Justice Chaudhry says only a free judiciary can provide justice
By Irfan Ghauri: Daily Times, June 18, 2007
FAISALABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that a society can progress only if it ensures the supremacy of the Constitution, which guarantees the rights of every citizen and defines roles for organs of the state.
Addressing the Faisalabad Bar Association on Sunday, the chief justice said that the separation of the judiciary from the executive was vital and only a free judiciary could provide real justice. He quoted a saying of Hazrat Ali, the fourth caliph of Islam, that a “society can survive with kufr (infidelity), but not injustice”.
“Every citizen must follow the Constitution. A society can progress only if it has supremacy of the Constitution,” peace and rule of law, he said. “We cannot get rid of the label of developing country without ensuring the security of the life and property of citizens,” he said.
He said lawyers were fighting to enforce constitutional provisions for the separation of powers of pillars of state. The judiciary, the executive and parliament must perform their duties keeping themselves within the ambit of the powers given to them under the Constitution. Unless there is complete dichotomy of powers between the pillars of state, institutions cannot grow, Justice Chaudhry said. He said lawyers were fighting for a just cause in line with constitutional norms. He urged them to maintain decency and unity. He said the judiciary was an important pillar of the state and the bar an important component of this pillar.
Justice Chaudhry urged the courts to focus their attention on public interest litigation, which was mostly related to the poor and downtrodden. There should be no difference between the poor and rich in the dispensation of justice. This would end tyranny and bring peace and progress to the country, he said.
He referred to various public interest litigation cases he disposed of before he was suspended through a presidential reference. He said Article 84 of the Constitution gave the apex court powers to take suo motu action wherever there was a violation of basic human rights.
Aitzaz Ahsan, the lead lawyer of the CJP, said the suo motu cases taken up by the chief justice had made him a public hero. He said the state and the people have a mother and child relationship and it is the responsibility of the state to protect the rights of the people. Ali Ahmed Kurd, another of the CJP’s lawyers, said that lawyers were even prepared to die for the cause of constitutional supremacy and Gen Pervez Musharraf’s ouster.
for a detailed version of CJ's speech The Post, Islamabad, click here
Also see, DT story: Thousands welcome chief justice to his birthplace
See New York Times/Reuters Story: Judge Galvanizes Support In Pakistani Heartland