Adnan Ali

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Adnan Ali is a Search Optimization, Search Marketing and Social Media Strategy professional from Lahore, Pakistan. 

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Exclusive: 'Justice' Delivered to the Nation. What does the Chief Justice restoration really mean?

What the restoration of the Chief Justice really means?

Here is my point of view while living in Pakistan. The verdict that was delivered today was as much a street verdict as a defining one in the judicial history of Pakistan. We have to remember that the 13 member panel is a constitutional body. The parameters for their interpretation is defined by the constitution. How they did so today, given the situation and place in history of this country is unique. They were perhaps given a chance that no other panel before them ever had. A strong public movement by the lawyers, backed by public sentiment, in the presence of increasingly attentive and free media helped those 13 judges as much as any of their own convictions.

But in the aftermath, what does this mean? Some misconceptions first. Contrary to common belief the President can not be made party to any case that is brought to the supreme court. There is not going to be a situation which leads to a conflict of interest. The lawyers on both side have already announced that they will not be advocating in the presence of the Chief Justice. Also to say that there has been a backhand deal is pure heresy and needs to be stopped. Also remember that 13 judges gave a unanimous decision today.

The judiciary has taken its first steps towards independence and freedom. But the real tests start now. What will the court do about the missing persons cases which the Chief Justice had championed. What will the court decide about President Musharraf's re-election in uniform, or without it even. There is the case of upcoming elections. I think the biggest step this new, independant and free judiciary can take is to reform the election commission and give it a similar boost that it got today.

A free and independant judiciary means a lot to this country. There is a long way to go but we need to understand how justice works. The Principle of Necessity that was used uptil now needed such a historic judgement to give way to a new principle. Judiciary uses presidence. This verdict will be used in the future litigation. More importantly, today there is a belief that this new judiciary will provide justice. It is upto the judiciary now to speed up the important cases so that a system is established. The reality of new media and increased public awareness today is going to be a strong support for any one who dares to do the right thing.

It is a day to rejoice but also a day to look forwards towards consolidation. Moreover we need to make sure that no political deal making goes on and a free and fair election is held by the end of this year.

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