Justice Minallah bemoans ‘rule of elite’ in Pakistan


ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah took a dim view of the dispensation of justice in the country on Monday as he deplored the absence of the rule of law and the “rule of the elite” in the country.

Addressing a full court reference organised in his honour, the IHC CJ noted it was tragic that the state has failed to shoulder its responsibilities.

“Half of our life was spent in dictatorships, while the courts in their rulings have repeatedly reiterated there is no supremacy of law and that law is only for the elite,” he underscored.

He also advised politicians to resolve their disputes in parliament and not in courts. “It was the responsibility of the political leadership to resolve their issues in the legislature instead of dragging them to courts of law,” he said.

“The answer to the question if there is any civilian and constitutional supremacy is in the negative There’s no rule of law here, but the rule of the elite,” he further said.

“The implementation of the law is linked to a change of mindset. Political leadership can strengthen the execution of the constitution.”

He further said the judiciary’s performance could be gauged by how much trust the public had in the legal system. “Political leadership can strengthen the implementation of the constitution, our institutions are accountable to public scrutiny and people should have confidence in the judiciary,” he emphasised.

“Judiciary is also bound to observe the principle of separation of powers. We have taken an oath to protect the constitution,” he stressed.

He pointed out the IHC was not like any other high court as it represented the federation and said he would refrain from taking any credit for his performance as none of it would have been possible without fellow judges and a vibrant bar.

Meanwhile, speaking on the occasion, Justice Amir Farooq, who will be taking over from Justice Minallah as the chief justice of the IHC, congratulated IHC CJ.

He said Justice Minallah played an important role in the lawyers’ movement, gave special attention to issues pertaining to human rights and made jail reforms possible.

Other speakers on the occasion included Islamabad Bar Council Vice Chairman Qamar Sabzwari, Islamabad High Court Bar Association President Shoaib Shaheen, the Islamabad advocate general, and the additional attorney general.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, Justice Babar Sattar, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan and Justice Samman Rifat Imtiaz were also present at the full-court reference.__Tribune.com