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Pak Tea House » Pakistan » Even SC can’t take away president’s immunity: Aitzaz

Even SC can’t take away president’s immunity: Aitzaz

This report from the Daily Times is worth noting – the ‘laptop warriors’ might be disturbed with such clear pronouncements…

LAHORE: The constitution is very clear about a president’s immunity against criminal litigation and even the Supreme Court cannot take it away, former Supreme Court Bar Association president Aitzaz Ahsan said on Tuesday. Talking to reporters at the Lahore High Court, where he had appeared in connection with a case, Aitzaz said he had not changed his position on presidential immunity. “A president does not enjoy any immunity in civil cases, but he does in criminal cases,” he said. He said the constitution had given unconditional protection to the president against criminal litigation under Article 248(2), and there was no ambiguity in constitutional provisions on the subject. He said this protection to the president of Pakistan was not new, as the head of the states in any country enjoys the same immunity. To a question, he said the president could only be removed through impeachment, and this option was open to all political parties in the parliament. staff report

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36 Responses to "Even SC can’t take away president’s immunity: Aitzaz"

  1. Junaid Australia Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    So does that mean that Pakistan can have a criminal president?

  2. Mustafa Shaban United Arab Emirates Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    Name one democracy in the world where the president has immunity in past crimes. Can Aitzaz please cite this same ruling in other countries, there is no such immunity in any other democracy. In Britain one minister used his connections to get his wifes maid’s visa approved more quickly and he had to resign. Imran Khan has cited many such examples of British politicians having to resign for the smallest of accusations, proven or not proven. The concerned minister resigns, clears his record and then comes back. Otherwise you would have the executive branch full of criminals.

    By the way I know Aitzaz is a lawyer, but I take IK’s word over his.

    Imagine the impression this gives to young people, if you do a crime you get jailed, if you do a very big crime you can still be a president or minister. Outrageous. I cant understand how peolple like nawaz sharif, altaf hussain and zardari be allowed to participate in the democracy.

    Asif Zardari cna get himself cleared by proving his innocence in an independant court. Imam Ali (A.S) had to appear in court and lost a case to a jew. Why cant this be the case in our country?

  3. imran United Kingdom Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    Other countries with similar provisions.

    UK. Head of State = the Queen
    India. Head of state = president
    France. Head of State = president. (Courts waited until the last prez was out of office b4 taking up corruption charges)
    Germany. Head of state= president.
    Even in the Marcos case mentioned in the NRO judgement the case was decided by the court after the presidents death.

    Zardari has faced these charges for 3 decades and spent 11 years in prison. The courts failed to convict him. when his term is over they can try again. until then lets give democracy a chance.

  4. AZW Canada Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    President Asif Ali Zardari is not a criminal. He has been prosecuted but never been convicted. The failure to get him convicted does not make him a criminal.

    No one has denied that he has been under a cloud of intense suspicion for the past two decades. But he has spent years in jail with no conviction. This is a marked failure of the judicial process in Pakistan and judiciary itself shares the blame for its failure to prosecute the accused within a reasonable time frame.

    Constitution provides absolute immunity to the President and the Governors during their term in office from any criminal prosecution or any prosecution related to their work responsibilities (see article 248 in total at the end).

    If you wish to have a politician with an absolute spotless and unclouded past as well as vote of the Pakistani electorate, to be the Prime Minister or President, do keep looking. For now you have to work with the best the system offers. Mr. Zardari falls short of my yardstick of a perfect leader; he has assumed leadership of a political party while holding the office of the President of a nation (shameful), his reputation as an honest individual leaves a lot to desire, and he needs to devolve his Presidential powers to the PM as per his agreement with the other political parties.

    But let’s get the priorities straight; he is still an elected President; his party is in power due to a democratic election, and he is one of the very few leaders who have substantial representation in all parts of the federation of Pakistan.

    He enjoys complete immunity from criminal prosecution while he holds the office. And unless you want to see his downfall by subverting the constitution, he is not going anywhere under the threat of an impending prosecution.

