Wednesday, September 29, 2010

President’s Immunity!!

THE endless discussion about the Supreme Court’s authority to interpret the constitutional clauses pertaining to presidential immunity is mind-boggling. Interpretation is required where ambiguity exists.

However, the concept of presidential immunity which we have adopted from English law by virtue of article 248 of the Constitution of 1973 is unambiguous and clear.

Attempts by certain analysts and experts to limit its application to acts done in capacity of the president are also shocking.

The presidential immunity, which is the reflection of sovereign immunity granted to heads of state has always extended to all acts as long as the person remains in office.

The French courts do not take action against Sarkozy for acts like his alleged involvement in the submarine scandal, allegedly done while he was not the president and the Sudanese president is not arrested anywhere around the world despite an International Criminal Court warrant due to his sovereign immunity, for violations he did while in office, as long as he is the president.

President Zardari is the lawfully elected president and is as such immune from any legal action.

While the general public would love the dramatics of conviction of a sitting president, such pleasure at the cost of virtual suspension of an article in the Constitution is a heavy price.

The repeated swearing of allegiances by various socio-political figures to the government or the Supreme Court is self evident of the travesty of the situation since there is only one side in this supposed battle, the Constitution.

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