Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry

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Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry
افتخار محمّد چودھری
Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.jpg
Chief Justice of Pakistan
In office
22 March 2009 – 11 December 2013
Appointed by Asif Ali Zardari
Preceded by Abdul Hameed Dogar (Acting)
Succeeded by Tassaduq Hussain Jillani
In office
20 July 2007 – 3 November 2007
Appointed by Pervez Musharraf
Preceded by Rana Bhagwandas (Acting)
Succeeded by Abdul Hameed Dogar (Acting)
In office
30 June 2005 – 9 March 2007
Appointed by Pervez Musharraf
Preceded by Nazim Hussain Siddiqui
Succeeded by Javaid Iqbal (Acting)
Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court
In office
22 April 1999 – 3 February 2000
Appointed by Miangul Aurangzeb
Preceded by Amir-ul-Mulk Mengal
Succeeded by Javaid Iqbal
Personal details
Born (1948-12-12) 12 December 1948 (age 65)
Quetta, Pakistan
Alma mater Sindh Law University
University of Sindh

Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, (Urdu: اِفتِخارمُحَمّد چودهرى‎), (born 12 December 1948), was the 18th Chief Justice of Pakistan. Hailing from Quetta, Balochistan Province of Pakistan, Chaudhry started practice as an advocate at Sindh High Court in 1976. He was elected as President Balochistan Bar Association, Quetta in the year of 1986 and was elected twice as Member Bar Council. He was appointed Advocate General Balochistan in the year 1989. He also discharged duties as Banking Judge Special Court for Speedy Trials, Judge Customs Appellate Court as well as Company Judge. He was appointed as Chairman Balochistan Local Council Election Authority in the year 1992 and thereafter for second term in the year 1998. He ascended as a senior advocate at Supreme Court before taking a government law assignment in Quetta. In 1990, he was appointed as an additional judge at the Balochistan High Court.He was appointed as Chairman Provincial Review Board for the Province of Balochistan on the recommendations of Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan. He also was appointed twice as Chairman of Pakistan Red Crescent Society Balochistan by Government of Balochistan. Later in 1999 he was nominated as Chief justice of Balochistan High Court by the President Rafiq Tarar. The same year, he controversially took oath under Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf, validating the LFO ordnance No. 2002, and ascended to the Supreme Court in 2002. On 30 June 2005, President Musharraf appointed Chaudhry as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. In 2007 Musharraf asked Chaudhry to resign, which he refused, therefore leading to his suspension on 3 November 2007. He was restored on 22 March 2009, along with several other judges.

His notable rulings including the suo motu notice of controversial privatization of the Pakistan Steel Mills, leading the case of missing persons in Balochistan, arguing and issuing orders against the New Murree project regarding as environmental catastrophe, ruling the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) as unconstitutional and irrelevant. Recently, after proceeding the notice of contempt against the Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani who forcefully refusing to direct a letter to Swiss authorities over President's hidden assets in Swiss Banks, Chaudry retroactively discharged and ousted Gillani and his government on April 26, 2012.

Early life and family[edit]

Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was born on 12 December in Quetta, Baluchistan Province, Pakistan. His family is originally from Quetta,Baluchistan. His father, Chaudhry Jan Muhammad,was a police constable, before the independence in 1947 Chaudhry Jan Muhammad was posted from Jalandhar,India to Quetta, Baluchistan after that he spent all the rest of his life in Quetta, Baluchistan . Chaudhry lived in Quetta before moving to Islamabad, when he was elevated judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan in the year 2000. Chaudhry has three brothers who are settled abroad and he is second eldest child of his parents.

Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is married to Faiqa Iftikhar and has five children. His two sons are Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry and Ahmed Balach Iftikhar. He has three daughters namely Ayesha Iftikhar, Ifrah Iftikhar and Palwasha Iftikhar.