    As much of a demon as you want to make out of him, realize that he is still one of the better options we have in our democratic process. For Pakistan to have better leaders, the feeble democratic system needs to strengthen. For the democratic system to strengthen, Mr. Zardari must be confronted by democratic means only. We must loudly condemn the irresponsible section of the media clamouring for his prosecution, or the judiciary Sue Moto notices that are focusing on one person with the constitutional protection out of the 8,041 persons who got the immunity under NRO. They are not playing ball right now, and are desperately trying to dislodge Mr.Zardari by any means possible due to their intense dislike for the man. This is not a valid reason to pull the rug from under an elected official.

    Unless we get it that we have to work with the present democratic system within the constitutional means, we will be repeating the same clamour 30 years from now. Try to pull the leg of the leader of the largest political party of Pakistan by unconstitutional means, and you can say goodbye to democracy now. Why even indulge in the charade of democracy if what you elect is what you desperately want to get rid of any way possible just two years later?

    Let the constitutional system go on by supporting the President. This support is not unconditional; it is based on a healthy understanding that he deserves it for what constitution grants to him. It is also based on our calm realization that despite his imperfections, the consequences otherwise are far more dire.

    Otherwise, it will be another 30 years, another failed autocratic regime and another Movement for Restoration of Democracy pitted against the omnipotent Pakistan Army ruling the country. And we’ll be yearning back for democracy which will have same popular but quite imperfect leaders to choose from.

    Article 248 of the Constitution of Pakistan: Protection to President, Governor, Minister, etc.

    (1) The President, a Governor, the Prime Minister, a Federal Minister, a Minister of State, the Chief Minister and a Provincial Minister shall not he answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of functions of their respective offices or for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions:

    Provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed as restricting the right of any person to bring appropriate proceedings against the Federation or a Province.

    (2) No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or a Governor in any court during his term of office.

    (3) No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the President or a Governor shall issue from any court during his term of office.

    (4) No civil proceedings in which relief is claimed against the President or a Governor shall be instituted during his term of office in respect of anything done by or not done by him in his personal capacity whether before or after he enters upon his office unless, at least sixty days before the proceedings are instituted, notice in writing has been delivered to him, or sent to him in the manner prescribed by law, stating the nature of the proceedings, the cause of action, the name, description and place of residence of the party by whom the proceedings are to be instituted and the relief which the party claims.

  5. hoss United States Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    The whole issue is about building pressure, political as well as moral pressure on Zardari. He needs to handle it not legally but politically.

  6. Mustafa Shaban United Arab Emirates Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    That is why mid term elections take place. They are part of the democratic process. Also Pakistan is based on Britains Parliamentary democracy and needs to go according to that. Over thier the ministers dont have criminal immunity.

  7. vajra India Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    @Mustafa Shaban

    The analogy is inapt.

    President Zardari is immune not because he is a minister of the crown. He is immune because, as the President, he is the Crown. The Queen cannot be prosecuted. Similarly the President in a democracy is in place of the sovereign in a monarchy, and is beyond prosecution.

    There are obvious reasons for this. It may be illuminating to inform oneself of these reasons before further comment on the subject.

  8. hoss United States Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    “A president does not enjoy any immunity in civil cases, but he does in criminal cases,” he said.

    I take it as a political battle but I must say Aitzaz is trying to pull rug over many people.
    Yeah, the President has immunity in criminal cases but the cases and especially the one case in Swiss courts is a civil case in nature.

    The case in Pakistani court was about money laundering and bribery. That is part criminal and part civil.

    The Pak government filed for recovery of money in the Swiss court and claimed that the money in Swiss bank was illegally raised. That is a civil case and the SC is asking the government to reopen that case in the Swiss court to recover money.

    When Aitzaz say Prez has no immunity in a civil case, he is siding with the court and not with Zardari.

    There is another point that needs to be addressed. SC in its decision said that the Attorney General Qayoom had no authority to withdraw case from the Swiss court. That means the government can go back to the Swiss court citing Pakistan SC decision of illegal withdrawal of the case and ask the Swiss court to restart the proceedings.

