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EditorialConstitution is supreme!

Constitution is supreme!

When he was the Islamabad High Court judge and later the chief justice, judge Athar Minallah spoke through his verdicts and remarked that if the parliament has taken a decision, that should not be brought to a court of law. He often reminded the members of parliament whenever they were petitioners in such cases. Now, at the whole court ceremony organised in his honor following his appointment to the Supreme Court and retirement as chief justice of the Islamabad High Court, Justice Athar Minallah again made a message that all national stakeholders should be aware of. The learned Justice is correct to point out that the state has not carried out its obligations and that the political leadership should also be aware of their duty, and resolve any conflicts between them in the parliament rather than taking them to court because there is a pressing need for communication about the current political concerns.

Parliament is the best place for discussing these issues. He asserted that it is the responsibility of the elected officials to uphold the primacy of the legislature that the people chose them to serve in. The single venue that the constitution also prioritises over all other institutions is the parliament. The political establishment has to support the legislation. In the same way, the judiciary must uphold the separation of powers rule as well. The judge says we have sworn to uphold the Constitution supreme; we have a certain job to do, and our powers to interfere in parliamentary affairs are limited. The execution of the constitution can only take place when the mindset shifts, thus if there is a conflict between civilian supremacy and the supremacy of the constitution, the answer is no.

Political leadership can improve the constitution’s execution and our institution’s public accountability. With due diligence, the public should have confidence in the judiciary. Justice Athar Minullah has acknowledged why democratic institutions are weak in our nation and what the primary cause of concern about institutions going beyond is. The comments of Justice Athar Minullah can surely serve as a guide for lawmakers. A lot of problems that altered the course of the nation’s history could have been resolved in the parliament itself. The honorable judge is now a Supreme Court judge. Best wishes to the learned judge.

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