Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Chief Justice of Pakistan (Photo courtesy Samaa TV)
The deferment of a case against Pakistani Prime Minister for corruption and money laundering by a five member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan led by the Honorable Chief Justice has come as a complete shock to the nation especially after substantial hearing had been completed. The Supreme Court was expected to dispense justice and issue a verdict in this historic case, instead the Honorable Justices opted to go on vacation and leave the case unresolved. With the impending retirement of the CJ on December 31, 2016, it means a new bench will have to be formed by the incoming CJ and the entire hearing started anew. This is a classic case of JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED.
What is beyond logic is, why did the SC not hear the case on a day to day basis and complete this all important case several weeks ago. Also, the logic of CJ sitting on the bench knowing full well that his impending retirement could cause a major obstacle to the continuance and resolution of this case, is beyond comprehension.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan is held in high esteem by the public and when all else fails, people expect to receive a fair hearing and justice from this venerable institution. Leaving a case half way in this manner may seriously jeopardize the reputation of the last bastion of justice in Pakistan. God forbid, if people of Pakistan lose faith in this institution, then there will be no justice and no door left to knock at for righting the wrongs.
The Honorable Chief Justice does not retire until December 31 and to say there is no time left to finish this case is a gross injustice in itself. If the Honorable Chief Justice wants to leave his legacy and a mark as an upright and an outstanding jurist (which indeed he is without any doubt), then he should immediately recall the bench, cancel the vacation, complete the hearing and render a verdict before departing. Failing that, the deferment will be considered as Justice not appeared to have been done.
The famous Urdu poet of the subcontinent Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib once wrote about the injustice being dispensed to him in the following words:
Yeh musif khud bhi qaidi haen, hamein insaaf kiya dein ge
Likha hae in ke chehron par jo insaaf hum ko dein ge
One is confident that the judiciary will do the right thing and history will judge the outgoing Chief Justice and the other four justices on the bench with reverence.