Challenge for the government
A healthy democratic state is built on four basic pillars namely Legislature, Executive, Judiciary and Journalism. As if these four pillars are the foundation of a democratic state. If even one of these four pillars is destroyed, the overall system of the state becomes disintegrated. Parliament is the first pillar of any democratic state. In this body, every respectable citizen of the state has a representative who is elected by the people. Parliament is a democratic institution in which legislation is made by public opinion. In this institution there are different numbers of public representatives who represent their people from their respective constituencies. That is, Parliament is the spokesperson of a healthy democratic state.
Unfortunately, the Parliament and the Constitution are considered to be the weakest pillars in Pakistan. Dictatorship and undemocratic forces have been targeting the Parliament and the Constitution. A clear example of this can be given that since the establishment of Pakistan, no prime minister has been able to complete his term. And it is also a bitter fact that democracy and the constitution were killed three times with the sword of martial law, but even once the person who broke and suspended the constitution could not be punished.
Earlier, the government was sent home by 58-2B and today a decision of the Supreme Court has sent the PML-N government home. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Atta Bandyal approved the request of Pervez Elahi and declared the ruling of the Deputy Speaker null and void and declared Pervez Elahi as the Chief Minister of Punjab. On this decision, Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb has inquired that Imran Khan’s letter “Halal” and Shujaat Hussain’s “Haram”, what kind of justice is this? The question is, why not full court? Why 2 separate decisions on the same letter? Why different interpretations on the same letter of Imran Khan and Chaudhry Shujaat? While the President of the Supreme Court Bar says that this decision is against the Constitution and the law.
Pakistan’s 75-year history is replete with instances when decisions were made on the basis of the doctrine of necessity and the constitution and democracy were undermined. When the courts were used to put their stamp on highly controversial executive actions, including the abrogation or suspension of the constitution. After the creation of Pakistan, Chief Justice Muhammad Munir had made the court controversial by giving the nation the gift of necessity theory. And then a dictator and oppressive ruler, General Zia-ul-Haq, hanged Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on the gallows with the help of his favorite judges in the Supreme Court, in what is now called “judicial murder”. A few such cases can be gauged how our courts have been giving controversial judgments for the pleasure of the rulers.
Whether it is Justice Muhammad Munir’s theory of necessity decision against Governor General Ghulam Muhammad and General Ayub Khan’s violation of the constitution General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervez Musharraf’s cases of unconstitutional dismissal of the democratic government, our courts gave martial law constitutional and legal protection.
It is expected from the judiciary and the judges that they will give decisions in accordance with the laws and constitution in a non-emotional manner and impartially, completely devoid of personal animosity, desires, likes and dislikes. It is also expected from the judges of the judiciary that the judge does not have any political affiliation, does not sympathize with any party, does not lean towards any group. It is often said that the judiciary should be non-political, but it is also important to say that there should be no politics even within the judiciary. There is factionalism and lobbying among judges in the justice system. Having internal politics in the higher judiciary is certainly a more complicated situation. Mutual silence among the judges and not sitting together in the bench is harmful to the reputation of the institution.
The differences between a group of judges including former Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Law Minister against Senior Supreme Court Judge Justice Qazi Faiz Isa is no longer a secret matter. At present, the judges of the highest court of Pakistan are divided into different groups. The rejection of the request to form a full court by the Punjab government and Deputy Speaker Punjab is also seen in the context that if all the judges were included in the full court, then the decision of the Chief Minister of the Punjab Assembly could also be changed. Also, 63 A would be interpreted and all parties would be satisfied and the dignity and respect of the judiciary would also increase.
The situation is that instead of ability, merit, experience, seniority, there is a race to permit the judges of their own choice and their group and make them judges in the Supreme Court. After the creation of favorite benches, interest in political cases, interpretation of the Constitution and constant interference in the proceedings of the House, the Parliament has come to the conclusion that the unlimited powers of the Supreme Court will be enshrined in law. Along with the demand of political parties, Supreme Court Bar Association, High Court Bars of all provinces, Pakistan Bar Council have demanded in a joint resolution that Article 175A and Article 209 of the Constitution should be amended so that the forum for appointment and removal of judges can be one and equal representation of judges, bar, administration and parliament.
If the cases of political nature continue to come to the courts like this and continue for months, the appointment of judges continues to be delayed and this atmosphere of mutual tension continues, it will become very difficult for the people to get relief and justice from the higher judiciary.
Currently, more than 51 thousand cases are pending in the Supreme Court, while more cases are awaiting decisions in the subordinate courts. While the High Court is also full of cases and many years old cases are waiting for decision. As of December 31, 2021, pending cases in the High Courts of Pakistan should be reviewed, which shows that 187,255 cases were pending in the Lahore High Court. Sindh High Court had 84 thousand cases, Peshawar High Court had 44 thousand 703 cases, Balochistan High Court had 4 thousand 108 cases, and Islamabad High Court had 17 thousand 456 pending cases.
Respected judges are also a part of this society. Studied from educational institutions of the same country, The demeanor of these judges, their social behavior, personality, all these are the same as the Pakistani society. When we lament the degeneracy of our entire society, this includes the judiciary.