Commission or no Commission

THE Supreme Court, on Friday, adjourned hearing of the Panama Papers case till first week of January and Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali remarked that the case would be heard afresh by a reconstituted Bench. This is understandable as the CJP, who is heading the Larger Bench, is retiring and Justice Saqib Nisar would be don the robe of the chief judge and the new CJP will have to reconstitute the bench and if there is even one new judge on the bench, the case will have to be re-heard as per legal and procedural requirements. Regrettably, there was still confusion whether or not a judicial commission would be formed to probe the allegations of corruption.
But two most important developments of the day were threats hurled by PTI that it would boycott the case if the apex court decided to form a judicial commission and that the party would revert back to roads if it did not get justice from the judiciary. Both the statements amounted to pressurizing the court, which is surely a deplorable tendency. For months PTI had been demanding formation of a judicial commission and it even went to the extent of proceeding to storm the Federal Capital on this account. When the SC sought options from all stakeholders about the Commission, the PTI had backtracked, Sheikh Rashid vehemently opposes, Jamat-e-Islami wants the Commission to be in place and PML-N says it would accept the decision of the court whether or not it goes for the Commission. The court seems to be helpless in this scenario despite remarks by a judge that it is for the court to decide about the need or otherwise of the Commission. The court is obviously in a fix as rendering a decision without proper and detailed investigations could lead to a flawed verdict while formation of the commission would attract boycott from PTI. Similarly, the warning of going back to roads is aimed at securing a favourable verdict. PTI itself went to the Supreme Court which meant trust on the apex court and therefore, it is against norms of justice to indulge in pressure tactics. ‘Justice’ should not mean a verdict as per desire of PTI as justice should also be meted out to the other party. We are sure the court would not allow itself to be influenced by such tactics and take all decisions on merit.

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