Pakistan Bar Council stresses apolitical role of courts
By News Desk
August 24, 2023 03:41 PM
The representatives of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) stressed the need for an apolitical role of the courts, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Thursday.
While talking to the media, they said: “The courts should be respected. We do not want the courts to be called with specific names.”
They added: “The courts should be apolitical. The Supreme Court (SC) should be aware of its position. Favouring someone directly is against its integrity.”
They stated: “Yesterday, it seemed that a direction took place in the case. Earlier, the courts were called Sharif courts. The PTI chairman’s appeal was not fixed yesterday, not even today.”
PBC Executive Committee Chairman Hassan Raza Pasha said that the main appeal against Imran Khan’s conviction was not fixed before the SC. “But yesterday’s remarks by the SC which we saw and heard, it seemed as if the whole appeal was decided, and we saw criminal jurisprudence changing,” he said.
“It seems as if there is no trust left in the honourable high court judges. They are also equally honourable and respectable judges, and are passing verdicts according to their conscience … it amounts to interference in the smooth functioning of the high court, appellate court,” Pasha said.
“What decision will the high court make?” he asked. He noted that the lawyers of a certain political party, an apparent reference to the PTI, were saying that the SC’s observations had amounted to an acquittal.
“So will it be inferred that he was acquitted due to the SC’s pressure? And if they don’t, which high court or subordinate judiciary can make a decision either way in light of these observations?” he asked.
He said that the PBC respected the SC and they did not want the court’s esteem to suffer. “There should be no interference in matters pending in the high court,” he said, adding that any interference was unfair to the other party in the case.
“We have seen that in other cases an order is issued, that we expect from the high court to decide the case in such and such manner … Yesterday, we felt that directions were given which should not happen. We, once again, say that no one should be prejudiced,” he said.
He noted that in the past the courts were called “Sharif courts”. “We don’t want the public and lawyers to call the courts by another name,” he said.
Pasha said that the judiciary should be apolitical and should function within the parameters of the law.
Responding to a question from a reporter, Pasha said that the PBC — which he termed the “highest statutory body of lawyers” — wanted the apex court’s respect and honour to remain intact.
“We think that we are also custodians of the Constitution. We talk about the Constitution so we want all matters to operate according to it,” he said.
Meanwhile, PBC Vice Chairman Haroonur Rashid said that the PTI chief had filed an appeal against his conviction in the Toshakhana case, which was still pending before the IHC.
“In that appeal, it has to be seen whether the conviction is right or wrong. That is the high court’s domain, and the SC’s observations from yesterday directly influence lower courts and high courts.”
He noted that high courts and lower courts were subordinate courts. He further said that if the two now issued a verdict according to what they deemed fit, it would seem as if they didn’t consider the apex court’s observation.