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India protests efforts to bring material change in Pakistan occupied territories and asks Pakistan to vacate them

India demarched senior Pakistan diplomat and lodged a strong protest to Pakistan against Supreme Court of Pakistan order on the so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan”.

It was clearly conveyed that the entire Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India by virtue of its fully legal and irrevocable accession. The Government of Pakistan or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it. India completely rejects such actions and continued attempts to bring material changes in Pakistan occupied areas of the Indian territory of Jammu & Kashmir. Instead, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.

It was further conveyed that such actions can neither hide the illegal occupation of parts of Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to the people residing in Pakistan occupied territories for the past seven decades.

Government of India’s position in the matter is reflected in the resolution passed by the Parliament in 1994 by consensus.

Ministry of External Affairs

[Press Release dt. 04-05-2020]

Case BriefsForeign Courts

Supreme Court of Pakistan: The Bench, comprising of Ejaz Afzal Khan and Qazi Faez Isa, JJ., upheld, with one modification, the decision of the Peshawar High Court regarding the grant of phosphate fertilizer subsidies. The proposed modification is that, all wanting to avail the subsidy must subject their products to the required test by the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority Standards Development Center (Chemical Division), in order to evaluate the desired 18% phosphatic content in an SSP (Single Sugar Phosphate) fertilizer.  Various legal and constitutional questions and the contentions of the parties were outlined by the Court.

Via notifications dated 15th October and 3rd November, the Ministry of Food Security and Research had notified subsidies on Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), Nitrophos, NPK fertilizers and Single Sugar Phosphate, based on P-content. Aggrieved by item 3 of the notification dated 3rd November, which restricted subsidy to be “given to SSP manufactured by using imported rock”, a Writ Petition was preferred under Article 199 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan by the Respondent-Company to the Peshawar High Court. The Company argued that the fertilizer manufactured by using ‘imported rock’ did not constitute intelligible criteria to discriminate between those entitled to receive the subsidy, and that subsidy should also be given to those, whose fertilizer had phosphatic content of not less than18 % . Furthermore the company’s products had been tested and deemed to have more than 18 % phosphatic content as certified by the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority, however, competitor companies either importing fertilizer or creating fertilizer using imported rock, had not been subject to these tests.

The Peshawar High Court in its judgment had stated that the 18 % P-content should be the ‘litmus test’ or the ‘sine qua non’ for qualifying for the subsidy announced by the Federal Government, and accepted the contention that the proposed classification was unreasonable and had no rational nexus with the object of the proposed scheme. Neither could imported rock or fertilizer escape the required test by the Statutory Body; and if a product were to meet the standards, there would be no legal justification to a denial of subsidy. The observations of the High Court were well accepted by the Division Bench adding that, “the criteria that can be quantified should be quantified and it must be objective and reasonable.   [The Federation of Pakistan v. Agritech Limited, Civil Petition No. 1067 of 2016, decided on 06-06-2016]

Case BriefsForeign Courts

Supreme Court of Pakistan: Observing upon the state of affairs in the lower courts, the Supreme Court lamented upon the fact that the practice of writing lengthy bail orders by the judges eat up the precious time of the courts which could have been utilized in deciding the large number of pending cases. The Court sharply criticized the Judge-in-Chamber of Lahore High Court for dispensing the bail plea of the petitioner in a lengthy twelve page order, which in the opinion of the Court could have been easily dispensed in a short order. Terming this practice as archaic, the Court observed that the time has come for breaking away from the attitudes and approaches of the past and start judicial re-positioning with decisions of applications for bail as it is merely an interim order and should not be equated with a judgment.
Therefore, the Court laid down a shorter format for deciding an application for bail
• The order should briefly state the allegations against the accused-petitioner, with no details and particulars of the FIR.
• There is no necessity to state the arguments raised by the counsels for the parties. It shall be presumed that the arguments and submissions have been addressed. In case of necessity for a look, then the attached bail application can be referred to.
• The order should briefly and clearly state the reasons for grant or refusal of bail.
• The order should state the terms of bail, if applicable Muhammad Shakeel v. The State, Criminal Petition No. 203-L of 2014, decided on March 20, 2014
For the text of the judgment, click here