Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim on the Judicial Crisis



Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim on the Judicial Crisis
From Pakistaniat.com; Feb 14, 2010

We are again faced with a judicial crisis – not a bonafide crisis but a crisis created for ulterior reasons.

Ostensibly the crisis is the elevation of chief justice for the Lahore High Court in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the elevation of the next senior most judge Justice Saquib Nasir, as acting Chief Justice of Lahroe High Court (a la Zia ul Haq style).

Being of the view that more harm is done by ignoring seniority, which opens the door for exercise of discretion in principle, I am against seniority being ignored, particularly in judiciary.

My first reaction, therefore, was that the appointment of Chief Justice Lahore High Court to the Supreme Court and elevation of the next senior-most judge as Lahore High Court Chief Justice was justified.

I had assumed that in accordance with the Article 177 of the constitution, these appointments were made by the president after consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, and that the president was bound by such consultations.

For complete article, click here
Related:
Pakistan flung into fresh turmoil - Dawn
Pakistani lawyers boycott courts over judges row - Washington Post
Lawyers observe boycott, stage protest - Dawn

Comments

Imran Malik said…
Wrong 100%.

Justice (Retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim says, "It may be noticed that neither the President nor the Prime Minister has a right to add to, or subtract, from the list of proposed candidates."

With due respect to the Justice, his statement is incorrect.

Article 177 clearly states that the authority to appoint judges to the Supreme Court belongs to the President. The President is required to "consult" with the Chief Justice, but the rest of the honorable Justice Ebrahim's remarks are not found in the Constitution. Nowhere does the Constitution provide that Justices confer together to present a menu for the President to choose from. This is nonsense.

Justice (Retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim is certainly entitled to his opinion that "This is obviously correct for two reasons – firstly, the Chief Justices know better the competency of the candidate secondly, this appointment is for an initial period of one year, to enable the Chief Justices to ascertain the ability and integrity of the judge." But this is his opinion only. It is not in the Constitution and is not binding on anyone.

If Justice (Retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim truly has the larger public interest in mind, he will refer to the Constitution as it is written, and not how he wishes it were.
Mobin said…
I couldn't agree more with Imran Malik here, Ebrahim Sahib and others of his legal kin do get a bit passionate while defending or explaining the judiciary. Thats the same legal fraternity of which I myself am a member that a few years ago attempted to and actually did physically attack judges in their courts in Rawalpindi and Lahore, I was there in Rawalpindi when Asad Raza was attacked.
Maybe I'm getting a bit off-topic here bit I have become so frustrated with the current prevalent trend, just ONE opinion is construed to be not only just but also the norm. Anyone speaking against the newly established Judicial junta or speaking for the government is painted in such a vial and hateful manner... it would take a real Quaid-e-Azam again to stand up to them.
Absolutely no one will even raise an eyebrow as to how the CJ tried his own cause. Sacked hundreds for the act he himself had first perpetrated. My fellow lawyers attacking and abusing other professionals just because they dared to speak their mind.
I saw this same fraternity practically kneeling and fawning when the LHC CJ Iftikhar, one of Musharraf's chief allies, visited the Pindi HC BAR.
Forgive my rants, I'm just letting steam off but we don't need to strengthen the Judiciary in these ways, perhaps its us the people who need to be aware of our strength. We are courageous enough. Maybe its time we asked the SC why NRO is more important than cheap sugar or flour. Perhaps its also high time to liberate and strengthen the rest of our institutions as well so the police wallah won't wait for a suo moto before performing his duty. We need to realize we didn't get a liberated judiciary, we just traded our crutches for an easily steered wheel chair.
I have become so frustrated with the current prevalent trend, just ONE opinion is construed to be not only just but also the norm. Anyone speaking against the newly established Judicial junta or speaking for the government is painted in such a vial and hateful manner it would take a real Quaid-e-Azam again to stand up to them.

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