Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Original Text of Affidavit of Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry

( Original Jurisdiction )

Chief Justice of Pakistan,
Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry,
Chief Justice House,



The President of Pakistan,
The Referring Authority,
Islamabad .

MR. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry,
Chief Justice of Pakistan,

I, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, The Chief Justice of Pakistan (hereinafter referred to as the "deponent" ) do hereby solemnly affirm and state on oath as follows:

1. That the deponent has filed the titled petition in this Hon'ble Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973, inter alia , assailing the Reference No.43/2007 dated March 09, 2007; Notification No. F.1 (2)/2005.A.II dated 09-03-2007, whereby the deponent was illegally and unlawfully restrained to perform his constitutional functions as a judge of this Hon'ble Court and as Chief Justice of Pakistan; Order dated March 09, 2007 passed by the Supreme Judicial Council; Notification No.F.1(2)2005.A.II dated 15-03-2007 whereby the deponent was sent on compulsory leave with retrospective effect and the constitution and competence of the Supreme Judicial Council as well as the mode and manner of the proceedings before the Council.

2. This affidavit is being filed in support of the contentions, assertions and pleas raised in the above titled petition. The deponent verifies that the contents of the titled affidavit are true and correct to the best of his knowledge, information and belief and nothing has been concealed. In addition to the facts narrated in the titled petition; the deponent states that:

A. On March 09, 2007, the deponent headed Bench No.1 of this Hon'ble Court as Chief Justice of Pakistan and heard several cases till about 10.30am. The Bench rose briefly and had to reassemble for the day except the deponent who left for the Army House, Rawalpindi to meet the President of Pakistan (hereinafter referred to as "Respondent" )

B. The deponent arrived at Army House, Rawalpindi at about 11-30am along with his staff/protocol staff. The deponent was shown to a waiting room/visitors room. After five minutes of his arrival, the Respondent, wearing his Military Uniform came into the room along with his MS and ADC. As soon as the Respondent took his seat, a number of TV cameramen and photographers were also ushered into the room. They took several pictures and made movie footage.

C. While discussing the SAARC Law Conference, SAARC Chief Justices Conference and the concluding session of the Golden Jubilee ceremony of the Supreme Court, the Respondent said that a compliant against the deponent had been received by him (Respondent) from a Judge of the Peshawar High Court. The deponent replied that it was not based on true facts as his case had been decided by a two member bench and that attempts were being made to maliciously involve the other member of the Bench as well. On this the Respondent said that there are a few more complaints against the deponent as well. After saying so, he directed his staff to call the other persons.

D. On the direction of the Respondent, the 'other persons' entered the room. They included the Prime Minster, DG MI, DG ISI, DG IB, COS and another official. All officials (except DG, IB and COS) were in uniform.

E. The Respondent started reading from small pieces of paper with notes on them which he had in his hand. There was no single consolidated document. The allegations which were being put to the deponent had been taken from the contents of a notorious letter written by Mr. Naeem Bukhari with absolutely no substance in them. The deponent strongly refuted these allegations as being baseless and engineered to defame him personally and the judiciary as a whole. The deponent promptly denied the veracity and credibility of these allegations as well.

F. On this the Respondent said that the deponent had obtained cars from the Supreme Court for his family. The allegation was vehemently denied by the deponent. The Respondent went on to say that the deponent was being driven in a Mercedes, to which the deponent promptly replied 'here is the Prime Minister, ask him, he has sent the Car himself'. The PM did not reply to this answer even by gesture. Surprisingly the Respondent went on to say that the deponent had interfered in the affairs of Lahore High Court and had not accepted and taken heed of most of the recommendations of the Chief Justice of Lahore High Court.

G. The Respondent insisted that the deponent should resign. The Respondent also said that in case of deponent's resignation, he (the Respondent) would 'accommodate' him (the deponent). He also said in case of refusal to resign, the deponent will have to face the reference which could be a bigger embarrassment for the deponent. The deponent finally and more resolutely said 'I wouldn't resign and would face any reference since I am innocent; I have not violated any code of conduct or any law, rule or regulation; I believe that I am myself the guardian of law. I strongly believe in God who will help me'. This ignited the fury of the Respondent; he stood up angrily and left the room along with his MS, COS and the Prime Minister of Pakistan, saying that others would show evidence to the deponent. (This has now been admitted by the Respondent in his interview given to AAJ TV). The meeting continued for not more than 30 minutes.

H. The DG MI, DG ISI and DG IB remained behind and continued to sit with the deponent. They did not show the deponent a single piece of evidence. In fact, no official except DG ISI had some documents with him but he also did not show any thing to the deponent. They, however, said that the deponent had secured a seat for his son in Bolan Medical College when the deponent was serving as a Judge of Balochistan High Court. They (except DG, IB) insisted that deponent resign while the deponent continued to assert strongly that the allegations were baseless and for a collateral purpose.

I. During the subsequent hours, the deponent was forced to stay in that room. Sometimes, all the persons would leave the deponent alone in that room but would not allow the deponent to leave it. It was obvious that the deponent was being watched by a close circuit camera because whenever he tried to open the door to go out, he was confronted by an officer who prevented the exit of the deponent; several times the deponent expressed the desire to leave but was told by military officials to stay/wait. Once the deponent was even told that respondent would be seeing him again. At one point, the deponent requested that at least his staff/protocol officer be called inside the room as the deponent wanted to talk to him but was told that he could not come inside. The deponent then requested that his staff/protocol officer be told to pass on the message to the deponent's family that he was at Army House, Rawalpindi and that his programme to go to Lahore had been cancelled.

J. Despite several attempts to leave the room and the Army House, the deponent was made to stay there on one pretext or the other. His request to bring his car to the porch for departure was also denied. After the first meeting with the Respondent which lasted for not more than 30 minutes, the deponent was kept there 'absolutely against his will' till past 5pm.

