* SC will never allow any transgression on dignity of citizens
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, while speaking at the full court reference on the demise of Justice Muhammad Afzal Zullah, said the Supreme Court was fully aware of its constitutional role, and would always decide cases according to the dictates of law, without fear or favour.
Addressing the reference on Monday, he said the cases were adjudicated on facts, disregarding the consequences, and irrespective of the status of the parties that appear before the court.
The chief justice said the court was fully aware of its constitutional role, which was to administer justice freely, fairly and impartially. Referring to the contributions of the late CJ over human rights issues, he said that having such legacy, the Supreme Court would always work for the betterment and welfare of the people, and would never allow any transgression on the dignity of citizens. “We have sworn to preserve, protect and defend the constitution. This court will always decide cases according to the dictates of the law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will,” he added. The chief justice, expressing his resolve, said that being the torchbearer, the Supreme Court would never let down the dignity inherited from a legend like late Zullah.
Paying tribute to the late judge, he said that his landmark judgements would always provide intellectual guidance both to the members of the Bench and the Bar. The chief justice recalled one of Justice Zullah’s reported cases of 1992, wherein, a poor lady from Peshawar could not present her complicated case of inheritance before the court, his lordship provided her the assistance of a competent civil lawyer. He said that from the hands of such a visionary and intellectual individual, the foundation stone of the building of Federal Judicial Academy was laid down on April 13, 1991. “He is considered to be amongst the pioneers of public-interest litigation in the country. He initiated a suo motu action on a telegram, when he, prima facie, considered it to be a case falling in the category of public-interest litigation and within the jurisdiction of this court,” he added.
He said that Justice Afzal Zullah vigorously pursued his mission of serving society and doing good for the betterment of the nation. With hard work and dedicated efforts, he served the nation by consistently striving to give relief to the aggrieved, come to the rescue of the deprived and the oppressed segments of society, restore rights and entitlements to the legitimate owners; which he did both as a counsel and as a judge, through the dispensation of justice, he added. “As a chief justice, through his colossal efforts, a campaign was initiated to decide cases justly, fairly and expeditiously.
Through his strenuous efforts, he gave new dimensions to the judicial activism, rather he is among the founders of judicial activism in Pakistan,” he added. The chief justice, on behalf of all the judges expressed his deep sorrow over the demise of late Zullah, and shared sympathies with the bereaved family. A large number of lawyers, court and law officers were present during the Reference. hasnaat malik/agencies