Justice Katju's opinion on The 10-year jail sentence on Imran Khan

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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The 10-year jail sentence on Imran Khan

Imran Khan

By Justice Markandey Katju

''Bane hain ahal-e-hawas muddai bhi munsif bhi

Kise vakeel karein ? Kisse munsifi chaahen ? ''

- Faez Ahmed Faez

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, along with former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi, have been sentenced by a special court to 10 years imprisonment in the cypher case.

There is an adage in Hindustani :

'Jaat kahe sun jaatni, isi gaon mein rehna.

Billi oonth le gayi, to haanji haanji kehna'.

(A jaat said to his wife: Listen, we have to keep living in this village. So if the king says that once a cat carried away a camel, just nod your head and say '' Quite right Your Majesty, quite right'').

To know the reality of Pakistan, one should replace the word 'Jaat' in the adage by Qazi Faez Isa (the Chief Justice of Pakistan, who loyally does as he is told by the Pakistan army), the word 'jaatni' by other judges in Pakistan (who loyally obey Qazi Faez Isa), and the word 'gaon' by the country.

Then one can understand the working of the judiciary in Pakistan, and know why Imran Khan and Shah Mahmud Qureshi were convicted and sentenced to long terms in jail.

Pakistani judges, including the Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa ) have become modern Judge Jeffreys, the infamous 'hanging judge' who sentenced hundreds of people to be hanged as desired by English King James II, or like Roland Freisler, the notorious President of the People's Court during Nazi rule, who sentenced the accused who tried to assassinate Hitler to be hanged by piano wires, or like Maulvi Mushtaq Husain who sentenced Prime Minister Bhutto to death by a verdict which is regarded universally as judicial murder.

I have already opined that a trial in jail is no trial

It is evident that although Imran Khan enjoys support of about 90% of Pakistan's population, the Pakistan army, which is the real ruler of Pakistan, is determined and adamant not to allow Imran Khan to again become the Prime Minister.

Hence on the army's direction a bench presided over by Qazi Faez Isa gave a flawed verdict, depriving Imran Khan's PTI party of its symbol

And now by this 10 year sentence, again as per the wishes of army, the court has tried to ensure that Imran Khan, who is already above 71 years old, should spend the rest of his life in jail.

Dark days have come in Pakistan

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

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