K. After 5pm, DG MI came in again and told the deponent that his car was outside to drive him 'home'. DG, MI came out of the room and once outside told the deponent, 'this is a bad day, now you are taking a separate way and you are informed that you have been "restrained to work as a judge of the Supreme Court or Chief Justice of Pakistan''.

L. When the deponent saw the car of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, he discovered that his car had been stripped of both the flag of Pakistan and the emblem flag. The staff officer of the deponent informed him that Mr. Justice Javed Iqbal had taken oath as Acting Chief Justice and it had been shown on TV. The driver also informed the deponent that he had been instructed not to take the deponent to the Supreme Court while on way to the residence of the deponent.

M. While on the way, the deponent directed the driver to go to Supreme Court but an Army official prevented the deponent's car near the Sports Complex from proceeding further. In the meanwhile, Mr. Tariq Masood Yasin, SP, also appeared; He ordered the driver to come out of car so that he could drive the deponent and also asked the deponent's gunman to come out of the car as well. The deponent said 'okay, I will not go to the Supreme Court but my driver will drive my car and my gunman will escort me home'. Only then, did Mr. Tariq Masood Yasin, SP agree to let the car be driven by deponent's driver.

N. The deponent got home at about 5.45pm and was shocked to see police officials and agencies personnel without uniform all over his residence. The deponent also discovered that landline phones had already been disconnected; Cell Phones, TV, Cables and DSL had been jammed or disconnected. The deponent and his family were completely cut off for several days from the outside world.

O. By 9pm, March 09, 2007, the vehicles which were in official use of the deponent including a Mercedes had been taken away by means of a lifter. Latter on, the same night, one vehicle was brought back but the key was not handed over to the deponent or someone on his behalf.

P. On March 10, 2007, the deponent received a 'Notice' from Supreme Judicial Council ( "Council" ) whereby the deponent came to know that a Reference (No.43/2007) had been filed by the Respondent before the Council. There was also a copy of the Order passed by the Council whereby deponent had been restrained to function as a Judge of the Supreme Court and or Chief Justice of Pakistan. The copy of the aforesaid Reference had also been appended with the Notice with without any annexure or supporting documents for perusal of the deponent.

Q. It was also surprising for the deponent to note that the aforesaid reference came up for hearing on March 9, 2007 after 6pm in indecent haste. Two members of the Council as was evident from news published in daily Nawa-i-Waqt dated March 10, 2007, had been flown to Islamabad in special flights, from Lahore and Karachi simply to participate in a meeting of the Council. In fact, no meeting had been called by the Secretary of the Council namely Mr. Faqir Hussain. No one had issued either agenda for the meeting or notice thereof.

R. The Council, rather than merely scrutinizing the material, if at all and serving notice on the deponent (without prejudice to the rights and interest of the deponent as averred in the titled petition), went ahead and passed an order very detrimental to the interests of the deponent as well as the interests of the institution. The deponent was restrained to perform his functions as a Judge of the Supreme Court Judge and or Chief Justice of Pakistan.

S. The deponent further states that he had been detained along with his family members including his infant child of seven years from the evening of March 9, 2007 till March 13, 2007. The personal and private life of the deponent and his family suffered a great shock and the concept of privacy appeared as if it was an impotent word. The deponent could not use any vehicle since there was none. The deponent had to walk till the other end of the road when the police officer confronted him and manhandled him as has now been established by a judicial enquiry.

T. The Supreme Court staff attached to the deponent was reportedly missing and had been kept at an unknown place. An attempt was being made to fabricate the evidence through them by coercive means against the deponent. Even other employees working at the residence of the Deponent were taken and made to appear before some agency officials. They were released after 2/3 days. The grocery man was not allowed to go to collect grocery; he was made to wait till an agency official accompanied him to the market and back.

U. The chamber of the deponent was sealed and certain files laying therein were removed and some of them had been handed over to the ISI under the supervision of the newly appointed Registrar. Such an act was contrary to all norms and practices of judiciary. The deponent being the CJP was entitled to occupy his chamber along with his staff.

V. On account of deployment of heavy contingents, no one was allowed to meet the deponent freely, in as much as his colleagues were not allowed access to meet him. Even a retired judge of this Hon'ble Court Mr Justice (R) Munir A Sheikh was not allowed to meet the deponent.

W. The deponent was not all alone to suffer this agony. Even his children were not allowed to go to school, college and university. The deponent and his family members were deprived of basic amenities of life, i.e. medicines and Doctors, etc.

X. Even when ordered by the Council, the deponent was deprived of the assistance of his counsels to seek legal assistance regarding legal and factual issues involved in the reference. The deponent and his family have been made to go through a lot of mental, physical and emotional agony, torture and embarrassment and words could never be enough to properly and adequately express that.

Y. All these tactics were used to put pressure on the deponent so that he may tender his resignation from the office of the Chief Justice of Pakistan. But after March 13, 2007 when the deponent succeeded in establishing at least some contact with his lawyers team during a brief appearance before the Council and after March 16, 2007, the on going pressure to 'resign the office' was released to some extent.

Z. The deponent now believes that his entire house has been bugged and at the Sindh House which is located right opposite the residence of the deponent, the officials of the agencies other than police have established a place therein to keep an eye on those who come and visit me, etc.

AA. On account of the facts stated hereinabove, the children of the deponents are so scared that they could not go to school or university. As a result thereof, one of my daughters failed to appear in her exams (1 st year, Federal Board) whereas my other daughter who is a student of Bahria university is not being allowed to take her examination (1st semester) due to lack of attendance in internal studies. My younger son is also not in a position to attend his school because of circumstances through which I am passing.

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