The judiciary is subject to public scrutiny
Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa
Justice Gulzar Ahmed
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan
Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan
Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Subject: Accountability of the Higher Judiciary
Like all other Pakistanis, I also read eagerly your verdict on the Panama-leak case, which infused successfully the term “Godfather” into the body politic of Pakistan.
The judiciary itself is not immune to any such version of “Godfather”. In this regard, kindly do read my complaint dated 03.06.2017. The complaint was filed under Article 209 of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan with Chairman Supreme Judicial Council, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, against the misconduct of Chief Justice of Lahore High Court, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah.
The complaint was delivered in the Supreme Court on 05.06.2017 (copy of both the complaint and the receipt attached). A reminder was sent on 10.06.2017 (copy attached). Both are still unheeded.
In the Panama-leak verdict, to get your point across, you had to rely anachronistically on Mario Puzo’s novel “The Godfather” authored 48 years ago in 1969; however, in my complaint, to meet the canons of synchronism, I have dwelt on the 2017 version of “Godfather” holding the reins of the Lahore High Court.
You might have read many more such novels; however, I happen to have read some books. Let us see each other soon to figure out, in this country, where bureaucrats (i.e. the executive) are selected through a publicly held competitive exam, and politicians (i.e. the legislature) are elected through a publicly held electoral process, what the mode of selection of judges (i.e. the judiciary) is for any high court – the judges who may later on promoted to join the Supreme Court.
The judiciary as a state institution can make a comparison of its position and authority vis-à-vis those of the executive and the legislature under the Constitution of 1973, but the judiciary is overlooking the fact that it runs on public expenditure. That is, anyone, whether they are bureaucrats, lawmakers or judges, drawing salaries from the public exchequer are duty bound to respond and be answerable to the members of public.
One month has lapsed but Chairman Supreme Judicial Council Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has not responded to my complaint. This is what the problem is in this country. Ferreting out and deriding a “Godfather” in other institutions of the state is a savoury pastime, but becoming “Godfather” himself is a privilege and prerogative.
Notwithstanding the protection to the judiciary enshrined in the Constitution, public scrutiny cannot spare the judiciary, which must brave the complaint filed.
In the meantime, you may read the complaint and see if you can rebut it.
Sincerely, Dated: 04.07.2017
Dr Qaisar Rashid
2-B, Ashrafia Park, Ferozepur Road, Lahore.
Copy for information and record:
- Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Chairman Supreme Judicial Council, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Constitution Avenue, G-5/2, Islamabad.
- Transparency International – Pakistan, 5-C, 1st Floor, Khayaban-e-Ittehad, Phase VII, DHA, Karachi.
The judges of the Supreme Court have come up with no reply to my letter.
The tendency of finding faults in others but hiding faults of fellow judges describes today's higher judiciary of Pakistan.
If the Supreme Judicial Council is not ready to hold judges accountable, the Supreme Court has no right to hold others (legislators and executives) accountable.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa should stop reading novels and especially those of 1969.
Reading novels of 1969 (and imbibing their messages) and living (and commenting) in 2017 is incongruous. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa should be on either side -- and not on both sides.
People should have stakes in the selection process of judges, especially the judges of the higher judiciary. Judges are the salaried class thriving at the expense of tax payers' money.