No one can dare dictate judiciary | By Adv Tariq Majeed 

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No one can dare dictate judiciary

THIS apropos the news published in your newspaper dated 21.11.21 quoting the CJP Gulzar Ahmed who denied having made any judicial decision under the pressure of any institution.

Responding to the fiery speech of Ali Ahmed Kurd advocate on the inaugural session of Asma Jahangir conference hosted by SCBA, who regretted that the judiciary of Pakistan was on the lowest in the world ranking due to its functioning and transparent justice was not being dispensed under duress .

The honourable CJP disagreed with him and asked Kurd to come and see with what our courts are working and on a daily basis cases are being decided. He lamented and asked to just disclose if there is any decision passed on the dictation of any one.

He further stressed that confusion and misunderstanding should not be created among the people that will only shake their confidence in the judiciary.

Being a student of the political and constitutional history of Pakistan, I with due respect intend to put on record my assertion about the role of our judiciary which has been under severe criticism by the legal fraternity, human rights activists, political and public circles and in certain cases their anger and contention seem to be justified and with plausible reasoning.

When we see judgements of our apex court in important constitutional cases which, in fact changed our destiny and appears to be questionable and controversial.

When we look at the decision of federal court in Maulvi Tamizuddin khan’s case, Dosso case, Mehdi Ali Khan’s case, Nusrat Bhutto case, validation to the dictitorial rules of Ayub, Yahya, Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf, doctrine of law of necessity, promulgations of PCO’s, allowing setting up military courts under constitution, unfair trial of ZA Bhutto case, dismissal of political governments of Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto, Muhammad Khan Junejo, disgracing elected prime ministers, fragile system of accountability of the judges, and even recent disclosures and allegations by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui about composition of benches on the directions of sacred people has certainly created chaos, doubts, rumpus and pandemonium.

Having taken stock of this sorry state of affairs, where our superior judiciary sided with usurpers and apparently did not come forward with to stop the aggression of dictators in support of the legal and political forces who raised their voice against illegal actions of the oppressors and fought the battle of people of Pakistan and for the supremacy of the constitution, I firmly believe that if Federal Court didn’t rescind the decision of Sindh High Court in Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan case, East Pakistan would have not become Bangladesh and political institutions would not have been undermined and weakened rather they become more stronger.

Subsequently, the silence of judiciary on all important occasions when constitution was being abrogated and trampled upon by the dictators also defamed our judiciary.

Time has come when our judiciary has to realize and accept its mistakes committed in the past to restore the confidence of people and to appease dissenting voices.

Nevertheless, there are so many other factors which can be looked into and adopted to enhance the image, reputation and functioning of our judicial system as per need of the hour.

Ensuring free, fair, transparent and merit base induction of the judges in superior judiciary through competitive process, formation of Judicial Service of Pakistan on the pattern of CSS examination, overhauling of redundant and vulnerable justice system to provide speedy, cheap and fair justice to downtrodden people, switching over to digitalization and information technology, on line submission of cases and receiving of all case documents, orders, judgements, information, facilitation of case hearing through video link for out-of-station litigants, and to appoint judges in all tribunals, special courts and commissions on merit through competitive process.

Appointment of prosecutors, attorneys and government pleaders in superior judiciary through open competition.

It is worth mentioning that at t present appointments of judges and attorneys in above referred courts are made at the sweet will of the competent authority without providing equal opportunity to all aspirants to prove their worth for these offices.

These steps will certainly consolidate, strengthen and empower our justice system and meritorious judges and law officers will be inducted on merit considering the eligibility, suitability and professional competence of the candidates whose contribution will make sure of non-repetition of same mistakes committed in the past.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Hyderabad, Sindh.

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