Just verdicts or daring verdicts?

CHIEF Justice of Lahore High Court (LHC) Syed Mansoor Ali Shah has advised his fellow judges to pronounce daring decisions, even if someone gets angry. Addressing a ceremony organised in honour of lower courts judges, who got promotion, he said those judges were unfortunate who change their decisions over recommendations, regretting that some verdicts were actually altered.
Justice Mansoor, who himself is a daring personality, has also pointed out apparent flaws in the system of administration of justice when he talked about the tendency of changing verdicts over recommendations and some judges earning money, advising them to start their own business instead as it is not job of the judges to mint money. This is also confirmation of general impression and frequent complaints that judgements are not made on merit and that money often influences the outcome of cases in Pakistan. But being among the top leadership of the judiciary, it is not sufficient on the part of CJ of Lahore High Court to pinpoint shortcomings but also make contribution to overcome them. Judges should not only deliver ‘daring’ verdicts but also deliver judgements purely on merit. We say so because his remarks have political connotations as well and could mean that judges should deliver judgements just to earn credibility. However, if it meant that judges should not care about recommendations and fall out of their decisions but keep only merits of the cases in mind then this is what they are expected to do. The kind of integrity that Justice Mansoor seeks from the judges is possible only if appointments in the judiciary are made solely on merit blocking entry of those with dubious character or intention to use the career to mint money.

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