Reko Diq case: Companies not above Constitution, says CJ
ISLAMABAD: During Tuesday’s hearing of the Reko Diq case, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry said it was mandatory to consider Article 5 of the Constitution when entering into an agreement with a foreign company, adding that, no company, whether foreign or local, was above the Constitution, DawnNews reported.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar, was hearing the Reko Diq case.
During the hearing, the chief justice remarked that Article 5 of the Constitution made Pakistani law applicable to everyone inside Pakistani territory and that there was no requirement of citizenship for the law to apply.
Chief Justice Iftikhar further said that the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) contract was cancelled as it was in violation with the law, adding that, the same would apply to the Reko Diq agreement.
The chief justice questioned as to how the government of Balochistan could object to concessions on the issue of Reko Diq which were earlier granted by the provincial government itself.
He added that the Balochistan government should rectify to its own mistakes instead of passing on the onus to the court.
Counsel for the Balochistan government, Ahmer Bilal Soofi, informed the court that the concessions granted were against the law and the issue came into light upon review of the records.
Chief Justice Iftikhar responded saying that concessions aside, a contract had no legal status if it was not in accordance with the law.
The chief justice said any amendment made to the contract would have to be in accordance with the law, adding that, the Contract Act allowed limited amendments to be made in case of a mistake in an agreement.