Pakistan apex court stays probe into ‘corruption’ by chief justice

December 5th, 2008 - 1:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Dec 5 (IANS) The Pakistan Supreme Court has stayed a probe by a parliamentary committee into allegations that the marks obtained by the daughter of Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar in the higher secondary school examination were increased by the federal education board.Dogar’s daughter Farah was allegedly awarded 21 extra marks against the rules by the education board to facilitate her admission to a medical college where candidates are required to have at least 60 percent marks.

Farah was admitted to the medical college but some officials of the federal board leaked the news to the media, creating an uproar in the country.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Education, headed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) parliamentarian Abid Sher Ali, began a probe into the allegations.

On Thursday, the committee chairman said they would summon Dogar to explain his position but soon after the Supreme Court issued orders asking the committee to stop its proceedings.

“No way, this is in interest of people and interest of hundreds of thousands of students… We will continue the proceedings even if we have to sit under trees,” Ali told IANS.

The parliamentarian said that no one is above the law and “we need to know how and why the chief justice used his influence to increase his daughter’s marks”.

“We don’t take dictation from others and nobody can stop us because the matter concerns the supremacy of parliament,” Ali added.

Raja Abdur Rehman, a former attorney of the federal government, said the proceedings of the standing committee had been restrained under Article 68 of the Constitution that barred parliament from discussing the conduct of a judge of the Supreme Court or a high court.

“Our intentions are very clear - we want to find out if the marks were increased by the board and who gave instructions for it,” Ali said.

However, education board secretary Shamshad Ahmed said the marks were given in accordance with the rules but the issue was blown out of proportion by the media as the candidate happens to be the daughter of the chief justice.

According to board officials, more than 10,000 candidate applied for re-checking of their papers this year but the marks of only 207 candidates were increased.

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