Justice is the jugular vein of a society. It must exist with
all its sinews and made visible with all its transparency. If justice delayed is
justice denied, justice invisible is justice wasted, faded away into oblivion.
Nebulous concepts like ‘justice at your doorsteps’, clutter the rhetoric.Across-the-board
justice remains a dream unfulfilled.
Unfortunately, the present system of justice in Pakistan has largely failed to
The Caliph enters the supreme court along with the petitioner. The Chief Justice
rises from his seat to pay respect to the most powerful ruler of his time. Th
Caliph sacks the judge. A judge who makes distinction between a caliph and an
ordinary citizen is incapable of delivering justice.The same Caliph when
challenged by an old woman in the famous ‘Chadder and shirt episode’, he on the
spot provided evidence to clarify his position. The history proudly recorded the
message for the posterity. The Caliph is as accountable as his subjects. Another
true Caliph loses his case against a Jew citizen because his son’s evidence is
not admissible in the law. He does not employ his goons to attack the supreme
court to prove that the chief executive was always right. That was the State of
Madina we aspire for.
An official servant is required to declare his property along with that of his
wife and children. This is repeated time and again during his service. It is to
ensure that all changes in the family’s wealth status are regularly accounted
for. As the head of the family, he is answerable for the riches accumulated by
him or any other member of his family. It appears that the rule does not apply
to the honourable judiciary. If so, the anomaly needs to be removed immediately
like the irksome extension of the military chiefs.
In the past the rulers applied a simple yardstick to judge the conduct of the
government servants. If over a period of time an official had accumulated more
wealth than his means justified, he was punished for corruption. In Pakistan,
this criterion, though often talked about, seems to have little value. Here the
children of a three-time prime minister become billionaires without having
earned a penny of their own. The father instead of being grilled to furnish the
money-trailis facilitated by lawto abscond abroad.
In the promotion board when a member’s relative comes up for consideration, he
leaves the room. It is not just a matter of protocol.It is intended to establish
the credibility and transparency of the board. When the going gets tough, merit
becomes a sine qua non. Injustice does not hurt an individual. God compensates
him. But every act of injustice, small or big creates a corresponding hole in
the ship of the nation. The Prophet (PBUH) had warned that nations stronger and
richer than us were destroyed because they were not just.
In Pakistan the son of a serving chief justice is repeatedly accused of a number
of irregularities from out of turn promotions to outright corruption until the
case becomes too obvious to ignore. The chief justice, who ‘portrayed himself as
an honest broker’ in a corruption ridden Pakistan, despite being cautioned to
the contrary choses to chair the bench appointed to decide his son’s case. The
son is proved innocent. The conscience of the father also remains clear.Happy
A provincial high court assembles on the weekend to grant bail to Shahbaz Sharif.
It was not the first time that a court was held on a holiday, the court
contended. It must be normal for the courts to work on the weekends to attend to
similar compelling urgencies. His elder brother was allowed by the court to
instantly proceed abroad for treatment that has yet to commence. Who will get
him back? The court had done its part of the job. The ball is now in the
On social media a picture gone recently viral shows the images of those
fortunate Pakistanis who had justice delivered practicallyon their doorstep.
This includes the royals of Sharif dynasty, PML-N stalwarts like Rana Sanaullah
and many holy figures from Sindh. Good luck to them. The barbaric drama staged
in Model Town Lahore can wait. No Chief Justice has ever taken a suomoto notice
of this brutality. It has been perhaps left for God to punish the culprits.
The handling of the latest case of Justice Isa by the Supreme Court did not do
much to boast public confidence in the judicial system they have known to be
full of faults. The presidential reference was quashed which according to the
defender was based on melafide intentions. This contention of the defender was
never discussed, proved or rejected.However, the refence was set aside as the
defender had wished. At the same time the showcausenotice issued by the Supreme
Judicial Council (SJC) to Justice Faiz Isa was also quashed. According to senior
legal analysts, the court exceeded its limit by interfering in the functioning
of SJC. It was a prerogative of the SJC to admit or dismiss the reference. A
justice was as much accountable as an ordinary citizen, we were told but not
exactly. He was not responsible for the wealth accumulated by his family. He had
the right to make a thrilling entry into the courtroom and seek to defend his
family. The Court had the patience to stop the government lawyer in his tracks
to accommodate the intruding justice. The poor mortals can hardly hide their
The courts should be and are completely free. The Constitution must,however,
clearly define inter-institutional functional boundaries. Without this balance
we will live in perpetual confusion.
The Supreme Court, in keeping with its best traditions, must have also done
justice in all the episodes alluded to above.Unfortunately, the justice has