SC reserves verdict in case concerning constitutional status of GB

07 Jan, 2019 5:13 pm

ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its verdict in a case regarding the constitutional status of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and the grant of fundamental rights to its citizens.

A seven member larger bench of the top court, headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar took-up the case related to provision of the fundamental rights to the people of GB.

During the hearing, Attorney General (AG) Anwar Mansoor presented before the court a draft of the Gilgit-Baltistan Governance Reforms, 2018, which has been prepared by the federal government for political empowerment and good governance in GB.

The AG informed the bench that objections have been raised on the proposed draft in the cabinet and therefore as of now, it remains only a draft.

The AG informed the SC bench that the funds allocated for higher courts in GB have been transferred from the territory’s government to the GB Council. The Government of Pakistan can also increase the number of judges in GB, he added.

“The federal cabinet has raised objections over the GB’s draft by underlining the need of the constitutional amendment into the matter,” the AG informed the court.

In this regard, senior lawmaker, Aitzaz Ahsan said constitution can be amended on a private bill by the member, but it would be better that the government move the bill, he continued.

The federal government wanted an interim order to safeguard the fundamental rights of the GB people, the attorney general said. Number of judges in Gilgit Baltistan can be increased by the Pakistani government, he continued.

To this, the CJP asked about the procedure of the appointment of the judges from the AG. “The appointment should be ensured through the judicial commission,” the top judge remarked.

After hearing all sides, the bench while reserving its judgement in the case ordered the reforms committee to submit additional details after holding consultations regarding fundamental rights, legislation and judicial autonomy in GB.

Earlier in December hearing, the apex court had hinted at announcing a meaningful judgement to grant fundamental rights to the citizens of GB.

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