Rana Sanaullah Khan is cousin of former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.[1]

Career in law[edit]

Chaudhry has a Bachelors in Arts and Bachelors in Law (LLB) from University of Sindh, Jamshoro.[2] He joined the bar in 1974. Later, he was enrolled as Advocate of the High Court in 1976 and as an Advocate of the Supreme Court in 1985.[2] In 1989 he was appointed Advocate General, Balochistan by Akbar Bugti the then Chief Minister of Balochistan.[2] He was elevated as Additional Judge, Balochistan High Court on 6 November 1990 until 21 April 1999.[2] On 22 April 1999 he became Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court. Besides remaining as Judge of High Court, he discharged duties as Banking Judge, Judge Special Court for Speedy Trials, Judge Customs Appellate Courts as well as Company Judge. Chaudhry also remained President of High Court Bar Association, Quetta, and was elected twice as Member of the Bar Council. In 1992 he was appointed as Chairman of Balochistan Local Council Election Authority and thereafter for second term in 1998. He also worked as Chairman, Provincial Review Board for the province of Balochistan and was twice appointed as Chairman of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Balochistan.[2]

On 4 February 2000 he was nominated Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan. He is said to be the youngest Chief Justice of Pakistan, who will be serving the longest period that any other chief justice has ever served in the history of Pakistan's judiciary. On 30 June 2005 he became the Chief Justice of Pakistan.[2] At present, Justice Iftikhar is also functioning as Chairman, Enrollment Committee of Pakistan Bar Council and as Chairman, Supreme Court Building Committee.[2]

Oath taking under PCO 1999[edit]

After the proclamation of PCO, on 26 January 2000 an order Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2000 was issued that required that judiciary take oath of office under PCO. Four judges, including Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, refused to take an oath under the PCO, and therefore no longer remained part of the PCO Supreme Court. To fill the positions in the PCO Supreme Court Musharraf appointed other judges, including Chaudhry, to the PCO Supreme Court. Musharraf's extra-constitutional acts were legitimized by this PCO Supreme Court, and the Parliament elected under Musharraf legitimized everything including the PCO Supreme Court by the Legal Framework Order, 2002.[citation needed]

Suspension and Reinstatement, 2007[edit]

On 9 March 2007, Chaudhry was suspended by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Chaudhry was summoned to Army House and was asked to resign in the presence of five Army Generals, including heads of intelligence services. Chaudhry refused to resign so Musharraf decided to file a Presidential reference against Chaudhry for misconduct. Upon Chaudhry's refusal to resign, Musharraf forwarded the case to Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) as per procedure in constitution of Pakistan.

It was the first time in the 60-year history of the Pakistani Supreme Court that a Chief Justice was suspended. The suspension was made on the grounds of complaints against Chief Justice Chaudhry for violating the norms of judicial propriety, corruption, seeking favours and misbehaving with senior lawyers. He was also accused of interfering in the working of the executive branch. On the other hand Chaudhry too decided in the first time of history of Pakistan to challenge Musharraf and his reference in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Musharraf could not swallow this as he had plans to get rid of Chaudhry by sending the reference to SJC. He did not want Chaudhry to remain Chief Justice as he was an independent judge and had blatantly refused to facilitate Musharraf in his plans to get another five-year mandate through Supreme Court as his predecessors had done. Chaudhry on sensing that the judges of SJC were doing what was dictated to them by Musharraf refused to have his case heard in SJC and hence decided to challenge these dubious allegations in Supreme Court of Pakistan. Chaudhry's petition was taken up by thirteen member bench of supreme court, headed by Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday. Chaudhry was represented by five top lawyers of Pakistan, known as, Aitzaz Ahsan, Hamid Khan (lawyer), Munir A. Malik, Ali Ahmad Kurd and Tariq Mehmood. This panel of lawyers of Chaudhry was also termed a 'Dream Team', who fought valiantly for Chaudhry, inside and outside the court.

