LHC CJ foresees end to executive’s meddling

Justice Khan says martial law permanently blocked due to lawyers movement

Qaiser Sherazi June 15, 2024


Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan has said the establishment’s meddling in the affairs of the judiciary is coming to an end as the judiciary delivers justice without fear or greed.

“The path of martial law has been permanently blocked, martial law has been buried, and martial law’s curse has been lifted forever,” Justice Khan said on Friday.

The judge, who is soon to be elevated to the Supreme Court, was addressing judges, lawyers, government prosecutors, and litigants after the inaugural ceremony of the e-court in the Judicial Complex Rawalpindi.

In March this year, six of the eight Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges accused the country’s spy agencies of using coercive measures to pressure the lower and high courts of the federal capital.

Later, different other high courts—especially the LHC and the Peshawar High Court (PHC)—admitted that interference of the executive in judicial functions was an “open secret.”

Justice Khan said the entire judiciary will have to work in unison to counter the influence of the establishment. He also urged parliamentarians and politicians to cooperate with the court so that it may make independent decisions.

The LHC chief justice said the executive’s interference in judiciary started with the Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan case.

He said state institutions are involved in meddling in court matters but urged all judges not to accept pressure or get blackmailed, adding that if they stayed upright, God would also help them.

Justice Khan, who recently issued a contempt notice to a sector commander of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for allegedly harassing a judge of an

anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Sargodha, referred to the letter of the ATC judge, Muhammad Abbas.

He said the ATC judge stated in his letter that he was under extreme pressure but would not accept that pressure and would deliver verdicts based on justice.

The judge told me that he was writing to me not out of fear but only for information. “I am ready for every sacrifice. I will decide on merit without injustice; without any doubt, justice will be done,” he told me, to my great satisfaction.

Justice Khan noted that this was not the only complaint received by him about alleged interference of the executive in judicial matters. “A number of judges have made similar complaints verbally,” he said.

The LHC chief justice said he was happy that the courts are now performing their duties fearlessly. Addressing the judges and lawyers, he said: “Allah has chosen you for this task. You have to look these people in the eye and do your work without any fear.”

He said former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry faced a dictator—General Pervez Musharraf—alone. “People used to say that once a judge goes home, he never returns, but the whole world saw that not only was Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry reinstated, but all the other judges who were ousted by Musharraf were also reinstated.”

He said because of the lawyers’ movement, the path of martial law has been permanently blocked. “Today, we are experiencing the longest period of civilian government,” he said.






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