Pakistan does not have a judiciary but a circus

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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By Justice Markandey Katju

Pakistan Supreme Court

I have seen many Courts in the world which I visited, e.g. in America, Canada, England, France, South Africa, Australia, Japan, and of course in India, but I have yet to see Courts which resemble a circus like those in Pakistan.

It is headed by a clown named Qazi Faez Isa, who believes in hearing cases which have really abated, like the cases of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Gen Musharraf who are dead, or review of the Faisalabad dharna case, which are all infructuous and meaningless today, instead of hearing live cases ( particularly bail applications ) which require urgent hearing, like those of the 12,000 people who were arrested on fabricated charges after the events of 9th May ( which many believe were stage managed ), and are in jail for several months in inhuman conditions. But CJP Qazi Faez Isa never lists or hears the latter category of cases. He seems to be more interested in ghosts than living human beings

The Supreme Court is presently divided into two camps, the pro-Establishment camp headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, which includes his sidekicks like Justice Tariq Masood, Justice Athar Minallah, etc, who believe in kowtowing before the Establishment, and the camp which believes in upholding and following the law, headed by Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan. and including Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Ayesha Malik, etc

Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan has recently written a letter to the Registrar of the Court objecting to listing of cases in the Court
Under the Supreme Court ( Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023, listing of cases is to be done by a committee of the 3 seniormost judges, to which Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan belongs. But his complaint is that often cases are being listed without consulting him, or contrary to what the committee decided, e.g. the cases pertaining to trials of civilians by military tribunals.
The Islamabad High Court is headed by the Judge Jeffreys of Pakistan ( as I have named him ), Chief Justice Amer Farooq, a 'chamcha' of the Establishment, who got former Prime Minister Imran Khan convicted by his lackey Additional District Judge Humayun Dilawar in the toshakhana case, in a trial which was a mockery and travesty of justice.

The Islamabad High Court had ordered that Imran Khan should be tried in open court in the cypher case, not in jail.

Several high authorities from Greek philosopher Plato onwards have said that open trials is a requisite of justice.

But in defiance of the High Court order the Pakistan government decided to try him in jail, stating security reasons ( which was clearly a specious excuse, as there are enough securitymen in Pakistan ). The judge of the special court said that the public and the media would be allowed to attend the trial in jail, though in fact they were refused entry ( except a couple of handpicked journalists ). The message conveyed is that the government need not obey court orders.

The 15-member full bench of the Pakistan Supreme Court hearing the validity of the Supreme Court ( Practice and Procedure ) Act was converted by CJP Qazi Faez Isa into a shoddy village panchayat.

CJP Qazi Faez Isa often proclaims from the tree tops that he has given up protocol like guard of honour, refused an official car, and the designation of Chief Justice, etc etc

But the people of Pakistan want justice, not dramabazi.

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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