    The government has to challenge the SC ruling about the authority of the Attorney General but it hasn’t done that, at least not yet.

    What options the SC has when it is pressed to explain its position. I am not a lawyer, I have only studied Law and based on that the SC can simply ask the current Attorney General to go back to the Swiss Court and the Attorney General will have comply with the Court’s orders.
    In fact, there is interesting hypothesis about the position that the SC can take. It can send its decision to the Swiss court directly and ask it to reopen the cases, if the Attorney general of Pakistan refuses to comply with the court’s orders.
    Of course, there is no precedent for the last action but is there any law that can stop the SC from taking such action? I don’t think so.
    Zardari needs to deal with the situation before the SC ties him up in many knots.

  9. Ayusafzai United States Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    AZT, very well put.Granted, this isn’t the best form of democracy (if at all)–at least respecting the Constitution is a step forward.

  10. jman United Kingdom Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    To all those claiming that Zardari is the president elect…tell me this who voted for him?
    The masses? If you had known that Zardari was standing for president would you have voted for him?.

    Truth is that he used manipulation to get to the top post. Pure and simples!

  11. B. Civilian United Kingdom Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    That is part criminal and part civil

    virtually any criminal matter can and does have a civil aspect capable of being pleaded in a civil court. the president’s immunity does not extend to civil cases. but then an adverse decision in a civil matter has no bearing whatsoever on the president’s ability to continue as president. even if he chooses to ignore a civil court’s decision against him, no criminal proceedings can be brought against him as a result of his failure or refusal to comply. so, nothing changes until the term in office comes to its normal end.

  12. Raza Rumi United Kingdom Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    This is an interesting debate. Would someone explain if the pending cases are criminal or civil??

  13. mazbut Pakistan Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    If ‘CONCEALMENT’ CAN BE A CIVIL MATTER WHY CAN’T IT BE IN THE CASE OF ZARDARI???
    IN his case it is ‘Civil’ as well as ‘criminal!
    SC can try him both ways!!

  14. B. Civilian United Kingdom Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    SC can try him both ways!!

    AAZ cannot be tried for criminal charges while he is president and parliament has not taken away his immunity through a constitutional amendment. the courts could allow civil action though, or initiate it under the higher courts’ suo moto powers.

  15. mazbut Pakistan Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    Taxation Law – Taxation Disputes – Concealment

    Author(s):Frank Egan B.A., LL.B., A.C.L.A., F.T.I.A. (Notary)
    Publish Date: March 08, 2009

    There are a wide range of taxation disputes which occur. Some of these are full-blown matters which start off as an enquiry whilst others run the full gamut and end up in court. Matters often escalate because of the approach taken by taxpayers and their advisers at an early stage. Taxpayers may feel confronted and try to characterise or manufacture a situation which will support circumstances which will disguise their tax non-compliance were this not done. They conspire to contrive a situation where their affairs including their financial accounts will pass muster on cursory examination. Often these arrangements are hastily put together with little forethought as to the inevitable outcome should they be discovered by the Tax Office to be fictitious causing them to switch to fulltime audit with disastrous consequences.

    Where material is presented and the ATO calls for information which on examination is equivocal, contradictory or inconsistent, detailed enquiries will follow. Interestingly, all sorts of problems can arise which often involve the directors of a company and/or their accountants. It should not be forgotten that where tax non-compliance is detected, not only the company but also its directors may bear personal liability. Contrivance includes destroying documents, backdating documents, purported sales, dealing and transfers of assets or businesses, hastily drawn loan agreements and a whole range of other matters may be involved. The problem is where this is done and the Tax Office calls for source documentation these contrivances or arrangements will be uncovered. Where this happens only the worst possible results will occur.

