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Thursday, October 15, 2009

A G Noorani, Jinnah's case for a supreme court ,

he 1973 Constitution did not establish a parliamentary system but a prime ministerial government. Bhutto’s tailor-made Constitution divested the President of the very few discretionary powers that properly belong to the head of state in every parliamentary democracy, including India. Repeal of the Eighth Amendment without more qualifications would only revive the predominance of the Prime Minister. The best course is to codify the recognised conventions of the parliamentary system to ensure that neither the Prime Minister nor the President becomes authoritarian. Australia has produced studies on the subject. The codification can resolve the impasse between President Zardari and Sharif. Sartaj Aziz can help a lot in that. A G Noorani

“THEN you find in the Privy Council, for which I have great respect – although I have no hesitation in saying that the Privy Council have on several occasions absolutely murdered Hindu law and slaughtered Muhammedan law – with regard to common law the English law, of which they are the masters, undoubtedly they command the greatest respect of every practitioner and of every judge in this country,” Mohammed Ali Jinnah said in the Central Legislative Assembly on February 17, 1925. He went on to say, “I have great respect for Pandit Motilal Nehru, but I most emphatically differ from him on this subject. He said that as long as we have not got Swaraj, the federal state of government that Sir Hari Singh Gour contemplated, we must wait… We must get power in our hands and then immediately we will consider the question of establishing a Supreme Court.” Jinnah pleaded with Motilal Nehru “to hesitate and think before he goes into the government lobby on this question. Sir, I want the Supreme Court to be established… I ask the Members of this Assembly not to be led away and I also appeal to my Swarajist friends not to go into the government lobby and vote.” As for himself, Jinnah said, “I am always afraid of government when they agree with me.” The resolution was defeated. It had been moved in 1922, as we shall see. Jinnah's case for a supreme court


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