After his suspension, there was unrest in the country with regard to the validity of the allegations against Chaudhry, as well as doubt as to whether Musharraf technically had the power to suspend the Chief Justice under the circumstances. There was great outpour of public on roads to greet Chaudhry when he would travel to address Bar Associations. On 4 May 2007, as he headed towards Lahore from capital Islamabad, millions lined 250 km-long-highway all the way to catch a glimpse of Chaudhry.[citation needed] An otherwise four-hour journey took 24 hours. On 5 May 2007, Chaudhry with his counsel and politician friend Atizaz Ahsan reached the Lahore Bar Association in morning a dinner the association was holding in his honour.[3]

On 20 July 2007, Chaudhry was reinstated to his position as Chief Justice in a ruling by the thirteen-member bench of Pakistans' Supreme Court headed by Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday. His counsel of five lawyers represented him against 16 senior lawyers representing the Federation. The ruling combined 25 constitutional petitions filed by various parties, but referred most of the issues raised by the 24 petitions not filed by Chaudhry himself to lower courts for extended adjudication. All thirteen of the sitting justices agreed that Musharraf's action had been illegal, and ten of the thirteen ordered Chaudhry was to be reinstated and that he "shall be deemed to be holding the said office and shall always be deemed to have been so holding the same."

2007 State of Emergency[edit]

On Saturday, 3 November 2007, General Pervez Musharraf, who was the President and Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan at the time, declared a state of emergency and suspended the nation's constitution and parliament at the same time. He locked all the judges up in order to take revenge on them for giving a judgement in Chaudhry's favour. The declaration accused the judges of violating article 209 of the Constitution of 1973.[4] In addition, Musharraf put not only Chaudhry and all the judges under house arrest but also Chaudhry's young children. Chaudhrys' youngest son, Balach, required physiotherapy that too was not provided.[citation needed] His daughter had to take her A'Level exam at home, held under the supervision of British Council Pakistan.[citation needed]

On 15 November Geo News reported that Chaudhry had ordered the Islamabad Inspector General of Police to take action against his and his family’s house arrest and their possible relocation to Quetta. According to the channel, Chaudhry held the interior secretary, the commissioner, the deputy commissioner and the assistant commissioner responsible for his house arrest. He said he was still the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the official residence was his by right.[5]

Reinstatement, 2008–09[edit]

Just after general elections in February, on 24 March 2008, on his first day of premiership the Pakistani PM Yousaf Raza Gillani ordered Chaudhry's release from house arrest.[6][7]

In October 2008, Chaudhry visited the Supreme Court building.

The Lawyers' Movement announced a "long march" for the restoration of the judges, especially Chief Justice Iftikhar from 12 to 16 March 2009. The government of Pakistan refused to reinstate the judges and declared section 144 in effect in three of the four provinces of Pakistan thereby forbidding any form of gatherings of the "long march". Arrangements were made to block all roads and other means of transport to prevent the lawyers from reaching the federal capital, Islamabad. Workers of the main political parties in opposition and the lawyers movement as well as other known persons from the civil society were arrested. Despite these efforts, the movement continued under the leadership of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif[8][9]and was able to break through the blockade in Lahore en route to Islamabad in the night between 15 and 16 March 2009. A few hours later, on the morning of 16 March 2009, the prime minister of Pakistan restored Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as chief justice of Pakistan through an executive order.[10] after which the opposition agreed to stop the "long march".

Rulings considered Important[edit]

Pre 2007–08 judgements[edit]

Pakistan Steel Mills privatization[edit]

Main article: Pakistan Steel Mills

Chaudhry surprised the whole country when he suspended privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) on the plea of the PSM workers’ union. It did not merely embarrass the government but jeopardised the whole privatisation process. Chaudhry, who was heading the bench, observed that the main objectives of the privatisation policy were poverty alleviation and debt retirement, but these were not given due weightage in the mills’ privatisation deal. He objected to the fact that the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation took the Privatisation Board’s recommended price of Rs 17.20 per share for granted and consequently, shares were sold at the low rate of Rs 16.81.

