No serious meddling complaint: SHC CJ

Our Correspondent June 16, 2024
The Sindh High Court building. PHOTO: FILE


The chief justices of the Lahore High Court (LHC) and the Peshawar High Court (PHC) might concur with the claim of the six Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges that spy agencies are meddling in judicial matters. However, the chief justice of the Sindh High Court (SCH), Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, has not faced any such interference.

Speaking to a ceremony attended by high court judges, lawyers, litigants and media after inaugurating the SHC’s new land registration system in collaboration with the Revenue Department, Justice Abbasi said there were no complaints in the provincial judiciary about interference by the executive apart from minor incidents.

“Some attempts were certainly made, but by the grace of God, no one put pressure on me,” he said. “Independence of the judiciary is evident from its decisions. Apparently, no such issue was observed. On one or two occasions, some attempts were made, which were immediately addressed and later proved to be misunderstandings,” he added.

A day earlier, LHC Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan had said the establishment’s meddling in the affairs of the judiciary was coming to an end as the judiciary was delivering 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 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 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.

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.”


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