Image of independent judiciary necessary for Pakistan, says Pakistan's Chief Justice

Hyderabad, Feb 6(ANI): Pakistan's Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Sunday said that the image of independent judiciary is necessary for Pakistan to guarantee a democratic system.

At the inaugural event of the 17th Commonwealth Law Conference in Hyderabad, Chaudhry said that the judiciary in Pakistan has survived through many upheavals with at last finding its ground in a democratic setup.

"The judiciary of Pakistan has passed through different phases where efforts by adopting unconstitutional measures have been made, but the judiciary ensured its independence in all these circumstances because the judiciary is of the opinion that when there is constitutionalism and rule of law- it guarantees a democratic system instead of military rule," Chaudhary said.

He further termed November 3, 2007, as the turning point of Pakistan's judiciary system, when the country's Supreme Court was able to assert its power and give the landmark judgement that eventually ended the military dictatorship of former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

On November 3, 2007, Musharraf had declared emergency to which Chaudhry responded immediately summoning a seven-member bench, which issued an interim order against this action.

The arrest of Chaudhry and other Supreme Court judges by the Army after the judgement had created uproar across Pakistan and the world. The events then onwards led to democratic rule in Pakistan.

Since achieving democracy in 2008, Pakistan has had a history of collusions between the judiciary and executive.

The Supreme Court took the government on task at many occasions on corruption reported by the Pakistan's media, ensuring transparency in the two institutions that were key to restoring democracy.

On judiciary and executive relationship in Pakistan, Chaudhry said that the judiciary system has constantly strived to be independent of the executive.

"In line with constitutional provision, the Supreme Court has over the years strived to make the judiciary truly independent, impartial and autonomous as to withstand undue influence pressure or inducement from the executive and dispense justice fairly to all manner of people according to law without fear or favour, defection or ill will," Chaudhry said.

"This image of the judiciary is necessary because the judiciary not only decides cases and settles dispute, but also enforces the fundamental rights and freedom guaranteed to citizens," he added.

Further enunciating on the advantages an independent judiciary, Chaudhry said that it is all the more necessary as it guarantees enforcement of fundamental rights, trade and commercial activity in accordance with law and constitution.

He added that Supreme Court of Pakistan has tried to outreach at the most grass root level to ensure protection of rights of all citizens.

"The prime duty of the protection of the rights of the citizen lies upon the judicial organ of the state, the Supreme Court of Pakistan being the apex court has always strived to provide justice to the citizens at the grass root level," Chaudhary said.

On final note, Chaudhary said that the judiciary is important in any democracy as it ensures a fast economic growth, protection of the human rights, rule of law and ready information to the public, effective implication of transparency, access to information and accountability to tools ward off the evil of the corruption.

The theme of the conference was 'Emerging Economies - Rule of Law: Challenges and Opportunities'.

Chief Justices of ten Commonwealth countries are attending the conference. (ANI)

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