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Monday, May 20, 2024

Reforming the Judicial System: A Key to Justice for All

In order to build a just and fair society, it is crucial to embark on comprehensive judicial reform. This entails confronting the prevalent challenges that plague the system, such as corruption, the misuse of law, and the proliferation of fake cases. To restore public faith in the judiciary, it is imperative to hold accountable those who initiate false cases and perpetrate injustice.

A civilized society is always based on an ecosystem where rights and responsibilities counter and balance each other through a predefined set of laws carrying rewards and punishments.

A few months ago, a mugger was shot dead by a shopkeeper near my residence. The next day when I enquired the shopkeeper out of appreciation for his bravery, I was astonished to know that the Police registered that case as a police encounter in the hope of promotion and cash awards. The shopkeeper himself consented to be recorded as a Police feat just to avoid the unending court proceedings of Pakistan. A mugger does not only snatch away the victim’s possessions but the businesses, education and peace of the area equally.

Read more: The great plunders in the name of privatization

Unfortunately, Pakistani media sees judiciary importance only in Political cases with vast coverage while other cases of robbery, murders, business fraud, cheating, perjury, corruption, harassment etc go unnoticed. The bigger picture reflects its the collective judicial system’s failure at the hands of an indifferent nation that hardly believes in truth. Lies go un-punished in the judicial system. See how the democracies do not spare their lawyers even; Michael Cohen,  a Trump Lawyer received a two-month sentence on account of lying to the US Senate Committee, to be served concurrently with his three-year sentence for tax fraud and other charges.

The Powerful Are Also Vulnerable 

The powerful, if not interested in the rule of law, are actually making it un-livable for their families also as the lawlessness affects all. Qamar Zaman Kaira, a soft-spoken leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party lost his son in a car accident which obviously carries two major law violations that were system problems and his innocent son just fell prey to that system failure ;(1) The car did not have airbags opened at the impact of accident which should have opened (2) Other road violations which are taken for granted.

Few years back, a PIA pilot harassed an air hostess (not mentioning names of both) in Paris hotel by calling her dozens of times. She lodged a departmental complaint. To counter her, the pilot lodged an FIR against her at Karachi Airport Police Station on some plea so that she had to visit Police Station and being a woman she had to compromise by withdrawing her harassment charges. This is the dark side of the society.

A friend of mine from Lahore has a recoverable amount of Rs. 2 crore to be received from a big politician-cum- businessman of national repute. He often discusses this. Once I asked him to seek court assistance and his reply was “I am a common man, if I offend them, they may get an FIR registered against me on any pretext and I will be at their mercy then.

Read more: The unrest in Pakistani society

Such fake cases should be countered by the Judges by punishing the initiaters if they are to restore the lost public faith in the judiciary.

Judges Matter The Most 

I always believe that the 4000-plus judges are our assets who are competent enough to bless the nation with justice as they are qualified enough to put society in order by taking swift decisions. Umer Bandial or Qazi Faez Esa, trust them all. They all could do wonders if have the back of the nation.

IK has been dragged into the vicious details of things other than his mega-corruption narrative. In the 1980s and 1990s, approximately 50 billion US worth of 90 Pakistani companies including a few banks, many cement factories, textiles mills, etc were privatized/sold to favorites at throw-away prices and mere 600 Million US$ were deposited in the national exchequer. Among them was a Pasroor Sugar Mill that was sold to one Shaikh Saleem for a mere Pak Rupee ONE only. Just compare, the contemporary period saw 48 UK companies were privatized/sold and 100 Billion US$ deposited in UK Treasury.  This had broken the Pak economy beyond repair. Ironically, the same managers are at the steering wheel of the country. Pathetic.

The Solution 

As per the Dawn newspaper report on 16th January 2018, there were 4000 judges in the country. The then Chief Justice highlighted that only one judge was available for a population of 62,000 in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Similarly in the Lahore High Court, only one judge is available for 2.2 million people.

Read more: The weak institutions of Pakistan

Public has to attend the courts daily in their respective areas daily to support the honorable judges by extending moral backing. This should be done by organizing turns to attend court proceedings. The unnecessary delays, No Show on prescribed dates, submitting forged documents, and fake witnesses are all to be rooted out through the mere presence of area residents in the courts around their respective towns.

This project has to be undertaken by the country if they wish to compete with the world.

As an Insafian myself, I strongly believe that after the whistleblowing phase of IK, it’s time now to realign the party to concentrate on judiciary performance down to the core to get justice for all and sundry.

 

The writer is an Ex-Airliner and Management Consultant. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.