“Your greatest achievement is to provide equal justice to all the high and the low, you have acted judicially without, fear or favor in the courtroom even against rulers and leaders for the cause of justice and fair play.”
Our judicial hero is none other than Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry whom most Pakistanis know, love and respect. He worked as a judge of the High Court before being. elevated to the Supreme Court of Pakistan (raised to a judgeship here). During the last few. years, he worked tirelessly for the whole society by deciding some very important cases on principles of justice. For example, he disallowed the sale of the Pakistan Steel Mills to private parties keeping it in the hands of the nation. He decided 20,000 cases in a year to provide relief to ordinary people in record time.
The Chief Justice always helped people coming to the Supreme Court with their complaints or even not coming there. He himself took notice of 6000 cases of the people for human rights abuses. He questioned government agencies about the disappearance of thousands of people. The cases and inquiries that he set in motion in favor of suffering men and women, helpless people are fresh in our memories.
The lawyers of the country and the common people were shocked when the government made him non-functional and sent a reference against him to the Supreme Judicial Council on 9 March 2007. The Chief Justice was asked to resign from his office which he did not do.
After 9 March 2007, most of the lawyers and their associations have been protesting against the government in favor of the Chief Justice. They all have demanded the withdrawal of the charges against him and his rejoining the Supreme Court as a working chief judge.
Justice Chaudhry says openly that he wants perfect justice and true democracy in the country. Not only that he himself wants justice, he wants justice to be provided to everyone, poor or rich. He wants all obstacles in the way of justice to be removed forever. He wants all, high and low alike, to be equal before the law. In a word, he wants Islamic justice and modern western justice to govern our lives. He wants everyone from the highest to the lowest level of society to be answerable to free and independent courts of law. He is against all forms of recommendations and favoritism.
Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is a ray of hope to the poor people of Pakistan in the dark corrupt society they are living in. We need judges like this supreme judge. We need presidents and rulers like this brave hero. If this judicial hero comes out of the judiciary and stands for the office of President in general elections afterward, most of the people, especially the poor, the downtrodden, the underprivileged will vote for him. They all know and feel that he will work, together with his trusted companions and supporters, democratically and justly. Only people like him can save the ship of the state and nation from sinking into the sea of injustice, corruption, and cruelty.
Now, after his restoration as acting chief justice, the nation expects of him to make all the courts do speedy justice. It expects of him to make the rule of law operative in society.