The bench of five

The role of judiciary in the country has always been contentious. Several people are dissatisfied with the country’s judicial system. People have lost trust in Pakistan’s legal system. The power and function of CJs have taken on a unique significance as a result of judiciary influence and intervention in political processes

Politics that are aggressive are resurfacing in our country. Imran Khan’s supporters have been energized by the “Jail Bharo” Tehreek. Imran Khan may not be your favorite, but he understands how to maintain his political integrity.

The political environment in Pakistan favours resistance and assertive politics. After taking over the coalition government, the PML-N forgot to act aggressively. The party leaders were energised when Maryam Nawaz gave a tough speech in Sargodha after so many months. The quiet criticism of five people in her speech-including a former ISI chief, two former officials, and an equal number of judges-was the speech’s standout feature. Generally speaking, we shouldn’t criticize judges; instead, we should pay attention to their decisions. In the future, I hope Maryam Nawaz would speak about court rulings rather than judges. She is correct, however, that the judiciary and other institutions have made contentious rulings that have hampered the country’s prosperity.

The intelligence services’ political involvement, which has always been contentious, has grown more damaging to Pakistan’s democratic growth in recent years. By systematic harassment, misinformation campaigns, false trials, kidnapping, torture, and murder, agencies have conducted operations against opposition politicians. Thus far, the intelligence services’ exploits in past and present civilian administrations have allowed them to hold onto power, sometimes at the expense of giving up their own rights and powers. The process of restoring civilian authority over the intelligence community entails complicated organisational, political, and legal considerations. Due to the nature of their operations, the relationship between intelligence services and democratic institutions is almost by definition tense. The lack of transparency regarding the intelligence services’ goals and actual operations makes it difficult to guarantee that their behavior complies with the constitutional framework, especially as goals are frequently only realized after the fact through the results of actual operations.

Yet other countries besides Pakistan have also dealt with the same problems. Recent years have seen the establishment of democratic control over their own intelligence organizations in other former dictatorships. Asserting civilian authority over the dictatorship’s preferred tool was an essential aspect of the democratic process in many nations. Yet, reform was frequently the result of improved governance rather than the cause of it.

The fractured political environment and the increased significance of courts as places for resolving political disputes have created a sense among judges and lawyers of the state’s political leadership’s limited legitimacy and the judiciary’s power to impact national politics and policy. This confluence of factors-new jurisdictional discretion, executive independence from the judiciary, judicialization of politics, and a changed legal culture-aided the judiciary in moving on a more ambitious, confrontational path.

The role of the judiciary in the country has always been contentious, from the legendary Maulvi Tamizuddin case to the latest charges hurled by ex-Gilgit Baltistan Chief Judge Rana Shamim. Although many individuals believe that such studies by Western organizations have always been used as propaganda weapons by the state’s opponents, the public perception within the nation is similar to these reports. Several people in the country are dissatisfied with the country’s judicial system. People have lost trust in Pakistan’s legal system.

The function and power of chief justices have taken on a unique significance as a result of the judiciary’s influence and intervention in political processes and results. The chief justices of the high courts and Supreme Court also came to determine when cases would be accepted for hearings, as well as how many and which judges heard those cases, in addition to public interest litigation and judicial nominations. Pakistan is ranked 130th out of 139 nations in the Global Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2021 report. The index evaluates a country’s adherence to the rule of law by taking into account a number of different elements. The author, Muhammad Hamza Tanvir, describes the problems with Pakistan’s judicial system, such as its lengthy legal processes. Cases like the Noor Muqaddam and the Model Town cases drag on interminably, tarnishing the nation’s judiciary.