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Judiciary on Change  Back
Muhammad Arif

Recently an incident brought some facts in front of me. Due to my tenants I was called in the City Court as a defendant. This provided me some opportunity to go through some new experiences.
Before giving detail on this, my mind goes back to 15 years back when a military ruler was in command. I had to go through a case in City court and have to pay Rs 10000 for getting decision. Some one can question that why you did this. The answer is that environment of the court was like that at that time and every body was constrained to do that. The situation to some extent prevails on date but some rays of hopes are also on the horizon.
Than in 2006-07, I was made member of Access to Justice Funds chaired by the Chief Justice of Supreme Court Mr. Iftitkar M. Chaudhry. Dr Faqir Husain the Secretary Law commission and now the registrar of Supreme Court was secretary of our Committee. During that time I received a contempt notice from Supreme Court in a case as Head of a Department of State Bank of Pakistan. The charge was that I allowed less payment to a beneficiary against the decision of the Supreme Court. Hamid Kahn the former president of Bar Association and renowned lawyer was the lawyer of Plaintiff. I was quite afraid with the consequence though I was on right. When the court proceedings started Mr. Iftikahr Chaudhry at the chair asked Hamid Khan to repeat the charges.  After hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry simply commented that it is a matter of interpretation and if the plaintiff has any other view he can file the case at High Court level, however this case is not a matter of contempt. Before that I had the experience to appear before Lahore High Court and Supreme Court in certain other cases but this time I found different environment. At that time I did not know that what is going to be the role of Mr. Iftikhar Chaudry in the coming days and months but that  came in to being when he, Iftikhar Chaudhry defied orders of the sitting Generals at the dictator house in Rawalpindi. From that day Pakistan saw a change in the attitude of Judiciary.
However still we have to move quite a long and different conspiracy theories are in the air. Judicial activism is also getting some criticism and rightly so but slow and steady change is happening in favor of people of Pakistan on the judicial front. One should remember Churchill words that no body can defeat Britain as justice prevails here. This is not true for Pakistan as yet but some progress is there.
Now coming to the recent incident I had not very good perception about lower courts but when I entered in the City court with my lawyers Mr. Syed Iftikhar Husain and his senior Mr Afaq Yusuf, I found my self before a session Judge (East) who was a lady Ms Sara Junejo. Already my lawyers' had made me clear that they would take up the case on merit and fight on facts. Nothing hanky Panky. It was quite astonishing for me that my case was disposed of on the second hearing.
I agree that nothing substantial has been changed in the lower courts and lot of cases are pending unheard since long but they also carry different reasons. Like case is weak, Police is not cooperating, cases are in large numbers. In cretin cases no body is ready to give evidence due to political or Mafias pressures. Agencies are not cooperating. But in spite of these hard facts I noticed one or two things very prominently.
1.    If nexus of lawyers on both side of the cases do not exist than it is easy to handle the case.
2.    If the lawyers take up the cases on merit than its disposal requires no time, but if they linger them to mint money than complications arise. Further Lawyers attitude are also important. Pakistan do not need such kind of lawyers who shower flowers on the killer of Slaman Taseer who was nothing but a psycho case. The biased attitude in legal profession has no place.
3.    Lot of implementation procedures are required to be changed.
4.    Young Judges are better than old one. True we have lot of examples Like Fakruddin Ibrahim or Justice Kayani but we have other examples as well including Justice Munir who introduced law of necessity and Justice Mushtaq who on vengeance ordered to hang ZA Bhutto. I personally feel that young generation is more responsible than our generation and this is true in case of young judges.
5.    Lady Judges are better than male Judges. I am male myself but one should accept that lady judges remain more reserve, disciplined and near to merit. In male dominated society we have to encourage lady judges and lawyers to play their due role to  create better results
Finally it is to be understood that in a society like us where chaos is at rule nothing can be sorted out in a night. 40 years of establishment rule has destroyed the institutional framework of Pakistan from top to bottom that can not be brought in place over night. For this we have to struggle a lot and go through an evolution. For instance there is lot of criticism going on regarding democracy but what is the way out. Only Consistent elections, peaceful transfer of power time and again and bringing democratic set up from top to bottom i.e. from Senate to Local bodies are the only solutions. Leadership does not fall from the sky but emerges from our own ranks. For this we have to follow some process and to abide with rules of the game.