In the court of ...
to fulfil vested interests.
And it is impossible not to join him in lamenting that the court decisions announced for the welfare of the people were seldom implemented. Giving an example, Jamali said if the court takes action against any incapable person, a certain lobby always comes to his rescue. This has been happening in this country almost since the very beginning barring the few early years. We agree with him whole heartedly that “We should not wait for angels to come down and solve our problems. Somebody amongst us has to volunteer.” But then we have had a number of volunteers as well who tried to set the nation on the ‘ right’ course but failed miserably.
It is perhaps time for every institution in this country including the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, the civil service and the armed forces to take close and deem look within and try to improve its lot by pulling it by its bootstraps instead of taking the easy out by pointing an accusatory finger at other institutions. It in this spirit that one fervently hopes that the CJ would also on some appropriate occasion deem it fit to recount the failings of the country’s judiciary as well at all the three important tiers ( Superior, provincial and district).
These flaws within the judiciary itself have been to a large extent responsible for turning the dreams of the founding fathers into an unending nightmare. Corruption in the judicial system of Pakistan is not a nascent phenomenon. In a survey assessing the public perception of the nature and extent of corruption in Pakistan in 2010, 69% of the respondents were subjected to an act of corruption while interacting with the judicial system. Most of the corruption cases stem in the lower courts where bribery and blackmail are normal routine matters for lawyers as well as clients, and very little is done to counter such decay. In 2002, in a report titled “Nature and Extent of Corruption in the Public Sector”, Transparency International ( TI) Pakistan reported that the highest amounts of bribery were spent on people affiliated with the judiciary. Later in 2010, TI Pakistan presented a breakdown of the various actors in the judicial system involved in cor- ruption. A majority of the participants reported that they, or someone in their household, has been subjected to an act of corruption while interacting with someone from the judiciary. When asked of the actors involved, 33.62% people said court employees, 23.73% said public prosecutors, 14.12% said witnesses, 12.43% said judges, 8.19% said opponent lawyer, 4.52% said magistrates while 3.39% mentioned others. One wonders how this massive corruption in the lower judiciary has been going un- noticed by the higher judiciary. Or could it be that the higher judiciary’s complacency in fact reflected a degree of its complicity?
In a 2011 survey, TI Pakistan identified judiciary as the most corrupt institution in Pakistan alongside police. https:// en. wikipedia. org/ wiki/ Corruption_ in_ Pakistan - cite_ note- 57 A member of the Sindh Bar Council had alleged that nepotism and corruption were “rampant” in the lower judiciary, particularly high courts and the lower courts, where people were unlawfully promoted within the judiciary.
The rampant nature of corruption in Pakistan judicial system has always been a source of humiliation for Pakistan since its inception over 69 years ago. This system has always groaned under the pressure from political leadership. But at times it has pilloried the politicians at the behest of military dictators operating up front but at times by pulling strings from behind.
According to Freedom in the World 2013 report, the judiciary in Pakistan is regarded as one of the institutions most plagued by corruption, particularly in relation to the lower courts. Furthermore, business executives surveyed in the Global Competitiveness Report 2013- 2014 indicate that the judiciary is subject to political influences of members of government, citizens and companies. Hence, companies should take note that contract enforcement can be problematic due to an inefficient court system and a lack of transparency, as reported in the Investment Climate Statement 2013. According to a paper published in 2010 in the Pakistan Economic Social and Review, corruption in the judiciary has the ability in Pakistan to frighten off domestic and foreign investments due to fear of usurpation or misappropriation.
The Transformation Index 2014 reports that political interference is often found in the legislative and judicial branches of Pakistan. Law formation usually bypasses Parliament, and the higher courts have often been influenced by politically motivated judgements. The procedure for selecting national- level judges is required to be made more transparent by law.
We can only ignore at our own peril the sordid way the doctrine of necessity was misused by our superior judiciary to win favours of the military dictators. Justice Munir, Justice Anwarul Haq, Justice Rafiq Trrar, Justic Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chuadhry and many of their ilk who had occupied the country’s top judicial slot at one time or the other are known more for their political judgments than their judicial rulings. And others like Justice AR Cornelius, Justice Hamoodur Rehman, Justice Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, Justice Dorab Patel and even Justice Samdani have been known to have kept their political self out of their judicial work.
And Malik Muhammad Kayani also known as MR Kayani or Justice Kayani, though not elevated to the Supreme Court because of his open criticism of Ayub Khan’s regime was a judicial star in his own right. He served as Chief Justice of West Pakistan from 1958 to 1962. On his in October 1962 the citizens of Lahore arranged a farewell reception in his honour in which he was named as LisanePakistan ( the voice of Pakistan). In his reply, Kayani said that this title was dearer to him than Nishan- e- Pakistan. Then he went on to say that his purpose in delivering such satirical speeches was to keep the morale of the people high in a period of gloom and darkness. He made the people laugh in order to release their tension. In one of his more memorable comments he wrote: There are quite a few thousand men who would rather have the freedom of speech than a new suit of clothes and it is these that form a nation, not the office hunters.