    Taxpayers who fall into this category not only have problems associated with tax shortfalls and conspiring with their tax advisers but this would appear to amount to a scheme to defraud the revenue. Simply put, they may have entered into a scheme to try and avoid tax and then when they think will be discovered they enter into a further scheme to try to defeat detection. Unfortunately this amounts to a fraud on a fraud and where detected the ATO understandably reacts harshly. After all they are there to protect the revenue and to secure payments from taxpayers where the full amount of tax has either been undeclared or omitted. Don’t try to rewrite history. Secure proper independent legal advice.

    Obviously where tax is not paid the Tax Office will require substantiation. They will ask for all source documents including deposit and cheque books, profit & loss and balance sheets, all sales information, all BAS returns, all contracts or agreements, full payroll information, all worksheets, all bank statements and all tax invoices amongst others. How could anyone believe that once this information is called for that any tax not paid or fraud practiced on the authorities will not be discovered! Where a taxpayer has sought to conspire with others to enter into a scheme or arrangement in order to defeat the revenue it follows that only the harshest consequences will result. To put it simply; a person who has structured or restructured their affairs without merit such that they are in violation of various tax laws applying in these circumstances, is in real trouble. Essentially they are involved in either full-blown tax fraud or tax evasion and anybody assisting them is at real risk of prosecution and gaol.

    For competent, professional advice and assistance contact Frank Egan of LAC Lawyers on (02) 9904 6800.

  16. B. Civilian United Kingdom Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    @Mazbut

    where does the piece posted by you above talk of a head of state with constitutional immunity? what’s the relevance?

  17. mazbut Pakistan Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    Yes, it doesn’t.
    I just wanted friends to know that even a President can be indited for ‘concealment’ and that is a matter of pretty Civil nature. Why not ask the President (and other corrupt people) where and how he got all that wealth which he is yet concealing from all!
    Concealment is a crime and that’s what the links try to elaborate. The definition and scope of ‘concealment’ can be extended …..and concealment of wealth is tantamount to evasion of revenue/taxes
    and could be dealt with through a civil trial.

  18. Midfield Dynamo United States Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    Pakistan was created on the basis of an ideology, in broad terms it was a homeland for the muslims where they could have freedom to practice religion, away from the yoke of the hindu despots.
    Most stalwarts of the Pakistan Movement migrated to this side of the border. There was hope of a constitution for many years, but unfortunately the politicians were weak, inept and corrupt, which created a solvency vacuum to be filled in by Army Rule.
    ZAB with all of his self serving genius pushed a constitution through, in the bargain declared the Ahmedi’s as non-muslims. If there is no recompense to this gross injustice this constitution is doomed to fall short and most likely even fail.
    In an ideological state there is no margin for exigencies of circumstance, there needs to be an above board man at the helm and if you can’t find one then please continue to look.
    Aitizaz Ahsan is a lawyer and has a price and will do whatever as long as the price is met.

  19. hoss United States Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    “Aitizaz Ahsan is a lawyer and has a price and will do whatever as long as the price is met.”

    Well, whosoever posted this article was under some mistaken belief that Aitazaz’s statement was supportive of the Prez…see the note above the news item.
    This report from the Daily Times is worth noting – the ‘laptop warriors’ might be disturbed with such clear pronouncements…
    Reading comprehension issues?

    Aitazaz is merely restating the the point that the Prez has immunity in criminal cases. He is clear that the Prez has no such immunity when it comes down to the civilian matters.

    Here is a question for the criminal immunity supporters too. For the sake of arguments, let us consider this: a claim is lodged that the President has murdered someone while still holding the office. Let us further assume that there is enough circumstantial backed by factual evidence and some direct evidence that the president has done so. How could the Parliament impeach him without first conducting a criminal inquiry and investigation? For the action to start an FIR has to be lodged, would the Prez have immunity from any criminal process at that time?

    You see a president or a constitution head has immunity while performing as head of the state but if he/she murders someone in his personal capacity no immunity can apply.
    In this case since his criminal actions, if there are any, relate to the period before his becoming the Head of the State and in his capacity as an ordinary citizen, I think the immunity cannot and should not be extended to the POTIRP.
    —-
    Midfield Dynamo,
    Btw, A state for the Muslim does not automatically mean an Islamic state. Freedom to practice religion in Pakistan is extended to all and not just the Muslims. Further, the partition was never about freedom to practice Islam. There was not a single Hindu in India who stopped Muslims from practicing their religion before 1947. So get off this JI and mullah type arguments.
    Muslims in India still practice their religion freely and in fact some Muslim holidays are national holidays in India. Please refrain from unsubstantiated statements.

