Islamabad [Pakistan], July 29 (ANI): Vehement criticisms from the legal fraternity arise from across the country over the elevation of junior judges of the High Courts to the Supreme Court and they have pressed the government to enact laws to regulate the discretionary powers vested in the chief justice to constitute benches and fix cases.
Judicial independence has, for the millionth time, become a heated buzzword as the federal government sharpens its knife and the suo moto jurisdiction has landed on the butcher’s block, reported Daily Times.
The decision to amend Articles 175-A and 209 of the constitution cannot be taken on political whims and anyone reading the tea leaves would find it incredibly hard to miss the link between the latest crusade and PML(N) top leadership’s organised campaign against the higher judiciary, read Daily Times editorial.
The uproar from the legal fraternity comes amid the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial summoning the meeting of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) to consider the names of high court judges for their appointment as apex court judges on Thursday.
They smell “favouritism” in the appointments and have demanded a restructuring of the laws pertaining to appointments of the judges and the discretionary powers enjoyed by the CJP, reported The Express Tribune.
There can be no two qualms about the necessity for the independence of the judiciary along with that of the legislature and executive because the three pillars need to work in complete harmony to ensure a smooth running of the state, read the editorial.
A day earlier, senior puisne judge of the Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa had advised CJP Umar Ata Bandial not to bulldoze the “due” process for appointment of more than one-third of the total number of judges in the apex court.
In a letter written to the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, headed by CJP Bandial, Justice Isa deplored the manner of summoning the JCP’s meeting to consider the elevation of high court judges to the Supreme Court.
A no-punches-pulled onslaught over verdicts that go against the party’s wishes can, under no circumstances, be akin to calling a spade a spade. Is then, the recent wave, signalling to the bench to mend its ways or get ready for a new status quo? The staggering similarities with the dictators’ tactics to tighten the clasp in the days gone put aside, there can be no better time to start the discomforting discussion about the responsibilities of the legal fraternity and the ways in which our jurors have erred, said Daily Times.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had famously remarked, “The real threats to the independence of the judiciary are from within – stemming from the personality of the judge himself.”
That the messiah is not corrupt holds no bearing whatsoever for the obsession with knocking down every door; summoning whosoever and whensoever.
Notably, Pakistan’s justice system was ranked 130th by the World Justice Project last year.
A lot of it needs to be crossed and needs to be dotted to ensure the much-talked-about system of judicial accountability is as transparent as it seems, said Daily Times. (ANI)