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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Taking on the judiciary?

The incumbent government’s stance about the country’s judiciary is rather concerning. In its latest attempt to what can be stated as ridiculing the judiciary, Prime Minister Imran Khan criticized the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for its recent petition filed at the Supreme Court. In its plea, the body seeks a review of the apex court’s decision that maintains politicians disqualified under Article 62(1f) of the Constitution would be barred for life. It was this ruling that had disqualified PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen. Thus, the outcome of the petition could overturn this decision.

The premier during his speech at a recently held ceremony accused the SCBA for ‘supporting criminal’. “The SCBA is pleading before the court that a man who looted country’s wealth, got convicted and ran abroad after telling a lie should be given another chance to play a match,” he said. It is unclear why PM Imran believes that the apex court’s body is colluding with the PML-N leadership, especially when the petition was returned by the registrar’s office two days ago. What is more concerning is the premier lambasting one of the leading lawyers’ body pf the country in public. This is not the first time that the federal government has made its agitations with the country’s judiciary public. Just few days before PM Imran’s speech, his information and law ministers had picked fault in the Supreme Court’s judgment filed in Justice Faez Isa case. The court had ruled that if civil officials were allowed to file complaints against the judges of the constitutional courts there would be “disastrous consequences” for the independence of judiciary. However, the ministers had criticized this ruling with Fawad saying that the “judiciary needed introspection in the light of its fast-declining ranking at the global level.”

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The ruling party unfortunately has a habit of ridiculing those who do not toe the line and agree to them. However, if the government has any concerns with the judiciary, it must take them up with it through official channels. But this open public vilification campaign of the country’s top court and lawyers sets a dangerous precedent, especially at a time when the public already looks at the judicial system with caution. PM Imran and his ministers should maintain the sanctity of their office.

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