  20. vajra India Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    A strange but peculiar fear is growing in me, like the fear when your gardener finds you alone in a completely isolated part of your grounds, far from any other third person, and he smiles at you, and, for the first time, you notice that his teeth are filed into points.

    Does Midfield Dynamo’s IP address happen to be that of another demented correspondent, who also specialises in religious analysis?

  21. yasserlatifhamdani United Kingdom Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    Shaban,

    How would you take IK’s word over Aitzaz?

    Btw …by going into 62 and 63 a pandora’s box is being opened.
    This would ultimately disqualify Imran Khan forever. The MQM petition against him will be successful next time.

    President enjoys immunity. The election cannot be called into question and the most logical interpretation is that the rule exists for exactly such situations.

    Also Pakistan’s democracy is not based entirely on UK…we have 2/3rds rule, a badly worded constitution, a parliament limited by Islam etc. The President is like the Crown …and the only difference is that the president of Pakistan is an elected office …which is for a limited term and not lifelong.

  22. Aliarqam Pakistan Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    62 and 63 will even disqualify CJ as he hasnt grown beard and it is Gunaah e Kabeera according to Sharia…..and publically committing such Gunah Kabira is Fisq and the man doing who is committing is titled as “Fasiq” and “Fajir”. Even JI wallahs beards are not accepted……
    as Article 62(e) states,”he has adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and practises obligatory duties prescribed by Islam as well as abstains from major sins”

  23. Midfield Dynamo United States Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    The problem with wannabe historians is that they like to believe what history should have been like and not take on board what it really was, it suits their justification for the present day situations.
    Thus before we adorn the hat of the ultimate analyser we should learn to call a spade a spade.
    JI just by the way was for united India.

  24. PMA United States Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    Midfield Dynamo (February 4, 2010 at 11:22 pm):

    “There was hope of a constitution for many years, but unfortunately the politicians were weak, inept and corrupt, which created a solvency vacuum to be filled in by Army Rule.”

    What about the bureaucrats like Ghulam Mohammad, Iskander Mirza, Choudary Mohammad Ali – just to name a few. After all between 1951 and 1958 the country was run and ruled by them.

  25. AZW Canada Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    Can some knowledgeable person give more information on the pending/withdrawn cases against Asif Ali Zardari in the Swiss Courts: Are they civil in nature? If every case is a criminal case, can he be tried for the civil aspect only of that case? Do the definitions and scope of civil and criminal trials vary between Pakistan and Swiss legal system? BC, YLH, anyone?

  26. hoss United States Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    “as Article 62(e) states,”he has adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and practises obligatory duties prescribed by Islam as well as abstains from major sins”

    As long as the clause exits in the constitution, the judges would use it even though they may not agree with the clause itself. Someone has to challenge the clause in the court or the parliament must amend the constitution.

    The question is after almost two years of civilian rule, why this clause is still there? The two largest parties agreed to amend the constitution before they were anywhere near Islamabad. The PPP has 2/3 support (PPP, MQM, ANP, Independents, and the PMLn supports the amendments) in the both houses to amend the constitution but it is the PPP which is running away from amending the constitution. After many years, there is a consensus in the country to do away with all the ZIA, Mush amendments in the constitution but the PPP is dragging its feet just because the amendments would impact presidential powers. That really means the PPP does not want to amend the constitution because Zardari is the President. Had Zardari been the PM, constitution would have been amended a long time ago.

    When you attempt to retain some clauses in the constitution for your own benefit, you lose the right to protest some other clauses in the constitution that can be used against you.

