CJ calls for adopting high ideals of democracy
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Thursday stressed the need for devising a workable mechanism on the basis of high ideals of democracy for the sake of peace and harmony in the country.
“Pakistan is passing through a critical phase in its history where daily events of kidnapping for ransom, target killing, forced disappearances, energy crisis, corruption and nepotism have crippled the socio-economic development and have shattered the confidence of the public in the state functionaries,” he observed.
The chief justice was speaking at a full court reference in the Supreme Court to bid farewell to Justice Tariq Parvez on his attaining the age of superannuation.
“It is the need of the hour that authorities should work hard to rescue the democratic set-up from being distorted in the backdrop of the social evils we are facing,” the chief justice remarked.
He, however, was confident that state institutions and the civil society would join hands for achieving the common goal of transforming Pakistan into a genuine welfare state by following principles of rule of law, fairness, accountability, transparency and supremacy of the Constitution.
The chief justice clarified that the role of judiciary was not to oppose other organs of state. Rather, it was to merely check the arbitrary exercise of power by any institution or functionary of the government or executive.
The purpose of the law was to offer solutions to social problems, not opportunities to create manipulations, he said. Its sole legitimate goal is to serve the people, the society and the state.
Referring to the absence of government functionaries such as law minister and attorney general and any representative of the Pakistan Bar Council from the recent meetings of the Judicial Commission (JC) on the appointment of judges, he said the non-participation by such members deprived the commission of valuable input in selecting the best and brightest for the benches. Therefore, he added, all stakeholders were expected to fulfil their constitutional obligation in the public interest. One
vacancy already exists in the Supreme Court against which nomination has been made. Another position has become available with the retirement of Justice Tariq Parvez.
High courts throughout the country are facing severe shortage of judges where additional appointments are needed to complete the strength of the benches.
The chief justice said the process of appointment of suitable candidates must be expedited to deliver the fruit of “sure administration of justice” to the general public. Low strength of judges in the superior and subordinate judiciary ultimately caused great discomfort and inconvenience to litigants, he said.
According to him, members of the bar are saddled with the responsibility of making substantial contribution to the process of judicial reforms, particularly in the context of making access to justice for all a reality.
Earlier, Attorney General Irfan Qadir requested the chief justice and other judges to consider revisiting some past judgments, like the judgment of July 31, 2009.