Saturday, August 12, 2017

What Legal Questions Perry Mason would have raised in SC Panama Case Disqualification of PM

Why read literature and history?
It had been a great surprise for me that the lawyers representing the PM have failed to raise forcefully some basic and fundamental questions about due process of law and constitutional rights in the recent  SC disqualification of the PM in the Panama Case Judgement. Interestingly, if they had read Perry Mason and other books of literature they would have  been better able to respond to the literary challenge of Judge Khosa! Their ignorance about history and literature was also telling in their defense. The lawyers failed to raise several objections forcefully during the proceedings as well as during the JIT investigations that a laymen reading of Perry Mason could have provided. Their ignorance about Islamic and Legal injunctions about due process of law was also evident. Even in the review petition, lawyers should note that literature can only be rebutted with literature, Islamic injunctions can only be defended through Islamic Fiqh, poetry can only be rebutted through poetry, accounting issues can only be defended through accounting principles, tax returns can only be defended through tax laws, and history can only be argued with history.  Legal arguments need to be of course rebutted through constitution and law, even in that which they were seriously amiss:


Constitutional and Legal Arguments

Here are some of the major points that I was expecting the lawyers to present more forcefully, but did not. These are the points that must make it to the review petition.  
  1. Guilty unless proven innocent plea: Judge Khosa in his April 20 judgement condemns all rich people, a-priori', quoting Godfather and Balzac "Behind every great fortune, there is a crime". This means all rich people are guilty to start with. 
  2. Right to be charged, before proceeding with the case. The lawyers must have demanded that the court must "charge" the prime minister before proceeding. 
  3. Right to define before proceeding what type of proceeding is this. Is this a criminal case or a constitutional case? If it was a criminal case, they must have asked for the "due process of law".
  4. Right to a lawyer. Right to remain silent and not answer any question unless properly questioned in the court of law. The first advice of Perry Mason to his clients was to invoke the right to remain silent unless represented by a lawyer. A person can not be asked to self incriminate. 
  5. The lawyers must have demanded presence of defense counsel in JIT. No documents should have been provided unless properly subpoenaed and their demand should have been questioned at each time questioning the relevance with the case. The demand should have been questioned on the basis of “leading, incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial.”  See the next point.
  6. The defense did not appreciate the power of the usual objection as raised by Perry Mason. "Objection my honor, the given statement is leading, incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial.” Which means there is no basis to know what he claims to know. Many lawyers in USA simply say “objection: foundation.”. 
  7. Khosa's judgement is rephrasing of Doctrine of Necessity: "To do a great right, do a little wrong". What is great and what is right. Who makes the determination? Our history is replete with disastrous interpretation of doctrine of necessity. 
[Work in Process]

Literary Arguments: 

History Arguments


Islamic Arguments


Accounting and Finance Arguments

SC Judgement as Project Assignment for Finance Accounting Students: SC Disqualifies PM on not Declaring Uncollected Receivables as Income


See other posts on At What Cost: 

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