Thursday, February 18, 2010

Surrendering to Merit

Like the strategy of defiance, a further deviation from the rule of law and constitution created a real deteriorating situation in the country. It seemed as if the sky was going to collapse soon. Fortunately, some positive forces changed the whole scenario when PM Gilani did take a huge ‘U-TURN’ abruptly and declared a ‘CEASE FIRE.’
Apparently, the smart move is one hundred percent ‘Surrender’ in favour of the Judiciary with regard to its recommendations to appoint/reappoint/elevate judges in the high courts and Supreme Court.

Although, eyebrows were raised on whether the CJ should have met the PM, yet there surfaced a good outcome in the form of acceptance of all the recommendations of CJP by the PM with permission from the President. In other words, the government undertook the action in the national interest and for the supremacy of the Rule of law and Constitution in the true letter and spirit.

In fact, the meeting between the two was part of the consultative process on the appointment of judges. Quite fortunately, Chief justice of Pakistan has achieved everything to design an impartial Judiciary to deliver justice without unnecessary delay at a cheaper cost.

Finally, the executive has honoured the chief justice’s recommendation for the appointment of Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday as an ad hoc judge.
Justice Ramday’s return to the apex court is a blessing as that would bring a lot of strength to the superior judiciary.

President Zardari has also signed the summary of appointment of justices Saqib Nisar and Asif Saeed Khosa as permanent judges of the Supreme Court and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday as ad hoc judge of the apex court for one year.The summary was drafted in light of the decision taken by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani at a meeting on Wednesday at the Prime Minister House. The president, on the advice of the prime minister, also appointed 22 additional judges in the Lahore High Court and 9 additional judges in the Sindh High Court.

Aitzaz was a key player in breaking the ice as he informed the prime minister that he was being misled through selective interpretation of some clauses of the Constitution. The Law Ministry had diverted the attention of the PM and the President from Article 260 of the Constitution that makes it binding on the president to honour the recommendations of the chief justice on the question of judges’ appointment.

Aitzaz, nevertheless, invited the PM’s attention to Article 260. Thus, PM Gilani realised that he was being kept in the dark. Then the law minister was called to ascertain why the said article was not mentioned in the discussion. The minister told that since the article was incorporated into the Constitution through the Legal Framework Order (LFO), it did not carry weight. At this, Aitzaz argued that Article 260 was an operative part of the Constitution. Khosa kept talking about the Al-Jihad Trust case to convince his superiors about the seniority issue. But, Aitzaz countered his argument, saying that the latest judgment on this question was delivered in 2002 when the court granted the chief justice of Pakistan the “sole authority” to determine the “fitness and competence of judges” for elevation to the office of the high court chief justice or to the Supreme Court.

Attorney General Pakistan and Barrister Aitzaz actually, facilitated the PM’s  participation in the CJ’s dinner which lead to good results in the interest of Pakistan.

The prime minister confirmed, “the government holds the judiciary in high esteem and shall implement all the decisions of the higher judiciary in letter and spirit.”

So far so good, but a real test still lies ahead regarding the earliest implementation of the verdict dated December 16, 2009 by the 17 judges of the apex court indeed; and nothing less.

Most definitely, a big hurdle will be eliminated as soon as all the legislators and others, accused of corruption, begin cooperating in utter sincerity to pave the way for the blind justice in the best interest of Pakistan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Took me time to read the whole article, the article is great but the comments bring more brainstorm ideas, thanks.

- Johnson


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