Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has said that that a person’s designation has no bearing on the amount of justice he receives. This was the law of the land as well as a guiding principle in Islam, he said.
The chief justice said this during an oath-taking ceremony of the Multan Bar Association. Justice Chaudhry offered insight into the reasons for the recent overturning of the contempt of court bill, while also highlighting what conduct was expected of the lawyers’ community.
“Lawyers need to be consistent as well as patient, despite all the problems and opposition they (lawyers) have been facing over the last four years. Supremacy of law needs to be independent and unbiased.”
Justice Chaudhry went on to say that there was not a moment of respite for the lawyers as the constitution has to be upheld. The general public looked to the judiciary and lawyers for resolving their problems. Some 200 cases of human rights violations existed in Balochistan alone and it was the duty of the lawyers to resolve them as soon as possible.
“To do justice is not some special ability but it is the duty of a judge, which he has to do under any condition.” He concluded that the progress and prosperity of this country lie only in the observance of Constitution and the supremacy of law.
Yaseen Azaad, the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, put his weight behind the Supreme Court verdict in the contempt of court case.
“The decision…is absolutely right,” he said. However, he warned that this (case) could sow rift between parliament and the judiciary.
On the Arsalan Iftikhar case, the SCBA chief said that the courts need to be completely independent from any bias and should probe the matter with complete impartiality.
He added that parliament was not allowing democracy to flourish and whatever little democracy was there was controlled, defeating the purpose of a true democratic state.
“It is true that parliament has the complete right to articulate the laws in the country but the Supreme Court will perform its duty by putting a check and balance on the nature of such articulations,” Azad said.
The Supreme Bar Association president concluded by saying that the courts had been given a responsibility by the people of Pakistan and that they would fulfill that duty as even the courts will one day be held accountable for their decisions.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.