IHC CJ urges politicians to settle disputes in parliament

Chief Justice Islamabad High Court (IHC) Athar Minallah on Monday advised the country’s political leadership against bringing their conflicts to courts and rather strengthening the Parliament by resolving those issues in democratic ways.

He expressed these views while addressing a full court reference organized in his honour. On this occasion, the nominated Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court Aamer Farooq and other judges, district and session judges, judicial officers, Additional Attorney General Manoor Iqbal Dougal, Advocate General Islamabad Jahangir Jadoon, Vice Chairman of Islamabad Bar Council and members of Islamabad High Court and District Officials of Bar Associations, and others participated.

Addressing the full court, Justice Minallah said, “Our tragedy is the state has failed to shoulder its responsibilities. Half of our life was spent in dictatorships, while the courts in their rulings have time and again reiterated there is no supremacy of law and that law is only for the elite.” He said that the IHC was not like any other high court as it represented the federation. He said that the implementation of the law was linked to a change of mindset and the political leadership could strengthen the execution of the Constitution.

It was the responsibility of the political leadership to resolve their issues in the legislature instead of dragging them to courts of law, he added. He said that the judiciary’s performance could be gauged by how much trust the public had in the legal system. He said, “We have taken an oath to protect the Constitution.” He said that implementation of the Constitution could only happen when the mindset changes. The political leadership could strengthen the implementation of the Constitution, he added.

Senior Judge of Islamabad High Court and nominated Chief Justice Aamer Farooq said that Chief Justice Athar Minallah played an important role in the lawyers’ movement and special attention was paid to human rights issues during his tenure. He said the Chief Justice Athar Minallah visited Central Jail for prison reforms after which jail reforms were carried out. Islamabad Bar Council Vice Chairman Qamar Sabzwari while addressing the full court reference, congratulated Chief Justice Athar Minallah on being nominated as a judge of the Supreme Court and appealed to pardon the lawyers involved in the high court attack case.

Additional Attorney General Munawar Dougal said the participants were gathered here to bid farewell to the Chief Justice Athar Minullah, who would be sworn-in as a Judge of the Supreme Court. Advocate General Islamabad Barrister Jahangir Jadoon said that a decision of Chief Justice Athar Minallah was also referred in the American court. He said that important decisions were made regarding missing persons including freedom of expression and fundamental rights of journalists. The Chief Justice accepted the criticism of his decisions cheerfully and did not use the power of contempt of court, he added.

Earlier, Islamabad High Court Bar Association President Shoaib Shaheen also addressed and appreciated the services of Chief Justice Athar Minallah. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minullah was the son-in-law of former Supreme Court judge Justice Safdar Shah. Justice Safdar was part of the bench that sentenced former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to death. However, he wrote a dissenting note. Justice Safdar Shah was forced to leave the country after disagreeing with Zulfikar Bhutto’s sentencing decision. On November 28, 2018, Justice Athar Minallah took oath as Chief Justice and announced landmark judgments. Chief Justice Athar Minallah wrote historic judgments regarding animal rights, and missing persons.

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