Bhagwandas sees free judiciary revival.

LAHORE: Former senior judge of the Supreme Court, Rana Bhagwandas has said independent judiciary with Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as the head is bound to revive.

Addressing at a seminar on the subject of ‘Independent Judiciary and Economic Growth in the country’ here Thursday the former judge said, only an independent judiciary could command confidence of the foreign investors in Pakistan and as long as that is in place, the economic progress and protection of the people’s rights would remain a dream.

President Supreme Court Bar Association Aitzaz Ahsan, former Vice Chairman Pakistan Bar Council Ali Ahmad Kurd, former President SCBA Hamid Khan, President Lahore High Court Bar Association Anwar Kamal, President Lahore Bar Association Manzoor Qadir, President Tax Bar Association, Mohsin Nadeem and senior advocate Shafqat Mahmood Chouhan were the other speakers at the Conference organised by Pakistan Judicial Crisis Management Council.

Justice Rana Bhagwandas, who was sacked on November 3 among 60 other judges of the Superior Judiciary through the PCO of General Pervez Musharraf on November 3, dilating upon the judicial history of the country said that judiciary was attacked both by military and civil rulers for the personal benefits a few years after independence of the country. The era of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry after he took over in July 2005, he said, was a ray of hope for the masses as his suo moto cases purely in the largest public and national interest gave a sigh of relief to the masses and courage to other judges to work hard.

Justice Das with reference to period of Justice Chaudhry said, judiciary never interfered in the state affairs but only did what it was required through the constitution to protect rights of the masses and check excesses on them. Under house arrest, he said, Justice Chaudhry and his family members, were confined to four walls unlike other judges who were at least permitted to come out of the room to the lawn.

He counted the miseries of the nation and invited attention of the audience to judge whether present judiciary or the judiciary under Justice Chaudhry was independent. He said an independent judiciary was vital to attract foreign investment and had that been in place, the country could not have come under such a serious economic crunch and the rights of the people not flouted so blatantly.

At present, he said, the local investors are even running out of the country as the country had not peace, no electricity, public confidence in the judiciary lacked and life was almost at a standstill. The sitting government, he said, is toeing the steps of previous government about providing any relief to the masses. He cited the present reduced oil prices at the international market and no relief to the masse as a case in point. He said economy and law are concomitant as a fair and definite application of law was a big morale booster of the investors. Saluting the lawyers for their movement for the independence of judiciary, he said, there is light at the end of the tunnel and added, independent judiciary is bound to come back very soon. He regretted that some of his brother judges in the judiciary were also responsible for damaging the institution.

Aitzaz Ahsan said in today’s glabalised world, capitalists invested only in that country where their money is safe and that an independent judiciary was a guarantee to that safety. Only bold and judges of independent mind make for the independent judiciary, which is not only a big help to overcome the economic crisis but to also combat terrorism by way of providing for the masses, he said.

link: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Lahore/24-Oct-2008/Bhagwandas-sees-free-judiciary-revival

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