Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Thursday said that the present-day judiciary made a clean break from the illegalities associated with the institution in the past and struck down the unconstitutional acts and actions of a usurper.
“This was indeed a turning point in the Constitutional history of our country, as the restraint order of November 3, 2007 coupled with Parliament’s refusal to endorse unconstitutional action laid groundwork to build a strong and invincible democratic structure upon it,” Justice Chaudhry said in his address on the eve of retirement of Justice Tariq Parvez from the apex court on attaining the age of superannuation.
He was referring to the declaration of emergency by Pervez Musharraf and the following events that led to annulment of the order, reinstatement and empowerment of the judiciary in the country.
The chief justice made it clear that the role of the judiciary is not that of an opposition to the other two organs of state, rather, it merely places a check on the arbitrary exercise of power by any institution or functionary of the legislature or executive.
After the retirement of Justice Tariq Parvez there would be two vacancies in the Supreme Court, while High Courts throughout the country are already facing severe shortage of judges, he said calling for appointments to complete the strength of the benches.
Justice Tariq Pervaiz said that the allegations of biasness against this court, in favour of any individual or a group or an institution, has no ground and are baseless.
The attorney general speaking on the occasion said: “Our constitutional history is replete with instances of removal of judges by non-political forces, but sadly on 31st July, 2009, for the first time in our judicial history a few judges removed a large number of their own brethren.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2013.