ISLAMABAD: While bidding adieu to the Upper House of parliament on Tuesday, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani expressed his desire to meet with Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar over the issue of infringement of courts into parliamentary matters. “I want to relinquish my charge as Senate chairman without causing any further ranker between institutions and departments working through or under the constitution in the spirit of my visit to the Supreme Court (SC) and coming of the chief of army staff (COAS) to the Senate’s committee of the whole,” he said.“Events of the last few days have compelled my conscience to draw the attention of the chief justice of Pakistan in a spirit of understanding that while the Supreme Court in the detailed judgment in the matter of Zulfikar Ahmed Bhutta vs Federation of Pakistan has shown constraint in going beyond the veil of ‘internal proceedings’ of the parliament in terms of Article 69 of the constitution. The relevant portion of the judgment is reproduced as: “It appears that the bill was voted in the Senate of Pakistan on September 22, 2017. We have been informed that various amendments in the said bill were proposed by some political parties, including the retention of the aforenoted proviso to Section 5 of the Order, 2002. It may also be noted that except for the proviso, Section 5 of the Order 2002 was retained in its original form in the proposed bill. However, it appears that most of the amendments suggested by various parties were not incorporated. The petitioners have vehemently argued that proceedings before the Senate of Pakistan were fundamentally questionable and flawed. However, we do not wish to enter into this controversy in due deference to the provisions of Article 69 of the constitution especially so where no specific grounds have been urged that may justify probe and scrutiny of the process by which the bill was passed in the Senate of Pakistan. We have gone through the record of debates on the bill and find that no purposeful debates on the bill took place in the Senate of Pakistan. Nevertheless, we would not like to delve deeper in the said aspect of the issue.” The judgment being authored by the chief justice himself, such restrain needs to be exhibited by the other high courts, courts, judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals functioning under the constitution or any other law for the time being in force as the judiciary and parliament are not at the cross purpose, the aim of both is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution, Rabbani added.“It is unfortunate that a contempt notice should be issued to a speaker of an assembly. Similarly, information sought by the Islamabad High Court also infringes upon the well-established concept of ‘internal proceedings’ of the parliament,” he said. “I would have met the chief justice of Pakistan to iron out these intra-institutional and intra-jurisdictional issues but unfortunately the constraint of time does not permit me,” he concluded.Published in Daily Times, March 7th 2018.