CJP Iftikhar asks judicial officers to work within law, disregard pressure
03 April, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has urged judicial officers charged with electoral duties to discharge their responsibilities in accordance with law, without succumbing to any sort of pressure and treat all and sundry equally.
In a letter to the district and sessions judges, additional district and sessions judges and senior civil judges/civil judges who have been appointed as district returning officers, returning officers and assistant returning officers, the Justice Iftikhar has said, "The district judiciary is our face and we depend upon our judicial officers, their deployment in the election process was in the national interest and now it is their moral and legal duty to prove their worth and credibility by conducting election in a free, fair and transparent manner."
"As the process of entertaining nomination papers and scrutiny is underway thus any decision taken by the judiciary would go a long way in shaping the destiny of this nation, particularly at this crucial stage when the country and the nation is confronted with a number of problems and difficulties; therefore, we should come out with commitment to enforce the constitutional mandate and ensure that the elected representatives come forward to govern this country without having any label of any disqualification," the chief justice observed.
In his letter he has said that while formulating the National Judicial Policy, it was considered appropriate to keep the judiciary away from the election process so that it could concentrate all its strength on clearance of backlog and expeditious dispensation of justice. However, acceding to the request of the Election Commission of Pakistan, and to ensure transparency and credibility of the electoral process, the NJPMC granted relaxation in the National Judicial Policy. Thus, the judicial officers have been deputed to perform functions for conducting general elections for the National Assembly and provincial assembly seats.
He further stated in his letter to the district returning officers, returning officers and assistant returning officers that due to his preoccupation with judicial work, it would not be possible for him to reach each and every judicial officer engaged in the election process, so he was sending this letter with a pledge that "we must strive together to strengthen the democratic order and enrich the judicial norms".