Dr. Farrukh Saleem in his Capital Suggestion has said it beautifully. Out of all the Op-eds etc that are being written on the triumph of justice, Dr. Farrukh has captured the essence of it. However, when all of us stop dancing and are soaking our tired feet, the following three points perhaps can be considered:
First of all, it goes to the credit of the legal fraternity that not only did they unanimously supported their Chief but effectively inspired ordinary people to become a part of the process. Thus, much before Friday, July 20th the people of the country lead by the legal fraternity succeeded in coming out with a verdict in favor of Justice Chaudhry. The man Justice Chaudhry who hails from Balochistan and who took oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) during these five months became the name of a movement.
This is most encouraging but we would like to ask :
What made the Chief Justice issue different from the problems of other colleagues of his?
For instance, Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah who had locked horns with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was ousted by his own colleagues in 1998.Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui and four of his colleagues from Sindh also had to leave on the pretext of fresh oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order [PCO}.
In other words, what were the criteria under which the legal fraternity supported Chief Justice Chaudhry but not Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah? When Justice Tariq Mehmood again of Balochistan refused to take oath why wasn’t he supported by the legal fraternity?
Can it be that at that time the legal fraternity employed a different criteria meriting support ?Or perhaps can it be that at that time the judiciary still considered it not strong enough to assert its independence? Are we witnessing a realization by the judiciary of its role or is this a flash in the pan?
Another thing that perhaps the judiciary can consider now is that in sixty years of Pakistan’s independence the judiciary has only dispensed justice twice. The first case was in 1993 and the second in 2007 .The Supreme Court had handed down the first landmark judgment in 1993 by reinstating Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister. The then President Late Ghulam Ishaque Khan had dismissed the premier and dissolved the National Assembly on April 18 1993.
Shouldn’t the judiciary re-examine it’s role in sixty years of Pakistan’s turbulent history?
Thirdly, now that the judgment has established that powers were mis-used ,we would like to find out as to why ? The mis use of power came to light in the Chief Justice case. What we wonder is as to in how many other cases are powers misused by these officials that we do not know of as they happen away from the limelight? Therefore if truly we want “justice to be restored” then we need to have an inquiry in not only the May 12th carnage at Karachi but also the misuse of power by the officials. The case should not be magnanimously closed and as one Minister put it,’ no heads to roll.’ The heads that lied need to roll for only then can justice be dispensed.
Speaking of Justice dispensed, can the Chief Justice and his black coat colleagues honestly assure the citizens that just as in five months the CJ got justice from the Courts, the ordinary citizens would also have their cases decided in five months?