There is a reason why the figure of Justice is depicted as she is, holding a set of scales, a sword, and her eyes covered by a blindfold. The scales suspended from her right hand represent the relative strength of a case’s arguments, for and against. The double-edged sword symbolises the power of Reason and Justice. The blindfold is to spare her eyes from witnessing the trauma of what happens in her name in our Pakistani courtrooms.
The Chief Justice of our Supreme Court is being pilloried for the second time in his judicial career. The last time he stood his ground by refusing to resign. He became a cause célèbre and the sound-bite darling of the media. Today, he is again being hounded but this time for a very different reason.
His son is alleged to have taken more than 30 crores from Bahria Town’s Malik Riaz and is not outrightly denying this fact. If the son Dr Arslan has taken the money and his trips to Monte Carlo and London were sponsored by Malik Riaz there is absolutely no excuse for such a behavior and he along with Malik Riaz should be sent to the prison for indulging in corruption.
Jurisprudence has evolved over the millennia to protect the rights of man from the wrongdoing of fellow man.
It does not however offer equivalent protection to those who have been appointed to adjudicate. Their courtroom is the well of public opinion, their jury the press.
It is clear that we Pakistanis have reached a depth of insensitivity where pain knows no limits. We refuse to improve, to stand above ourselves, preferring instead to pull down those who presume to rise above us. Those who could stand outside the rest of us have demonstrated that detachment by migrating. Those who have remained in the country do so either out of necessity or out of a belief in an afterlife here on earth. There is no evidence to support that faith.
It is unlikely that the Chief Justice did not know about his son taking the money. It goes to his credit that he may not have been influenced by it but the fact that the son was taking money from Malik Riaz and perhaps from some other quarters as well like Mobilink and Ufone goes to show that corruption was taking place right under the Chief Justice’s nose. It is hard to believe that such corruption was taking place and he did not know about it.
How could one argue that the Chief Justice did not know about Dr Arslan taking money and then going on foreign trips and staying in expensive hotels, sometimes along with his mother?
If the Chief Justice did not know about it then it would be negligence on his part. He is entrusted with controlling corruption nationally by dispensing justice and how can he do justice and ascertain its presence if he cannot do it within the family.
Chief Justice’ sincerity to the nation and in opposing corruption cannot be doubted but he should accept the moral responsibility by resigning.