Justice should be blind, not deaf and dumb

Shafiq Awan/ Daily Times

Nodoubt the Supreme Court did a wonderful job and for the first time in history, we saw sacred cows at the mercy of the court, otherwise they were considered to be above the law and we salute the Chief justice Mr Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and his team for being so courageous.

The deprived feel a sense of strength and pride as every one was being honked with the same stick, which called – justice is blind – treating every one setting aside someone’s status.

Finally NAB has written letters to the Swiss government for the reopening of Swiss cases.

The question is, if the government had done it now, why did it delay this action and embarrass itself?

But every one felt that during Tuesday’s (March 30/ 10)proceedings, the accused were humiliated and the Supreme Court’s remarks were taken in bad taste.

Ali Ahmed Kurd, former president of Supreme Court Bar Association, and many others felt this bitterness and had their own interpretations. Kurd was of the view that he was afraid of the time when the appeals of his clients would be heard in the Supreme Court. Kurd is an emotional person and his commitment with the independence of judiciary is undoubted and the chief justice (CJ) should weight his arguments.

The Supreme Court is the last mercy and through their act, people should not get the impression that mercy could not be that ruthless. Kurd quoted Jamshed Dasti, former member of national assembly, and said he was humiliated by the court. I was also shocked when he recited the holy Quran and the right answers to the question asked by court to a few TV anchors, why he could not answer in the court.

His point of view was t hat he was confused and under pressure due to his respect for the court. Such aggressive and humiliating stance by the Supreme Court is painting a different picture in the public. Although people have argued when you leave your answer-papers blank in the examination hall, you can not blame the examiner as you were under pressure. Even in that case he should not be humiliated. Ahmed Riaz Sheikh’s council Rashid A Rizvi remarks that the Supreme court snubbed him on defending Sheikh in the court.

To me, the judge should speak through his decision but not his grudges. On Tuesday, news channels were painting the judiciary like a horror movie in which cruelty prevails and not sense. Even my kids were confused and terrorised when they were reading the tickers in which the government officers were praying to the court for mercy in the name of God and the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), but their pleas were rejected. We are living in a civilised society and not in a barbaric era.

The court can simply punish them if they were not abiding by the law instead of humiliating them and spreading a sense of insecurity among the masses. The Supreme Court could at least direct the electronic media to avoid spreading sensationalism, which is not in favour of the Supreme Court as well. Ahmed Riaz Sheikh might have deserved more punishment, but not the humiliation he received.

TV talk shows are creating a perception that judiciary might have played a role in Nawaz Sharif’s U-turn over judges appointment. There arguments said that Nawaz was told that pending cases against him would be reopened if he supported the proposed amendments over the judges appointment recommended by the PCCR and agreed by his party as well.

These channels are also talking that the president’s wings would be clipped first then it would be his turn. Is it a service to judiciary? Please stop such nonsense discussions and do not hurt the judiciary’s respect and honour.

I disagree with this perception as the judiciary has nothing to do with what politicians are doing. Nawaz Sharif is habitual in betraying as he did with Muhammad Khan Junejo when he sided with Ziaul Haq, then his party while taking a solo flight to Saudi Arabia through striking a deal with the dictator Mushrraf and now backstabbing parliament on the 18th amendment by his U-turn. The judiciary should not be blamed for his acts.

However the argument carries weight as to why Zardari and his team was targeted for accountability. Nawaz Sharif’s dozen of cases are pending in the courts. Why is he immune? Now TV shows are talking about Punjabi Supreme Court as no Judge from Sindh or Balochistan are in the Supreme Court bench? This allegation could be for the sake of allegation and have no weight. But leg-of-mutton sleeve policy should not be applied and both parties should be dealt even-handedly. Justice should be blind, but not deaf and dumb.

Only across the board accountability could save Pakistan. Justice should not be a beauty for a certain group and a beast for others.