KBA oath-taking: ‘Judiciary working within constitutional ambit’

SHC Chief Justice Mushir Alam says govt can amend laws if it has reservations.

Our Correspondent January 14, 2013
SHC Chief Justice Mushir Alam says govt can amend laws if it has reservations.

KARACHI: The judiciary is functioning within its constitutional domain but the government may amend the constitution if it has reservations about the institution’s powers, said Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Mushir Alam on Saturday.

The judiciary has a parental role to play and it was the constitutional duty of the institution to look into whenever an institution or individual overstepped their powers, the judge said. He was speaking to the members of the Karachi Bar Association (KBA) at an oath-taking ceremony.

“It is the duty of the government to amend the laws to give the defendants the right to appeal in suo motu proceedings,” the SHC chief justice said in response to the federal law minister Farooq H. Naik’s suggestion to give appealing rights in public interest litigations.

The national judiciary policy was formulated in the public interest and if the legal fraternity had any reservations, they may submit recommendations to improve it, he asserted.

Under Article 37 of the Constitution, the government was bound to provide the required financial support to the judiciary, Alam said. To centralise the subordinate courts, including special tribunals, the government should provide proper places or build judicial complexes to house all courts at one place. He also urged the legal fraternity to extend its support to the judiciary to help dispose of old cases.

At the event, Naik had earlier criticised the judiciary for interfering in the affairs of the other state institutions, particularly the legislature. “It is not for the judiciary to run the government,” he said. “Although the judiciary has enough influence, it must not overstep its constitutional domain. It must not intervene to micro-manage the affairs of the executive and the legislature.”

Democracy should flourish in the country and all the three pillars of the state should function in their own constitutional limits, the law minister maintained. The government was paying due attention to ensure protection of human rights but it was also the basic objective of the bench and the bar to safeguard human rights, Naik added.

The former chairman of the Senate also announced a grant of Rs20 million for the KBA and two buses. KBA president, Naeem Qureshi, among others also spoke at the ceremony.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2013.



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