Qazi Faez Isa is a disgrace to the judiciary, writes Justice Katju

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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Qazi Faez Isa

Qazi Faez Isa

By Justice Markandey Katju

Qazi Faez Isa, the present Chief Justice of Pakistan, will go down in the annals of world judiciary as one of the worst judges the world has seen, and is in the same category as the 'hanging judge' Judge Jeffreys of England, the Nazi judge Roland Freisler, Maulvi Mushtaq Husain, former Chief Justice of Lahore High Court who sentenced Prime Minister Bhutto to be hanged (which was widely perceived as a judicial murder), and former Chief Justice of India A.N. Ray, who became Indira Gandhi's lackey, and headed the bench which delivered the infamous ADM Jabalpur vs Shivakant Shukla judgment in 1976 which held that a citizen has no right to life or liberty during an Emergency.

I had earlier in a video interview by a Pakistani journalist, Waqar Bagga, soon after Qazi Faez Isa became the CJP on 17th September 2023, said that he will create a lot of trouble in the coming days, and my prediction has proved to be correct.

 The foremost duty of a Judge is to uphold the rights of the people, as laid down in the Constitution. Part 2 of Pakistan's Constitution states the fundamental rights of the people, the most important of which, mentioned in Article 9, states:

''No person shall be deprived of life or liberty save in accordance with law''.

This provision has been flagrantly violated by the present Pakistan Establishment, 13,000 or more people have been arrested, tortured, and incarcerated in jail for long periods in inhuman conditions, on trumped up charges ( many of whom are leaders or supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan's PTI party ), following the events of 9th May ( which most people in Pakistan believe were stage managed ). The media has been largely muzzled, and the judiciary made impotent.

Yet Qazi Faez Isa, who is the head of Pakistan's judiciary, has turned a Nelson's eye and is indifferent to all this, and has instead been listing and hearing only relatively unimportant cases, many of which relate to old incidents which have no relevance today.
For instance, he took up an appeal of Gen Musharraf against his conviction by a court, though Gen Musharraf is long dead, and hence the appeal had become infructuous.

He also took up a review petition in the Faizabad dharna case, though the dharna had ended in 2017

Recently Imran Khan wrote a long letter to Qazi Faez Isa giving details of the atrocities being perpetrated on the people of Pakistan, and on PTI leaders, members and supporters in particular.

Instead of dealing with the contents of this letter, Qazi Faez Isa replied by making all kinds of objections, e.g. the letter is not in proper form, why was this letter leaked to the media before he had dealt with it (when he had himself earlier sent many letters to the former CJP Bandial and leaked them to the media before Justice Bandial could deal with them), the name of the lawyer who sent it has not been mentioned, etc etc.
For good measure Qazi Faez Isa invoked the name of Allah, and delivered homilies saying that he cannot be pressurised, he understands his constitutional duties, he is unbiased (though everyone knows he is hostile to Imran Khan because the latter had approved an enquiry against him by the Pakistan Supreme Judicial Council), etc.

But he said not a word about the contents of Imran Khan's letter.

It is obvious that Qazi Faez Isa has no desire to abide by his solemn oath of office, which he has flagrantly violated, and will kowtow before the Pakistan Establishment, which has been committing all kinds of misdeeds, and he is a disgrace to the judiciary.

God save Pakistan.

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

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