CJ urges all institutions to respect constitutional norms
LAHORE: The top judge of Pakistan Saturday said that every institution in the country has to recognize and respect constitutional norms to secure democratic governance and rule of law.
Addressing lawyers, who signed rolls as advocate of the apex court at the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said the rule of law is a decisive factor for transforming a society to a civilization.
The chief justice said that Pakistani society is passing through hard times due to prevalent law and order situation and rampant culture of terrorism, extremism, sectarianism and extra-judicial killings.
“It is need of the hour that all the three main organs of the state— judiciary, executive and legislature— should work in collaboration and cooperation with one another to secure basic human rights to the people of Pakistan,” he said.
The executive and the legislature, he said, need to play their role in formulating and implementing laws for curbing extremism, sectarianism, terrorism, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings.
The judiciary has always tried to deliver its best while adjudicating in accordance with existing laws and given procedure, he said and asserted that Supreme Court of Pakistan is the custodian of the constitution and as such has the constitutional power of judicial review.
It has been granted original jurisdiction in the enforcement of fundamental rights under Articles 184(3) and in the constitutional history of Pakistan, the SC has exercised the power of judicial review at various times to check the constitutionality of state actions.
“To do so, the judiciary has to be vigilant and play an active role, and the independence of judiciary is a sine qua non for the promotion of rule of law, which is a basic substance of democracy and necessitates the supremacy of constitution, equality before law and equal protection of law,” he maintained.
Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that it is the statutory and constitutional responsibility of judiciary to safeguard the constitutional principles which provide for an effective enforcement of fundamental rights and clean and efficient system of governance.
Judiciary has a definite role to play for effective administration of justice to decide disputes and give relief against, unjust or arbitrary action, he added.
He said that lawyers’ community has played a key role along with the civil society in securing judicial independence in post November 3, 2007 scenario.
After restoration, the judiciary with the support of the Bar has left no stone unturned to maintain its independence and prestige by responding promptly and rendering justice fairly, he said, citing, “I feel privileged that Pakistani judicial system is the strongest pillar of the state which enjoys full confidence and faith of other institutions as well as public at large.”