ISLAMABAD: A two-member division bench of the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday temporarily allowed former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to keep the official bulletproof car for a few more days.
It suspended the order of IHC’s single-member bench which had asked the ex-CJP to surrender the car to the court by Dec 8.
Justice Siddiqui on Dec 2 said the bulletproof car should have been returned to the federal government after the IHC order of Jan 2014 had been set aside.
Division bench sets aside single judge’s order for surrendering the vehicle to the court
He, however, had directed Justice Chaudhry to surrender the vehicle to the court by De 8.
An IHC division bench, headed by Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi, on May 11 this year had set aside the January 2014 order of the IHC but instead of deciding the fate of the vehicle or giving its possession to the federal government, it remanded the matter back to Justice Siddiqui with a direction to decide the case after hearing all the parties concerned.
The division bench pointed out that the bulletproof car had been provided to Justice Chaudhry without referring to any provision of the law.
The former chief justice’s counsel, Advocates Ahsanuddin and Tahir Mughal, filed an intra-court appeal (ICA) which was heard by the IHC division bench, comprising Justice Qureshi and Justice Aamer Farooq.
Arguing before the court, advocate Ahsanuddin said there were no proper arrangements in the IHC for parking of the bulletproof car.
He said the car had been provided to the former chief justice by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
He said Justice Siddiqui should have heard the parties in the matter before passing any order related to the car.
The lawyer claimed that since Justice Chaudhry had handled sensitive cases, his life was at stake.
A few days before his retirement in 2013, Justice Chaudhry, through the then registrar of the Supreme Court, Dr Faqir Hussain, had written a letter to the Cabinet Division seeking the retention of the official bulletproof vehicle after paying for it under the monetisation policy.
But the request was withdrawn by the Supreme Court’s official after Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani assumed the office of the chief justice of Pakistan.
The Cabinet Division had provided a 1991 Mercedes Benz to the former chief justice but the car was returned the same day as, according to a letter sent by the SC’s Registrar Office to the Cabinet Division, “the condition of the vehicle is dilapidated which does not meet the requirements of travelling. As such, as per the direction his lordship’s vehicle has been returned to the cabinet division”.
The retired chief justice was provided the bulletproof car after the IHC had ordered the federal government.
Courtesy : Dawn News