Justice on Merit
By Waheed Hussain
During the Second World War, when the German Air Force was wreaking havoc over London with its uninterrupted bombing attacks, the British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill took cognizance of the heavy casualties and economic devastation. He asked, “Are the courts functioning?” When told that the judges were dispensing justice as normal, Churchill replied, “Thank God. If the courts are working, nothing can go wrong.” Despite heavy devastation, human and property losses, Churchill was confident if judiciary was performing its duty the English people will not lose war. The allied forces finally remained victors in the Second World War. That is the significance of the independent judicial system.
Justice is a basic right of every individual in any society. Justice is needed in families, in private and public institutions, in short at all levels of human interaction. Injustice in a society creates deprivation leading towards disruption, chaos, and instability. Without discrimination all citizens, rich or poor, powerful, or weak, rulers or the subject must be equal before law.
Is it happening in Pakistan? Are all Pakistanis equally get justice according to the spirit of the law? Unfortunately, Pakistan stands 129 out of 140 countries rule of law index in the world. Hundreds of thousands of cases are pending in higher and lower courts across Pakistan.
There is an impression among the masses that our judiciary seems to be very active in the political cases. The cases of influential people like the President, Prime Minister, leaders of political parties and parliamentarians had been fixed without wasting a minute in comparison to those who did not have access to justice. Birth of the Doctrine of Necessity by the Justice Munir made the institution controversial. Role of judiciary in the political system brought a bad name to the institution. The country has experienced that instead of standing with rule of law, constitution or democracy, the judiciary in the past, always sided with dictators both military and civilians. If we look at the political and judicial history of the country, judges have been influenced by the institutions and individuals getting decisions of their choice under the disguise of ‘doctrine of necessity’.
Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who was removed by the late General Musharraf in 2007, were restored by former President Asif Ali Zardari’s government in 2009 under a deal with the Nawaz League. Before the restoration of Ch. Iftikhar and other judges, a lawyer movement was launched with the help of opposition political parties. After the restoration of the Justice Iftikhar many controversial decisions were made by the Supreme Court of Pakistan under Suo Moto powers of the CJP. Prominent senior lawyer Ahtizaz Ahsen who used to drive the former CJP Iftikhar’s car during the movement later regretted.
Former Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan justice Saqib Nisar and his other colleague judges had been bitterly criticized by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Coordinator of PML (N) Maryum Nawaz and other party leaders for removing an elected popular leader from office in 2017 in a weak case of Aqama (work permit).
PML (N) believes that former CJP Saqib Nisar was influenced by some powerful people in the country to help PTI Chairman Imran Khan to become the Prime Minister in 2018 elections. Nawaz Sharif was disqualified and sent to jail by a well-conceived strategy. Even today the present government accuses the superior judiciary of providing relief to Imran Khan and his party. The clash among Parliament, Executive and Judiciary seems imminent.
Because of the weak judicial system and miscarriage of justice former Senator, senior politician and prominent public figure, Faisal Raza Abadi has serious reservations about his arrest from the Supreme Court of Pakistan premises and lodging a First Information Report by the Supreme Court PRO in Secretariate Police Station, Islamabad, on 19 September 2018.
Recently, he has served a legal notice to the Supreme Court of Pakistan through his lawyer, mentioning that he was arrested from the premises of supreme court without any lawful ground, sent to jail where he developed serious illness, damages to his business, suffered irreversible trauma and repute. The former senator further submitted to the court that he faced incarceration, humiliation, torture, and all fundamental rights given in the constitution were violated. He requested the honorable court to act against all those who have violated the constitution, laws and provide justice to him. Hope that the honorable supreme court will address the serious concern of the former senator.
Faisal Raza Abadi is a vocal politician. During his stay in the senate, the upper house of the Parliament, he had been raising his voice for the rights of poor, needy, victims of terrorism and deprived people. Because of his fair approach to issues, he used to criticize policies and decisions of his own government. At the time of his resignation as member of senate, he made a historic speech, where he called for promoting democratic culture, constitutionalism, and independence of parliament.
We hope along with Faisal Raza Abadi every citizen of this country will get justice not on the basis of choice but on merit.
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