    I am beginning to think that Zardari’s presence in the Prez house is bad for the future of democracy in the country. He is too engrossed in his personal safety and the benifits he enjoys as president. Anyone can see that the Army has effectively taken him out from taking lead in the Foreign and Defense affairs. I always had serious doubts about his commitment to democracy in Pakistan but it is now clear that he has no intention to support democracy in the country. His sole aim is to preserve his own position in the President House and he is doing an appalling job there too.

    People would like to see his civilian government making some efforts to strengthen democracy in the country but all they see is that he is relying on People to support his government just because they are scared of another army take over in the country. That is another matter that for the puritans, the Zardari government is merely a civilian facade for the army and the army is making the decision in all matters.

  27. B. Civilian United Kingdom Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    @Hoss

    re. president suspected of murder

    an FIR can and MUST be lodged as a fundamental right of the complainant (or informant in that general sense). investigations will and should commence. if the president refuses to co-operate, he ultimately only has political repercussions to face, while in office (barring a constitutional amendment). in the extreme, this could mean facing impeachment.

    impeachment does not require an investigation, or even an FIR. it only requires a belief amongst the parliamentary majority that the president is ‘guilty’ of misconduct (whether or not a crime in the eyes of law) while in office. parliament is not a court of law. it need not prove anything; let alone beyond reasonable doubt. all it needs is the requisite majority.

    only once successfully impeached or otherwise no longer in office can the immunity stop applying, while it remains part of the constitution.

    @AZW

    afaik, the swiss case was about ‘money laundering’; in other words, proceeds of crime. while govt of pak was a civil party in that case, as a claimant and potential rightful owner of such proceeds (hence the successful request to have the relevant assets frozen until the NRO), the case was going to turn on the question whether the monies had been a product of a criminal act or acts.

  28. Raza Rumi United Kingdom Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    BC: your contributions are most informative. I can imagine that other legal minds may differ with you but the clarity and force of your argument shows that you have the potential of being a first-rate lawyer!!
    I think we should put up the list of all cases and have a reasoned, rational debate. This is what the new media should be doing – exploring the ‘alternative’ domain

  29. hoss United States Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    B. Civilian
    “impeachment does not require an investigation, or even an FIR. it only requires a belief amongst the parliamentary majority that the president is ‘guilty’ of misconduct (whether or not a crime in the eyes of law) while in office. parliament is not a court of law. it need not prove anything; let alone beyond reasonable doubt. all it needs is the requisite majority.”

    Not true at all. The constitution requires investigations by the Parliament or it can ask the petition to be investigated. You obviously are not familiar with the Pakistan constitution.

    I am not aware of any amended in the following to say to that there is not going to be any investigation. Even though the case may not be tried in a court, the Parliament will not only investigate or order investigations but will also provide full opportunity to the President to defend.

    pakistani.org/pakistan/constitution/part3.ch1.html

    47. Removal [22][or impeachment] of President.
    (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Constitution, the President may, in accordance with the provisions of this Article, be removed from office on the ground of physical or mental incapacity or impeached on a charge of violating the Constitution or gross misconduct.
    (5) The Speaker shall summon the two Houses to meet in a joint sitting not earlier than seven days and not later than fourteen days after the receipt of the notice by him.
    (6) The joint sitting may investigate or cause to be investigated the ground or the charge upon which the notice is founded.
    (7) The President shall have the right to appear and be represented during the investigation, if any, and before the joint sitting.
    (8) If, after consideration of the result of the investigation, if any, a resolution is passed at the joint sitting by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of [23][Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] declaring that the President is unfit to hold the office due to incapacity or is guilty of violating the Constitution or of gross misconduct, the President shall cease to hold office immediately on the passing of the resolution.

    “an FIR can and MUST be lodged as a fundamental right of the complainant”

    There is no provision that an FIR can be lodged at a Police Station naming the Prez as the respondent party.

    If there is any situation like that the matter would either go the Parliament or the Courts will rule on the Presidential immunity in his personal capacity.

