Nothing seems to be more essential to the stability and growth of a country than a strong judicial system. A robust judiciary, impartial and independent of all external influences, is a cornerstone for stability and growth. A strong judicial system is one that inspires confidence in ordinary individuals and provides them with an innate satisfaction that they can turn to judicial forums for speedy justice; that their cases will be heard and adjudged impartially, fairly and in the most reasonable manner. To reach a judgment solely on the basis of evidence and facts is the only way for our courts to discharge their constitutional obligations, and our judiciary is persistently trying to achieve the same with utmost respect while upholding the Constitution and rights of individuals.
Despite of Pakistan’s checkered history, its judiciary has persevered in the face all political crises and has emerged as a beacon of hope for its people. The judiciary’s role in the evolution of Pakistan’s democracy has been invaluable. Although many attempts have been made to undermine its mandate, the judiciary has grown stronger and more independent with every obstacle it has encountered.
In a democratic state, the role of the judiciary is essential in maintaining the balance of power and upholding a system of checks and balances. All members of the judicial system, at every level, have been tirelessly making efforts to uphold the law, set better precedents, and provide justice to the ordinary citizens of the country. Numerous developments have been made to organise the system in a way that allows for swift provision of justice. The National Judicial Policy, 2009 has played a major role in assisting the disposal of cases despite human resource and infrastructure deficiencies. In tandem with the resilience of the Pakistani people, its judiciary is also equally resilient. One of the greatest signs of improvements in the judiciary is the increasing number of cases registered in courts, exhibiting that people are trusting the system to uphold justice. This is hope for a more just and stable future.
The institution has remained independent and focused. The Chief Justice of the apex court, as the driving force of the judiciary, has always stood like an iron wall protecting the institution from any external threat and has never allowed any unwarranted action to demoralise public confidence. The commands of the judiciary have always been held by the best in the benches. Refined judges continue to emerge and take control of the institution, proving that it belongs to the most honest and most gifted individuals that have incredible grasp over legal, moral and ethical matters. The current Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial, is one the finest and most well-spoken judges our country has ever produced. In recent times, various attempts have been made to shake the public’s confidence in the judiciary. However, the manner in which His Lordship tackled the adversities with sheer intelligence merits applause. It will not be incorrect to suggest that by collective wisdom of the judiciary, Pakistan as a state was safely anchored ashore from the whirlpool of political uncertainty.
The power of a strong judiciary was recently witnessed when Justice Qazi Faez Esa was subjected to false and fabricated reference, which was collectively dismissed by the judiciary later on. The entire episode till it reached its climax showed that even a judge is accountable. As of today, Justice Qazi Faez Esa continues to administer justice fairly and impartiality, whereas the fingers that were wrongfully pointed at him have twisted. As the recent events in the country unfold, it is a bitter truth that only the judiciary remains an institution that has gained maximum support from the public due to its integrity, honesty and independence.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2022.
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