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Democracy is here to stay: CJ

November 11, 2012

Iftikhar Chaudhry
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. — File photo/Online

ABBOTTABAD: Momentous decisions taken by the judiciary and the parliament over the past five years had changed the country’s political landscape, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry said on Saturday.

Speaking at an event organised by the Peshawar High Court’s Abbottabad circuit bench, he said the superior judiciary had been taking difficult decisions and the parliament had purged the Constitution of provisions inserted by dictators. “The change has come.”

The chief justice said in the past all players were guilty of violating the Constitution, but now the time had come when constitutionalism would prevail, leading to rule of democracy.

“We are bound to fully implement the Constitution in its true spirit and Article 5 demands of every citizen to act according to the law.”

All individuals are equal in the eyes of law and everybody is accountable for his actions,” he said.

Now nobody could dare to derail the system because the judiciary was working diligently for the supremacy of law and the Constitution, he said.

Justice Chaudhry said the judiciary had taken the lead in strengthening the institutions and laid off about 100 judicial officials through an order issued on July 31, 2009.

“We have to set examples because individuals have to leave the space for others but the institutions will survive.”

The chief justice said all anti-institution forces had seen the mood of the public and if at any stage any attempt was made from any corner against the will and wishes of the people, their resistance and resentment should be kept in mind because once again the people, lawyers and members of the civil society were ready to repeat their role for the independent judiciary.

He admitted that there was still a backlog of cases because of a shortage of judicial officers and lack of infrastructure. He said a letter had been sent six months ago by the Judicial Commission to the government for increasing the number of judicial officers and he was soon going to write another letter to the prime minister.

PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan said some anti-judiciary forces were trying to attack the institution for its landmark decisions but the bar and bench would protect the Constitution without having personal grudge against anyone.

He said a series of seminars and workshops on the skill of writing judgments was being held to improve the quality of judgments of lower courts.

He said at least 108 posts of judicial magistrates and judicial officers were vacant in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.