  30. hoss United States Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    Reposting with minor changes:

    B. Civilian
    “impeachment does not require an investigation, or even an FIR. it only requires a belief amongst the parliamentary majority that the president is ‘guilty’ of misconduct (whether or not a crime in the eyes of law) while in office. parliament is not a court of law. it need not prove anything; let alone beyond reasonable doubt. all it needs is the requisite majority.”

    Not true at all. The constitution requires investigations by the Parliament or it can ask the petition to be investigated. You obviously are not familiar with the Pakistan constitution.

    I am not aware of any amendments in the following to say that there is not going to be any investigation. Even though the case may not be tried in a court, the Parliament will not only investigate or order investigations but will also provide full opportunity to the President to defend.

    pakistani.org/pakistan/constitution/part3.ch1.html

    47. Removal [22][or impeachment] of President.
    (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Constitution, the President may, in accordance with the provisions of this Article, be removed from office on the ground of physical or mental incapacity or impeached on a charge of violating the Constitution or gross misconduct.
    (5) The Speaker shall summon the two Houses to meet in a joint sitting not earlier than seven days and not later than fourteen days after the receipt of the notice by him.
    (6) The joint sitting may investigate or cause to be investigated the ground or the charge upon which the notice is founded.
    (7) The President shall have the right to appear and be represented during the investigation, if any, and before the joint sitting.
    (8) If, after consideration of the result of the investigation, if any, a resolution is passed at the joint sitting by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of [23][Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] declaring that the President is unfit to hold the office due to incapacity or is guilty of violating the Constitution or of gross misconduct, the President shall cease to hold office immediately on the passing of the resolution.

    “an FIR can and MUST be lodged as a fundamental right of the complainant”

    There is no provision that an FIR can be lodged at a Police Station naming the Prez as the respondent party in his personal capacity.

    If there is any situation like that, the matter would either go the Parliament or the Courts will rule on the Presidential immunity in his personal capacity.

  31. Midfield Dynamo United States Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    PMA I agree..

  32. B. Civilian United Kingdom Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    @Hoss

    a resolution is passed at the joint sitting by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the total membership

    this is the only effective part, the president’s defence or quality of ‘evidence’ or that of the ‘investigation’ notwithstanding. an ‘investigaion’ by the law enforcement authorities is something entirely different and separate than one by the legislative authority.

    parliament, unlike the criminal courts, does not carry out impeachments as a routine matter. it’s a political entity with a political membership, unlike the courts which follow strict procedure and narrow and clear definitions of admissibility, process and requirements, and where the decision-makers are independent/objective technicians. impeachment, unlike criminal law, is not an established academic subject.

    impeachment does not require an FIR, like I have already stated. moreover, an FIR is not an indictment. the police is duty bound to record the report of an alleged crime in the words of the person reporting it. an alleged report by a member of public need not and often will not merit or otherwise result in a formal charge alleging the same. the police’s duy to investigate is more fundamental than the prez’s immunity which in any case ought not to have anything to do with an FIR.

    the constitution couldn’t possibly have required the member of public to alter her own account. nor can it require a state official as lowly as a ‘muharrar’ to decide on admissibility of evidence. that would be tantamount to an attempt to destroy evidence. deciding not to charge, on the other hand, is not a decision based exclusively on the quality of evidence. it is quite legitimate/necessary for the state to consider larger public interest. in case of the prez, the constitution requires (in the larger public interest) that the state not charge (ie prosecute) her/him.

  33. B. Civilian United Kingdom Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    @Raza

    thanks. as long as the legal mind(s) thinking different than me is not the judge, both my bank manager and I can live with the disagreement.

    the idea of the ‘alternative’ domain is attractive. to inject into journalism a tiny bit of something remotely similar to academic rigour might be a good idea.

  34. Raza Rumi Pakistan Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    We need a list of cases and their nature.
    Anyone, who will help PTH in getting this posted for a general debate?

  35. rex minor Germany Unknow Browser Unknow Os says:

    The President is immune against the criminal prosecution because he has been elected. But the Parliament which elected him can suspend his immunity privileage during the time of prosecution. Besides, a civil case can be brought against him dragging him in front of the high court if he does not volunteer.

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