Judicial responsibility and organs of state

By Markandey Katju

After my article about the constitutional misbehaviour of the Pakistan Supreme Court was published in The Hindu (June 21), I received several queries and objections regarding it. Hence an explanation is called for, which I am giving below:

The first objection is that the British Constitutional principle, “The King can do no wrong” applies to a monarchy, not a republic. My answer is that I am well aware that Pakistan, like India is a republic. However, in both these countries, total immunity from criminal prosecution is granted to the President. Thus, Section 248(2) of the Pakistan Constitution states: “No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or Governor in any Court during his term of office.” Article 361(2) of the Indian Constitution is identically worded.

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President Obama fears Pakistan’s disintegration: book

By: Anwar Iqbal

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama told his staff in late 2011 that Pakistan could ‘disintegrate’ and set off a scramble for its weapons, claims a new book by David E. Sanger, chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times.

Excerpts from the book, published earlier this month, were highlighted by the US media but it assumed an added importance when US officials started asking Pakistani diplomats, visiting officials, lawmakers and even journalists to read the book.

This forced senior Pakistani diplomats to have a second look at the book and some of them also asked Washington-based Pakistani journalists to read the book and share their views with them.

The book identifies Pakistan as President Obama’s “biggest single national security concern” and it quotes Mr Obama telling his senior aides that he had “the least power to prevent” a possible disintegration of this nuclear-armed country. And he also could not control the scramble for Pakistani nukes that this disintegration would cause.

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President Zardari has pardoned Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh

Pak commutes death sentence of Sarabjit

Islamabad: In a major breakthrough in the Indo-Pakistan relations, President Asif Ali Zardari has pardoned Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, converting his death sentence to life imprisonment.

According to news reports Tuesday, the alleged Indian spy will be released from the jail in the country following the orders.

Reports further said that the Law Ministry of Pakistan had sent proposal for the release of Sarabjit to the Interior Ministry.

Sarabjit, an Indian national, was jailed in Pakistan for as long as 22 years after he was convicted of being a spy. The decision by the Pakistani President came after the prisoner sent his fifth mercy plea seeking clemency.

Reacting to the move by the neighbouring country, Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna thanked the Pakistan President for the gesture. …..

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Surjit not Sarabjit Singh, clarifies president’s spokesman

ISLAMABAD: The government in an unusual way late on Tuesday took a u-turn on release of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, convicted of spying charges, said release orders were signed for “Surjit Singh” and not for “Sarabjit Sigh”, DawnNews reported.

Presidential Spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar, in a statement given to an Indian media outlet, has clarified that the prisoner, whose death sentence was converted to life imprisonment, was actually “Surjit Singh” and not “Sarabjit Singh.”

“I think there is some confusion ….

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