|Judges to be the first to resist if parliament attacked: CJ|
13 July 2012
QUETTA: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Thursday said the judiciary would be the first to defend parliament against any unconstitutional acts, adding that as the fruits of rule of law are for every person living in the society, therefore, the responsibility of saving the country from any unconstitutional adventurism is also upon every person in the society. However, he added that as torch bearers of the rule of law, the people of Pakistan expect that lawyers will remain at the forefront of every struggle.
He expressed these views while addressing the Balochistan High Court Bar Association (BHCBA) on Thursday, says a press release. The CJ said the supremacy of Constitution and rule of law demand that all the organs of the state should function within their prescribed and well-settled limits provided by the Constitution and law. “The Constitution provides elaborate provisions for the system of administration of justice, including its establishment, powers and functions, etc.,” the CJ said. “The judiciary has been entrusted with the power to adjudge the validity of the legislative and executive actions on the touchstone of the Constitution. Supreme Court of Pakistan being the apex court is aware of its responsibilities and shall always administer justice and safeguard fundamental rights. We have taken oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of Pakistan and to dispense justice without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.”
The CJ said, “It is an established fact that the judiciary of any country cannot impart justice without proper assistance of the lawyers. Lawyers, being part of the educated and law knowing segment of the society, have earned great respect and honour. But this honour has brought certain responsibilities on their shoulders. These responsibilities are twofold. On the one hand, they have to assist the courts in achieving the prime object of administration of justice, and on the other, they have to share the responsibility of upholding rule of law in all circumstances. The CJ said while justice might be a worldly affair for other religions, in Islam, it is a sacred obligation. “In Islam, justice is considered to be an attribute of Allah Almighty and its administration is considered to be a religious duty. The fortress of justice in Islam is unassailable because of its impartiality. Everybody is treated equal before law, irrespective of his position in the society,” the CJ said.
“The courts alone cannot impart justice without proper assistance of the lawyers, who are the officers of the court. The well prepared lawyers with their logical arguments assist the courts to achieve the ends of justice. This noble profession demands continuous learning to perform the sacred duty of dispensation of justice,” the CJ said. “Being torch bearers and respectable members of the society, the other important role of the lawyers is to strive for upholding the rule of law. They are supposed to raise the voice against oppression and violation of rights of the people.
“Bench and the Bar have to keep a healthy relation based on mutual respect, cooperation and professionalism. Lawyers must themselves become a model for the rule of law and constitutionalism. If they themselves do not follow the law, then their slogans may become empty, devoid of any force to influence others and any deviation from their code of conduct would bear a black spot on the whole community,” the chief justice remarked.
Speaking about the lawyer’s movement of 2007, the CJ said: “The unprecedented and unique lawyers movement has taken the country to such an exalted place from where it is destined to shine on the globe, Inshallah. Almost everyone has recognised the contribution of lawyers for their struggle of rule of law and constitutionalism. However, the story would be incomplete if the sacrifices of the civil society and the media are not appreciated.”
He said this struggle for the rule of law and independence of judiciary is not only restricted to a particular era but is an ongoing process and an eagle’s eye is required for the protection of rights of the people. “It is the fearless support of the judicial independence by the Bar that gives hope in the future for the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law,” he said.
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