Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has said that parliament is the proper body to remove improper clauses from the constitution. Reported yesterday by Dawn, the Chief Justice praised parliament for undoing a wrong by the 1985 parliament as it removed the word ‘freely’ from a clause of the Objectives Resolution. Based on the Chief Justices statement and the history of the clause in question, the logical inference can only be that parliament is the proper authority to amend the constitution.
The Chief Justice’s statements effectively undo any arguments that parliament does not have the power to amend the constitution as it is not a constituent assembly. Actually, by praising the parliament, the Chief Justice affirms that indeed parliament does have the power to amend the constitution.
Also, it is important to note that the Chief Justice believed that the action by the 1985 parliament was improper, and yet he took no suo moto notice nor made any attempt to correct this wrong. Because of his inaction and subsequent praise for parliament in taking proper action, it is correct to infer that the Chief Justice believes that parliament – not the court – is the proper body for making amendments to the constitution and removing improper phrases.
I congratulate the Chief Justice for being willing to make this statement, and affirming the foundation of our democratic society that is representation by elected parliament.