AGP challenges Sharia court’s jurisdiction over Ribah case

ISLAMABAD:

The Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal Sharia Court (FSC) in abolishing the interest-based financial system case.

The court gave the AGP until November 17 to answer questions from the court and present its arguments on the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case.

A three-member bench, led by FSC Chief Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai, heard the case concerning the abolition of the interest-based financial system.

AGP Khalid Jawed Khan appeared in court, saying he had submitted his written response to which the FSC Chief Justice said: “The judiciary gave you a questionnaire but you did not respond.”

The AGP responded that responses to the tribunal’s questionnaire were being prepared and would be submitted shortly.

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At the start of the hearing, AGP Khalid, reading his written response, took the position that the government and parliament want to implement all laws in accordance with the principles of Islam and that this work will be complemented by legislation.

The Supreme Court in 2002 referred the case to the FSC saying the court should review all aspects, including jurisdiction, he argued.

The AGP said that the FSC is not empowered to hear any issue related to any provision of the Constitution, but a plan of action will be formulated in a legal and constitutional manner to achieve the goal of abolishing the system based on the interests.

The AGP said that before presenting its arguments on the merits of the case, it would present its arguments on the tribunal’s jurisdiction, adding that it was possible that once the tribunal heard the federal position on the jurisdiction, it is no longer necessary to hear the case further.

The AGP has requested that the matter be adjourned until the second week of November so that it can prepare its arguments for the next hearing.

The Chief Justice responded that the tribunal had already received the position from the AGP office, adding that the parties had submitted their responses to that position which would be provided to the AGP.

During the hearing, Jamaat-e-Islami leaders Prof. Ibrahim and Dr Fareed Paracha opposed the AGP’s position.

Professor Ibrahim asked: “Does the Attorney General now mean that this tribunal has no jurisdiction?” This case was referred here by the Supreme Court on June 24, 2002, which corresponds to a period of 19 years.

The AGP office raised these objections even as the case was heard by the Supreme Court, but these objections were also not accepted, he argued.

Professor Ibrahim suggested that the instructions given in the Supreme Court’s remand order be regulated and that a list be completed accordingly to proceed with the case, adding that there was no justification for granting a delay. additional to AGP.

He said no more years should be given, as 19 years have passed since the case was referred to the Supreme Court.

Dr Paracha said eradicating the country’s interest-based financial system is the responsibility of the government. Only one sentence was written in the constitution, he argued, adding that the interest-based system would be abolished in the country as soon as possible.

“Half a century has passed and thousands of laws have been enacted, but no laws have been enacted to abolish the interest-based system,” he said. “The federation’s position on the jurisdiction of this tribunal is already clear. “

The Chief Justice asked the AGP whether the elimination of wear and tear was the responsibility of the government. “What steps has the government taken so far to enact legislation to abolish the interest-based system? “

The court told Jamaat-e-Islami leaders that the court gave the AGP the right to clarify its arguments and that once its response was received, the case would move forward.

The court accepted the AGP’s request for a delay and adjourned the case until November 17.


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