LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali has said that the judiciary does not decide cases to please anyone and it is not influenced by media hype either.
The significant remarks came a day after a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court adjourned the Panamagate case hearing to the first week of January. Justice Jamali, who has headed the bench so far, will not be part of the future hearings as he is set to reach superannuation on Dec 30.
During the Panama Papers case hearing on Friday, the counsel representing the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had announced their decision to boycott its proceedings if the court decided to form a commission to probe allegations against the prime minister.
Addressing the concluding ceremony of the Lahore High Court’s 150th anniversary on Saturday, Justice Jamali said that judiciary is independent. All the courts — from the magistrate to the Supreme Court — have been functioning without influence from any quarter, he added.
He said people pinned their hopes on the judiciary after other state institutions failed to discharge their responsibilities diligently. The menace of corruption, black marketing and nepotism needed to be dealt with, he added.
While no institution should try to trespass on another jurisdiction, the judiciary had the powers to subject any law promulgated by the parliament to judicial review, he emphasised. The judiciary needed the bar’s support to discharge its responsibilities successfully.
The Lahore High Court is a historical institution that has played a vital role to uphold the rule of law, he said. Appreciating the initiative to hold the conference and the sesquicentennial celebrations, the chief justice said such ceremonies played an important role in the development of institutions.
“Any institution can improve its performance by overcoming its mistakes and shortcomings,” he noted.
Justice Jamali expressed his gratitude for being asked to address the concluding ceremony of the LHC’s anniversary.
Chief Justice of Pakistan-designate Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said a judge was not only supposed to dispose of a case but to do complete justice to it.
He said the judiciary’s powers were not indefinite as courts were bound to decide cases according to the Constitution.
LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah said self-accountability in the judiciary was critical and could not be compromised.
He said institutions should have priority over individuals. “Individuals are important but institutions cannot be ignored at their behest,” he added.
He said principles and codes should be made for the betterment of the whole system.
Referring to heads of various institutions, Justice Shah stressed the need to improve coordination among all institutions, and said that problems should be resolved through dialogue. All institutions should perform within their constitutional limits keeping progress of the country supreme, he said.
Justice Shah said judges should honour their pledge and live up to the expectations of people.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik of the Supreme Court attended the ceremony held at Aiwan-i-Iqbal.
Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2016