Justice Katju: Pakistan Supreme Court should sack the PDM Government

By Justice Markandey Katju-

(Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own)

The PDM leaders in Pakistan have openly said that elections to the Punjab Assembly will not be held on May 14, despite the clear order of the Pakistan Supreme Court, which was only seeking to enforce Article 224(2) of the Pakistan Constitution.


The Pakistan government has said that money will not be given to the Election Commission for holding elections despite the clear order of the Court.



In this connection, a drama is being enacted by referring the matter to the Finance Committee, which in turn has referred it to the Cabinet, which has sent it to Parliament.


It is evident that the PDM government will not comply with the order of the Court come what may. ( because the PDM knows it will be routed at the polls ).

The PDM leaders have claimed that Parliament is supreme, and therefore can override court verdicts. This claim is true in countries having an unwritten Constitution, e.g. in UK. But in countries having a written Constitution like USA, India, and Pakistan it is the Constitution which is supreme, not Parliament. I have explained the legal position here.


The PDM government has said it does not accept the Court verdict, and a resolution to that effect has been passed by the Pakistan Parliament.

But ‘acceptability’ cannot be ground to disobey a court verdict, otherwise no verdict will ever be obeyed since the losing party can always say that the verdict is unacceptable to it.

A judge is like a referee in a football match, and if he awards a penalty, a team cannot say that it does not accept his decision, otherwise, no match can ever be played. If court verdicts can be flouted, it will result in chaos, the collapse of the rule of law, and a jungle raj.

This being the situation, the Court should not waste further time, and give just 24 hours time to the government to respond to a show cause notice, and if at the end of this time funds for holding elections are still not released to the ECP, the Court should sack the Govt for contempt of court, the way former PM Yusuf Raza Gilani was sacked for contempt of court, and appoint a caretaker Govt consisting of a  PM, Finance Minister, Interior Minister, etc from among persons known for their integrity, and direct it to hold elections on 14th May, as fixed earlier.

There is no other way out. If the Court does not do this the Judges might as well quit, pack up, and go home



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