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Need to observe institutional balance

March 28, 2013

THE societal trend to determine parameters and the procedural outlining to observe such parameters is the fundamental course of smooth sailing. The problems get generated when overstepping or outlawing disturbs the mechanism.

This fundamental change is apparent in progressive judicial authority.

The use of powers and prerogatives is an inalienable right but when it comes at the expense of narrowing down the powers and prerogatives of other institutions, it damages the spirit of separation of powers.

Inevitably, there had been unfortunate weak justice system in the past on several crucial occasions which has now given rise to an institutional fragility and social deprivations, yet overassertion of the authority to improve its image in a jiffy will not produce the desired results and would rather disturb the institutional balance.

The prevailing mode of rushing to justice may help to enlighten the hopes of people but it is causing a severe imbalance among institutions and setting ambiguous precedents. It is not always the incapacity or unwillingness of the executive but in some cases the executive authority is given no room to act actively because of immediate suo motu actions.

Taking the top bureaucrats by hand and getting them implemented orders in an often unreasonable time and inappropriate manner is tantamount to rushing to justice which can crush the very justice altogether. But this also does not mean supporting the delay in justice which also happens to defeat justice.

There is a dire need to balance the judicial authority so that it neither results in rushing to justice nor in its delay. The judiciary should exercise its activism in parallel to restraint. It should first give the other institutions due chance and time to exercise their powers in a reasonable and timely manner. Failure to do so should only provoke the judiciary to step in.

ABRAIZ MUZAFFAR SHAIKH Karachi