The Maverick Judges of Pakistan

I hope that I am not violating the advice of honourable Supreme Judicial Council of Pakistan – whether SJC is constitutional or not, it’s a separate debate. 

A layman, a normal Pakistani (I have conciously refrained myself to use the term ‘General Pakistani’  to avoid another stir of debate) doesn’t have the right to comment on such sensitive issue, and particularly we should avoid brining holy-cow wearing khaki uniform in this matter – as these things are in the supreme national interest.

Anyhow, I have an habit of talking a bit too much about here & there, lets get to the point.

An old historical story with new characters,  everyone knows it by heart; BUT I don’t know why do I find in necessary to recall such things.  Our history is full of heroes in the likes of Tipu – but if there are Tipus then there are The Mirs (Jaffers & Sadiqs et alia).

In a short span of little over 6 decades, what has not been seen by the courts of Pakistan?

At times the artillery, the infantry, the armed corps & the SSGs brigades were deployed around the courts- The courts looked like military cantonments –

and also at times, the very same courts – in a very short history of democratic Pakistan have also seen politicians repeating the same act of their true masters.

In same honourable courts – we have seen Judges like Justice Anwaar & Justice Naseem bowing their head to the boots &  saying ‘Yes’ – thus providing new life to the military dictators. In same apex courts we have seen Judges like Justice Durrab Patel & Justice Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqui rebelling against the iron boots – saying ‘No’ – thus going home, but setting an example for the people to come – a recent example, perhaps a better one is being set by Mr. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary.

Its the same since the beginning.

1954:

Governor Ghulam Muhammad dismisses the assembly & government of Chaudhary Mohammad Ali.

The courts of that time’s national Capital Karachi were brought under tight security  so that speaker Molvi Tameez-ud-Din doesn’t get a single chance to get into the court – thus challenging the decision.

But MT Khan not only succeeded in filing a writ but also won the case.

Governor Ghulam Muhammad challenges the decision in Federal Court – here we come to the climax – the trend setting decision of Justice Munir – for the first time – Pakistanis heard the term of ‘Nazriya Zaroorat’ (need of the hour)– decision was reversed in favor of Governor Ghulam Muhammad.

1958:

Four Years passed – Field Martial Gen. Ayub Khan experiments the country with a new regime type – The Martial Law. Justice M.R Kiani was not in good books of Gen. Ayub – Justice M.R. Kiani goes home as a Judge of High Court without getting promoted to the Supreme Court.

1971:

Another history making year of Pakistan. Another Martial Law administrator and another judge. But battle field is now in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)– Justice B.A. Siddiqui refuses to take oath from Gen. Tikka Khan as Governor – Gen. Tikka Khan was sent by Gen. Yahya Khan.

In seventies – the very democratic prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto introduced 4th amendment empowering the courts to cancel the bails etc. But Bhutto perhaps didn’t know that same amendment would be used against him by Gen. Zia, as his own bail was cancelled courtesy his own amendment.

1981:

Gen. Zia puts the constitution on a halt, introduces Provisional Constitutional Order. The revolt Judges who refused to take oath under PCO were Justice Durrab Patel, Justice Zaki ud Din Paul, Justice Amir Raza, Justice Abdul Hafeez Memon, Justice Khuda Bux Murree & perhaps the most honourable name in the judicial history of Pakistan Justice Fakhurd-Din G Ibrahim.  Later on, most of them were retired by brute force.

1990:

Pakistan was under democratic rule – President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismiss’s Benazir Bhutto in National assembly and all the 4 provincial assemblies of Pakistan. Only Peshawar High Court – reversed the decision and provincial assembly was restored – the decision was challenged in Supreme Court, was reversed. But Justice Qazi Jamil who restored the assembly – was not recommended by Ghulam Ishaq Khan and was sent home.

1993:

Again democracy rules the country – Same President uses his powers to abolish all the 4 provincial assemblies & national assembly of Pakistan thus sending Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif home.

Supreme Court reverses the decision. Only Justice Sajjad Ali Shah opposed – Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was then appointed Chief Justice in next term of PPP’s Government – but again later on Benazir disagreed with Justice Shah over appointment of Judges of Supreme Court.

1997:

In 2nd term of Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister – Judicial History of Pakistan takes yet another turn – People of Pakistan saw a rare event of the world history – Supreme Court of the country was attacked by the workers of the ruling party – Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah on an information by a journalist runs away from the court and saves his life.

2000:

We are into a new century – but we resist to change. Nothing changed. Gen. Parvez Musharraf is now ruling the country – Another military dictator, another PCO, again some mavericks. Chief Justice, Justice Saeed ud Zaman Siddiqui refuses to take oath under PCO and resigns. Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid & Justice Wajeeh ud Din Ahmed follows Chief Justice & resigns.

History is in the making – Let’s see what happens now – Let’s see

Ham Daikhien Gay – We’ll See Inshallah.

Long Live Pakistan – Pakistan Zindabad

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