The press statement on the subject “CPP urges Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) to hear its case on the Interpretation of Article 248 against the immunity of President Zardari with the contempt proceedings of the Prime Minister of Pakistan” as issued by the Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) for the information of public, electronic and print media is as under:-
Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) has urged the CJP Mr. Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and seven member bench of the Supreme Court (SC), which would start its contempt proceedings tomorrow on 19th January, 2012 to hear its Constitutional Petition against the immunity of President Zardari, the point which is likely to be focused and discussed by the Counsel of Prime Minister Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan.
CPP filed this petition through its Chairman, Engineer Jameel Ahmad Malik on 13th April, 2010 which challenges and seeks interpretation of Article 248 from the Apex Court but till date this case has not been fixed for hearing.
The questions of Immunity to President Zardari and interpretation of Article 248 is now likely to be focused in the contempt proceedings against the PM Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, as after the judgment of NRO, there is indeed an ambiguity concerning immunity of President Zardari under Article 248 and SC is the right and proper forum for interpretation of Article 248, as to what extend the President enjoyed immunity
Whereas the President, Prime Minister and Law Minister are openly saying that President Zardari under Article 248 has a free license to do any thing he likes and no Court can summon him and opening of Swiss cases as directed by SC in NRO cases is against the spirits and meanings of Article 248.
The troika of President, Prime Minister and Law Minister are assuming Pakistan as a Monarchy State which is not true. Neither President Zardari nor his co-accused has any immunity under Article 248 for corruption cases against him either with Accountability Courts here in Pakistan or in Swiss Court in Switzerland, the CPP Chairman maintained.
Even otherwise, the Article 248 does not give a free license to President to do anything he likes. CPP in its petition cited various SC judgments that how our SC has interpreted the Article 248 which restricts the boundaries and conditions of Article 248 and the whole petition is now available on the website www.cpp.net.pk of the party.
CPP highly criticized all religious and bourgeoisie political parties in its petition and said they have double standards. They amended 102 Articles vide 18th Amendments but all of them compromised on Article 248 with PPPP and President Zardari and so they did not even touched a comma or full stop of Article 248.
CPP Chairman stressed that if President “kill an human being” or “involved in a criminal cases of a heinous crimes” or “involved in a criminal case of moral turpitude” or “involved in massive corruption cases” or “if he openly commit an act of High Treason under Article 6” and “abrogate or subvert the Constitution”, it is totally vague and evasive interpretation that he is protected under Article 248.
If it is accepted that President has a free license to do anything he likes than the whole Constitution of Pakistan becomes nugatory and redundant and this is against the basic spirit of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973.
In the petition moved to SC, the Chairman of CPP disclosed to the Apex Court that in China Communist Republic, which is a secular and non-religious state but neither its President nor Prime Minister has the immunity not to appear in any Court of law.
In China, vide its Article 41, the Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the right to criticize and make complaint to any state organ or functionary and Courts are bound to summon and redress their complaints whereas vide our Article 248 says, “No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or a Governor in any court during his term of office.”
Engineer Jameel stressed that according to Islam, Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, not even Caliphs or any rulers or persons has the immunity and protection as now allowed to certain extents in Article 248 of the Constitution, which, otherwise is a Muslim country known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
He said that the immunity provided in Article 248 cannot extend to illegal or un-Constitutional acts. President is bound to obey the Constitution and law under Article 5(2) of the Constitution which is basic obligation of every citizen.