ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan-designate Nasirul Mulk said on Friday that all institutions should work within their constitutional ambit and not interfere in the administrative matters of each other.
He, however, said that the courts can intervene if institutions do not work within their ambit. He was addressing a full court reference in the honor of outgoing Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jilani. Justice Jilani will retire today (Saturday) from his service. Justice Nasirul Mulk said that Justice Jillani would be remembered as a jurist, a poet, an author and above all a humble and polite gentleman judge, and a stalwart of constitutionalism in Pakistan.
He said that the core of his jurisprudence and judgements throughout the years has remained a strict reference to the text and spirit of the constitution, where he has staunchly preserved and furthered rule of law and dispensation of justice. He said that in a recent judgement on the rights of minorities, Justice Jillani warned the people of the country about the dangers of sectarian discord by referring to Shakespeare’s prophecy of war and destruction due to such sectarian divisions in Ireland.
Justice Mulk said that minorities in Pakistan are one such class of people whose rights have escaped the concerns of policy makers for years, the area where the law proverbially slept. He said that constitution is not a collection of words but a nation’s collective will at creating a social contract, where life, liberty and justice will not only be guarded but also promoted. Rule of law can only emerge and be consolidated in a polity where judiciary is cognisant of its responsibilities, he added.
“Our constitution provides for separation of powers, where each pillar of state has been given particular functions and responsibilities. This separation of power creates adequate checks and balances wherein courts may undertake judicial review and step in when the executive and legislature acts ultra-vires of the constitution,” said Justice Nasir. He said that courts have to walk a tightrope, as they not only have the constitutional responsibility of protecting and promoting the rights of the people but also have the duty of respecting the constitutionally created tracheotomy of power and governance structure in Pakistan can only be strengthened when all the institutions of the state work in accordance with law and cautiously exercise the power held by them for betterment of the people.
Meanwhile, outgoing Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani said, “During my short stint as the chief justice of Pakistan, there were certain matters which I considered, required judicial indulgence. Whether it was the case of the challenge thrown to the July 31, 2009 judgement in review jurisdiction or the anomaly of not providing timeline within which the governor was bound by the advice of the chief minister or the case where the court directed to revamp legal education to improve the quality of justice or the concern expressed about the quality of medical education or the case where the court gave judicial recognition to the concept of sustainable development, the court has been resolute in protecting constitutional values, responding to social dynamics, expanding the scope of judicial review and thereby acting as a catalyst of social change”.
He said that democracy cannot survive in the absence of an independent judiciary and the traditional judiciary had been buried forever. All judges of the apex court, including senior lawyers, attended the full court reference. appPresident Mamnoon Hussain on Monday formally approved the appointment of Justice Nasirul Mulk as the new chief justice of Pakistan. Being the senior-most judge of the top court, Justice Nasirul Mulk would replace the current CJP after taking the oath at the Presidency from the president. Outgoing CJP Tassaduq Hussain Jillani is going to retire from the top court after serving in it as a judge for a decade and as CJP for a term of seven months.
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