Justice Bhagwandas: Judiciary demoralised due to compromises

Published: October 14, 2012
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Former SC judge criticises former leaders who made unconstitutional moves.

Former SC judge criticises former leaders who made unconstitutional moves.

PESHAWAR: 

Former Supreme Court (SC) judge, Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas said compromises the government has made to deliver justice have demoralised the judiciary.

“The judiciary has been ‘compromising’ with the government since the country’s independence,” he said, while addressing lawyers at a programme titled ‘Independence of Judiciary’ held at the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Saturday.

Bhagwandas said that despite the fact that all apex court judges have to swear an oath to protect and defend the constitution, some judges took oath as provisional constitutional order (PCO) judges and supported former president Pervez Musharraf’s regime. In November 2007, Musharraf imposed emergency in the country and suspended the constitution. All judges, except the PCO judges, were deposed from the judiciary.

He added that in 1997, 10 judges violated the judicial code of conduct by supporting former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and dismissing the Supreme Court’s chief justice at the time, Sajjad Ali Shah. Justice Bhagwandas said that the most difficult task for a country after independence was to formulate a constitution. He maintained parliamentarians could have prevented governments from being unconstitutionally dissolved by enacting laws to thwart such moves.

Bhagwandas compared the Pakistani judiciary to the one in India, saying that India’s judiciary was far more independent and strong. “Any country’s judiciary should be consistent and uninterrupted. India’s judiciary has never been bothered by the Indian military,” Bhagwandas maintained.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Tufan Agha
    Oct 14, 2012 - 11:14AM

    If our Judiciary can compromise with the terrorists, what’s the harm in compromising with government. Lal Masjid decision is the case in point.

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  • Deendayal M.Lulla
    Oct 14, 2012 - 12:03PM

    Whenever there is talk of judicial reforms,the judiciary takes shelter behind judicial independence. But judicial independence for whom? Is it for judges alone,to make compromises,and indulge in corruption? Judicial independence is a public propert Just saying that the judiciary has compromised is not enough,what is needed is solutions. Indian judiciary also needs reforms,which is crying need of the hour. The courts should be telecast live,there should be transparency in courts functioning,judges have to be made accountable for the judgements they make. Economic prosperity of a country is linked with judicial reforms,as has been pointed out by India’s former law minister Mr.Veerappa Moily. In India also,judges of the Supreme Court and high courts get post-retirement jobs,due to mandatory laws at the Centre and at the state-level. Legal experts feel that there is a need to amend the Constitution,and various states’ laws to prevent judges of higher courts from taking up post-retirement jobs. The opposition party BJP has accused the government of “managing the judiciary in innovative ways”. The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill which has been cleared by the Lok Sabha,but not yet become a law ,should also have provisions to make judges accountable for judgements. India also needs a Judicial Commission.

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  • Oct 14, 2012 - 12:31PM

    This guy swore an oath to defending the Constitution which forbids him from becoming a PM or President, just because he is a non-Muslim.

    Huh! I am asking myself would I be proud to serve an ideology which is so bigoted?Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Oct 14, 2012 - 3:57PM

    In the next few weeks if I were to hear that as a hindu he is seeking asylum in India then it would not surprise me. Everything in Pakistan has gone pear shaped.
    Even Jinnah’s daughter, Dina, who is a Parsi has said in her interview that Pakistan will have to be renamed.
    Will the last person leaving Pakistan please switch off the lights.

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  • Commentator
    Oct 14, 2012 - 4:50PM

    Does this esteemed member of the judiciary also realise how corrupt India is. Corruption is worse there than in Pakistan. The judiciary may be strong there and we could give Pakistan judiciary even more power but what will they do with it? Sir why dont you first worry about clearing the gigantic backlog of cases and stay orders that have plagued our country.

    Clean your affairs first before demanding more power. Set up courts to wipe out all old cases in a matter of 3 years, then we will think of giving you more power.

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  • Haris Farooq Wattoo
    Oct 14, 2012 - 10:03PM

    CJ Chaudhry is also a PCO judge, who not only took oath under Musharraf but also allowed him three years and permission to amend Constitution. And now he is champion of independent judiciary. Did he ever apologized to his mistakes?

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Oct 15, 2012 - 12:15AM

    He should have been brave enough to mention the present CJ as a PCO judge. My wish to make him care taker PM.

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  • Parvez
    Oct 15, 2012 - 12:23AM

    @Tufan Agha: Agree.

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