Other[edit]

Some very important cases were heard in the supreme court in the 2007. Decisions have already been taken in some:

  • The ‘New Murre’ housing project was an environmental catastrophe. Despite protests by the civil society and environmental groups, the military government refused to budge since many top politicians and some generals had a stake in this real-estate venture. Chaudhry ordered to shelve this project. He started earning respect for his ‘judicial activism’. He took suo motto actions on human rights, women rights cases besides offering relief to trade unions in some cases.
  • Another sensitive issue was disappeared activists from Baluchistan province. A civil war has caught hold of Baluchistan since 1999. Hundreds of nationalist activists, including journalists and poets, have disappeared. When Human Rights Commission of Pakistan moved the Supreme Court against these disappearances, Chaudhry accepted the plea. The military regime was trying to hush up grave human rights violations (shootings, torture, and kidnappings) in Baluchistan.

Controversies[edit]

Dismissal of petition challenging Legal Framework Order (LFO) 2002[edit]

Just prior to the holding of the October 2002 General Elections a five member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, that Chaudhry was a member of, dismissed a petition which challenged the promulgation of the Legal Framework Order(LFO)2002 by President Musharraf. Under the LFO Musharraf announced amendments to the constitution which restored executive powers to the President, including the right to dismiss the National Assembly, appoint Governors and Service Chiefs and created a National Security Council (NSC).[11] The main controversy started in 2009 after restoration of all Judges, the Oath taking of Judges on PCO in past was then declared crime by the same Judges who has taken oath on PCO in the past.

Judgement on 17th Amendment and President's Uniform Case 2005[edit]

On 13 April 2005, in the "Judgment on 17th Amendment and President's Uniform Case", Chaudhry was one of five Supreme Court judges who dismissed all petitions challenging President Musharraf's consistitutional amendments. In a wide ranging judgement they declared that the Legal Framework Order (LFO) instituted by General Musharraf after his suspension of the constitution, the 17th amendment which gave this constitutional backing, and the two offices bill which allowed Musharraf to retain his military uniform whilst being President were all legal because the Parliament had approved the amendments.[12]

Supreme Court justices[edit]

On 30 July 2009, a 14 member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that all the judges who had taken an oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO), were removed from office and are now facing the Supreme Judicial Council. Two days later an ordinance signed by President Asif Ali Zardari officially removed all PCO judges from office.[13]

Awards and honors[edit]

Elena Kagan, then the Dean of Harvard Law School, delivering the Medal of Freedom to Chief Justice Chaudhry.

In the wake of the imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan, on 14 November 2007, the Harvard Law School[14] decided to award its highest honour, the Medal of Freedom, to Justice Chaudhry, following the military crackdown the previous week. He becomes the first Pakistani to be presented with such honour and a third person in world to receive this award other than Nelson Mandela and Oliver Hill.

Chief Justice Chaudhry formally received the Harvard Law School Medal of Freedom during his visit to the United States in November, 2008.[15]

The National Law Journal picked Chaudhry as the lawyer of the year for 2007.

The Association of the Bar of the City of New York granted Chaudhry an honorary membership in the association on 17 November 2008, recognizing him as a "symbol of the movement for judicial and lawyer independence in Pakistan." In 2012 Chaudhry was named among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.[16][17][18]

On May 29, 2012, Chaudhry and Indian Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav were awarded the prestigious International Jurists Award 2012.[19]

Chaudhry received the award[clarification needed] from Lord Phillips, President of the Supreme Court of the UK, for his "unique and tremendous contribution in the field of administration of justice and for the tireless and fearless endeavours towards administration of justice in Pakistan against all odds." [20]

He attended 22nd Biennial Congress on the Law of the World, held in Beijing & Shanghai, China in September, 2005. He participated in the International Conference and Showcase on Judicial Reforms held in Philippines in November, 2005. He also visited United Kingdom in February, 2006 in connection with the UK-Pakistan Judicial Protocol on Children.

Special Human Rights Cell[edit]

Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry worked hard while pursuing his efforts to clear the backlog of cases. He also assumed the additional responsibility of the Human Rights cases under his suo moto jurisdiction. He established a separate Human Rights cell at the Supreme Court that received thousands of Human Rights complaints from poor victims across the country.

