Legal fraternity seeks ‘effective accountability’ of judiciary

Published November 26, 2022
PTI Senator Azam Swati addresses a seminar in Islamabad.—Courtesy IHCBA
PTI Senator Azam Swati addresses a seminar in Islamabad.—Courtesy IHCBA

ISLAMABAD: Members of two bar associations on Friday called for “effective accountability” of judiciary and registration of FIRs on journalist Arshad Sharif’s murder, Senator Azam Swati’s video clip and assassination attempt on Pakistan Thereek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

It may be mentioned that an FIR has been registered in the PTI chief’s case but he has rejected it, saying it lacks names of people he suspects of being behind the gun attack on his Wazirabad rally earlier this month.

The demands were made through a joint resolution issued by the Islam­abad High Court Bar Associa­tion (IHCBA) and Islamabad Bar Asso­cia­tion (IBA) after a seminar the two bodies had organised on ‘Rule of Law’.

The resolution demanded that the Supreme Judicial Council be made active and operational so that accountability of all privileged institutions could be done in a transparent manner.

IHCBA, IBA oppose ‘abuse of power’ by any institution, say FIRs should be registered as per complainants’ wishes

The two organisations emphasised that there should be “no abuse of power” by any privileged institution, lawmakers, leaders, judges, bureaucracy (both civil and military)”. They called for action against “the persons responsible for the abuse of power” and those who had violated the civil rights.

They said that all citizens, institutions and privileged persons should be held accountable without any discrimination. At the same time, they added, state institutions must be independent, impartial and custodian of the rights and liabilities enunciated under the Constitution and law.

The resolution demanded registration of FIRs in the cases of Arshad Sharif, Mr Swati and the Wazirabad incident as per the demands of the complainants.

The lawyers’ bodies said that the “Judicial Commission of Pakistan should adhere to the principle of seniority in the elevation of Supreme Court judges until and unless the rules are framed for this purpose. Moreover, the elevation of judges in the High Courts may also be made on merit”.

They supported the creation of new benches of Lahore High Court at the divisional level in Punjab to ensure dispensation of inexpensive and expeditious justice in accordance with principles laid down in Article 37(d) of the Constitution.

They sought freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed under the Constitution.

The resolution said that the elite’s capture of the system must be ended and every citizen must be treated alike and equal with the obvious principle of equal protection of law. Civilian supremacy is the key for political stability while political stability continuing with good governance is the basic factor for achieving the economic stability.

According to the resolution, “all the democratic forces must work for civilian supremacy, [and] political and economic stability.”

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2022

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