Islamabad, April 15 - Pakistan's interior minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao and some government officials are likely to be produced before the Supreme Judicial Council as witnesses against suspended Chief Justice iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.

The government will principally be focusing on the shifting of Justice Chaudhry's son Dr Arslan to the Punjab Police from the Balochistan Health Department, alleging that the judge had misused his office to facilitate this, The News said on Sunday.

Media reports have noted that there had been a significant increase in the number of protesters on the streets of Islamabad and other cities, when the Supreme Judicial Council took up Chaudhry's case earlier this week.

On his part, Chaudhry has in a subtle but clear message to the government emphasised on the 'supremacy of the constitution and rule of law above every other thing'.

Addressing judges and members of the bar in Sindh after receiving a tumultuous reception in Sukkur, he said: 'The wheel of time cannot be turned back and the system will continue for the greater good of the people.'

Chaudhry did not touch upon the reason for which he was suspended on March 9, an incident that has triggered nationwide protests. But he dwelt on his pro-people pronouncements and judgements during his tenure at the Supreme Court and the last two years as the chief justice.

The vehicle carrying him covered the six-km distance from the airport to the Judges Lodge in nearly two-and-a-half hours as thousands of people including workers of political parties had thronged the roads.

Chaudhry's procession consisting of more than 500 vehicles was showered with rose petals, The Daily Times reported.

'It is the will of 160 million people of Pakistan which has to be kept supreme, and all our efforts should, therefore, be directed to mitigating their sufferings as many of the poor and downtrodden cannot even dare enter police stations,' he said.

Addressing the annual dinner of the Sindh High Court Bar Association, Sukkur chapter, at the high court lawns late Saturday night, Chaudhry said ever since he assumed the charge of Chief Justice of Pakistan he had started efforts to achieve this purpose through suo motu notice of cases brought to his knowledge from different parts of the country.

He referred to the Manoo Bheel case of Mirpurkhas, in which he had made the police officers accountable for the mysterious disappearance of Bheel's family about seven years back.

A similar case was the ban on kite flying which he brought about after he noticed that throats of a large number of innocent children were slit in the name of festivity.

He recalled that a ban was also imposed on wedding meals and notice was taken of sale and marketing of fake and spurious drugs by the pharmaceutical companies. All these cases, Chaudhry observed, were of public interest.

He said that when he took over charge there were 28,000 litigations pending, which in less than two years were brought down to 10,000. Likewise 6,000 cases were taken up suo motu and relief was provided to the people, he said.

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