Mockery of justice in Pakistan

The manner in which Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has been hounding Justice Iftihar Mohammad Chaudhry smacks of arbitrariness. The government is victimising him for his bold judgements against it.

In 2006, he restrained the sale of the famous Pakistan Steel Mills to a private consortium at a cost of Rs 21.68 billion. On January 23, 2007, he ordered the cancellation of allotment of thousands of acres in Gawadar to politicians, judges, generals and other officers of the armed forces. In the public interest litigation cases, his judgements were also against the government, directing the authorities concerned to help the common man.

Son of a policeman in Balochistan, Justice Chaudhry is respected as the “People’s Judge”. He worked overtime to clear the huge backlog of cases in the Pakistan Supreme Court. In the process, he never failed to fix the rich and the powerful, the high and the mighty.

Whether it was saving a public park that was to be converted into a golf course or with ecologically aware decisions like nixing the plan to build a New Muree city, or issuing suo motu notices in favour of the poor, Chaudhry had blazed a new trail for judicial activism in Pakistan.

The Pakistan government should have evolved some dignified mechanism to avert the awkward situation. All Bar Councils and bar associations in Pakistan are on strike and work in the courts is paralysed giving a clear signal that the action against Chaudhry was patently illegal. The sanctity of the judiciary must be maintained at any cost.

HARI CHAND SHANKER, Advocate, Ambala Cantonment



In the two years since General Musharraf appointed Justice Chaudhry, he did more or less everything a Pakistani judge is not supposed to do in the dictatorial regime. He has launched inquiries into the disappearance of suspected insurgents in Balochistan; he has castigated ruling politicians and police chiefs for abandoning the poor. He banned ostentatious wedding ceremonies because they provoked class hatred. He heard petitions against inflation, stopped public parks from being converted into Golf clubs for the rich and outlawed child marriage.

Last year, the daring Judge especially annoyed the President by stopping the privatisation of the Pakistan Steel Mills, a big company, because of irregularities in the bidding process. All the best to him in his avowed mission to uphold the truth.

Maj-Gen JATINDER SINGH (retd), Chandigarh


In a dictatorship, the ruler is a patient of incurable vanity. And General Musharraf is no exception. The suspension and manhandling of Justice Iftikar Mohammad Chaudhry speaks volumes about the General’s arrogant and dictatorial administration.

In Pakistan, every officer and judge is forced to sign on the dotted line. General Musharraf seems to practise this principle in letter and spirit: “Muzzle the dog that refuses to bark in a particular direction”.

I admire Justice Chaudhry’s courage in refusing to resign from the post of Acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The judges who have submitted their resignations in protest against the maladministration and the advocates who have launched a campaign in defence of Chaudhry deserve all praise, help and cooperation to sustain their movement. The Almighty will surely bless these warriors with victory.

Prof P. L. JAIN, Sirsa

A return gift

It may be normal for a fund-raiser to send a ‘souvenir’ of advertisers for any donation given. Here is one gift that I received from the Srinatha Trust Cancer Institute, Chennai — a book entitled, Great Players, Great Events — Cricket since 1877 as a return gift. What a way to thank me, poor cancer patients!

V. RAMANA RAO, Chennai

Widely covered

There is a little discrepancy in the report on the Bhagat Singh book release by the National Book Trust (The Tribune, March 24). While I did mention that the news was published in The Tribune of Lahore and the Daily Worker of New York, a day later, i.e. on March 25, 1931, I never meant to say that it was only The Tribune and the Daily Worker which carried the news of Bhagat Singh’s execution.

Of course, almost all the Indian newspapers of different languages and some foreign newspapers, particularly in London, have carried the news of the execution.

Prof CHAMAN LAL,School of Indian Languages,JNU, New Delhi

Examination in the open

Tang is a small village, 12 km away from Dharamshala and 2 km away from Narwana. Despite incessant rainfall and chilled weather condition, the students of Government Senior Secondary School are made to sit in the open to take their final examination. When there is sufficient accommodation in the school building, why are the students being harassed like this?

The principal of the school should understand that the students might fall sick any time. I request the Director of School Education Board to intervene and instruct all district authorities not to make students suffer during the most important phase of their education.

BALBIR SINGH,Narwana (Kangra)



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