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Prime Minister is not above the Law:Supreme Court

Islamabad: The Supreme Court Wednesday rejected attorney general’s pleas to form larger bench to hear review petition against the June 27 and July 12 orders and put off the hearing until after Eid.
A five-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa asked the Attorney General Irfan Qadir to address the court on article 248 of the constitution as it was his stance that the prime minister couldn’t write letter to Swiss authorities as the president has immunity under the said article.

The AG contended that the prime minister was not answerable to any court for the performance of his functions which were protected by virtue of article 248 (1) of the constitution and also asserted that his authority was above the court.

The AG said: “The court could not issue direction to the PM in matters which fall in the domain of his functions in view of clear cut provisions or clear cut words of article 248 (1). As the PM is not answerable to any court in the exercise of his functions, the court’s issuance of any direction becomes meaningless.”
The bench disagreed with his arguments and remarked that such constitutional provision did not make anyone above the law. Justice Khosa asked him to cite judgments in support of his assertion that PM is not answerable to the court, but he failed to do so. The bench questioned that if the PM makes some illegal orders, like promote undeserving people, in purported exercise of his power then can’t the court strike down his directions? The attorney general maintained that the court can dismiss that order but can’t issue contempt of court notice to the PM.

Justice Sarmad Jalal asked what the functions of the prime minister are and “whether the Rules of Business say that the PM should disobey the court orders as he is not answerable to the courts?” The honourable judge further questioned that if the prime minister commits murder then would he not be answerable to the court? Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked whether disobeying the courts order come into the functions of the Prime Minister?
Justice Khosa questioned who interprets the law under the constitution. The AG reply was under article 248 the president, governor and the prime minister can interpret the constitution. He also said the court can interpret the law in a manner not to change its meaning. “The constitution does not mention that the courts are to interpret the law,” he added.

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