LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Saturday vehemently dispelled the impression that superior courts make decisions under pressure or were being dictated by some institution.
“No one has the courage to force courts to make decisions as per their wishes. My court gives justice to the people. All judges do not take any kind of pressure nor do they take dictation,” the CJP said while addressing the third Asma Jahangir Conference at a local hotel in Lahore.
Responding to former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Ali Ahmed Khurd’s allegations attributed to superior courts, CJP said courts are making decisions under law and the Constitution.
No one can get arbitrary decisions from courts, said the CJP making it clear that no set up other than democracy would be acceptable and if it happened.
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CJP said one should not try to create confusion in the minds of masses so they lose confidence in the judiciary.
“The judiciary is providing justice to the people, no one has forced me to make a decision arbitrarily,” he maintained.
CJP asked Khurd to point out which decision has been taken by the court under pressure.
“We have made decisions according to our conscience and the Constitution. We have never taken dictation from anyone. The Constitution and the rule of law do not belong to any individual in the country,” CJP underscored.
Earlier, addressing the conference, Ali Ahmed Khurd said that people carry wounds on their chests from the judiciary.
“Will this judiciary protect human rights and protect democratic institutions?” asked Kurd
Khurd appreciated Asma Jahangir’s efforts for human rights and said she was the voice of the poor.
Ahsan Bhoon distances himself from Kurd’s speech
President Supreme Court Bar Association Ahsan Bhoon also disapproved Khurd’s assertions and said it was not a political meeting but an event to seek recommendation for improving human rights.
Justice Qazi Faez Issa said all judges and the armed forces of Pakistan take an oath to uphold the Constitution of Pakistan.
“Every Pakistani is bound by the Constitution. Freedom of the press, freedom of expression and women’s rights must be protected, he added.
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“Freedom of press is at an all-time low in the world. Pakistan is one of the first countries to sign the Freedom of the Press Agreement. We have to follow the ideology of Quaid-e-Azam. There is no need to beg for democracy, this is your right,” Justice Qazi asserted.
Addressing the conference Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Athar Minallah said it was very important for the judiciary to know what the people thought about them.
“No judge can justify pressure. We take an oath in the name of Allah. This tragedy is not only of the judiciary but also of other institutions,” he added.
He said Ali Ahmad Kurd had changed the theme of the conference. He admitted that many court decisions were a thing of the past which cannot be undone.
“We cannot hide our heads in the sand. We must admit our mistakes. It is our responsibility to restore our public image,” he said.
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He said there was no concept of independent judiciary in the country without free media and free opinion, adding that the media, however, must show responsibility.
Other delegates including former chief justice Saqib Nisar, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ameer Bhatti judges and a large number of people from the legal fraternity attended the conference.