Preferntial treatment for his son[edit]

Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry, son of former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, in spite of receiving a C grade (third division) in High School (Intermediate) was admitted to Bolan Medical College on the quota reserved for the Chief Minister of Balochistan. In Pakistan, medical college degree is awarded after five years but it took 7 years for Arsalan to graduate from medical college.[21] Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry was a medical officer and within a month of graduation and then he was promoted as a section officer in the Department of Health of Government of Balochistan.[22] Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry has never practiced medicine.

Corruption charges[edit]

Malik Riaz Hussain, a real estate investor who founded and owns Bahria Town, was approached by an intermediary of Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, that he had inside information and a case and it can be resolved in his favour. Malik Riaz Hussain in a official deposition produced itemised list of how he bankrolled a playboy lifestyle for the son of the country's top judge. Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry had allegedly promised to influence his father's rulings.[23][24]

Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has resigned today from his post as Vice Chairman of Balochistan Board of Investment. The appointment was being criticized heavily by the media and opposition parties. His appointment was also being linked to the alleged role of the former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, in the alleged rigging of General Elections 2013.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ CJP favours PML-N because of cousin Rana Sanaullah
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Supreme Court of Pakistan Official Website
  3. ^ States cannot survive under dictatorship: CJ, 7 May 2007. DAWN Newspaper. Accessed 27 August 2007.
  4. ^ "Text of Pakistan emergency declaration". BBC News. 3 November 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan.
  6. ^ Hussain, Zahid (25 March 2008). "Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry freed as Pakistan embraces democracy". The Times (London). Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Pakistani lawyers fete Chaudhry". BBC News. 31 March 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Fallout from the 2009 long march". Dawn News. 16 March 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Pakistan Long March
  10. ^ "Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to be restored as Chief Justice of Pakistan". Geo.tv. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  11. ^ http://www.supremecourt.gov.pk/web/user_files/File/JR_Judgment_on_Legal_Framework_Order_2002.pdf
  12. ^ "Microsoft Word - JUDGMENT.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  13. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/07-Text-of-Supreme-Court-judgment-ha-04. Retrieved 19 April 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "HLS News: Pakistani chief justice to receive Harvard Law School 'Medal of Honour'". 14 November 2007. 
  15. ^ Pakistan's Chief Justice receives Medal of Freedom in the Harvard Law Record, 20 November 2008
  16. ^ Rachel Quigley (15 March 2012). "TIME magazine 100 most influential people 2012 list includes Pippa and Kate Middleton | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  17. ^ Correspondent, Our. "The 2012 TIME 100: Justice Chaudhry, Obaid-Chinoy among Time’s 100 influential people – The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  18. ^ "CJ, Sharmeen on Time list of influential people". Dawn.Com. 10 March 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  19. ^ CJP receives International Jurist Award The News International, May 29, 2012
  20. ^ Iftikhar Chaudhry receives International Jurist Award 2012 Geo News Pakistan, May 29, 2012
  21. ^ Report exposing ex-CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry and his son Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry
  22. ^ Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry
  23. ^ Pakistani chief justice's son accused of taking gifts to influence father
  24. ^ Ex-CJP Iftikhar jumps into foray; locks horns with Imran Khan
  25. ^ Arsalan Iftikhar resigns as Vice Chairman of Balochistan Board of Investment

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Amir-ul-Mulk Mengal
Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court
1999–2000
Succeeded by
Javaid Iqbal
Preceded by
Nazim Hussain Siddiqui
Chief Justice of Pakistan
2005–2007
Succeeded by
Javaid Iqbal
Acting
Preceded by
Rana Bhagwandas
Acting
Chief Justice of Pakistan
2007
Succeeded by
Abdul Hameed Dogar
Acting
Preceded by
Abdul Hameed Dogar
Acting
Chief Justice of Pakistan
2009–2013
Succeeded by
Tassaduq Hussain Jillani