Judiciary, legislature, executive should support each other: CJP Iftikhar
10 February, 2013
LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that all three main organs of the state – the judiciary, executive and the legislature – should work in collaboration and cooperation with each other to secure basic human rights for the people of Pakistan.
Speaking at the 27th roll-signing ceremony on Saturday, the CJP said that every institution in Pakistan had to recognise and respect constitutional norms to secure democratic governance and rule of law.
"Our society is passing through hard times due to the prevalent law and order situation in various areas of Pakistan. The rampant culture of terrorism, extremism, sectarianism and extra-judicial killings has taken thousands of lives and affected millions of families."
He said the executive and the legislature needed to play their role in formulating and implementing laws for curbing extremism, sectarianism, terrorism, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings. He said the judiciary had always tried to deliver its best while adjudicating in accordance with the existing laws and given procedure.
The CJP said the Supreme Court is the custodian of the constitution and, as such, had the constitutional power of judicial review.
In the constitutional history of Pakistan, the Supreme Court had exercised the power of judicial review at various occasions to check the constitutionality of state actions, he said. "To do so, the judiciary has to be vigilant and play an active role," he added. Justice Chaudhry said that independence of the judiciary was a "sine qua non for the promotion of rule of law", which is a basic substance of democracy and necessitates supremacy of the constitution.
"It is the statutory and constitutional responsibility of the judiciary to safeguard constitutional principles, which provide for an effective enforcement of fundamental rights and clean and efficient system of governance."
He said that the lawyers' community had played a key role along with civil society in securing judicial independence in post-November 3, 2007 scenario. After restoration, the judiciary – with the support of the bar – had left no stone unturned to maintain its independence and prestige by responding promptly and rendering justice fairly, he said.
He said he was proud that the Pakistani judicial system was the strongest pillar of state, which enjoyed full confidence and faith of other institutions as well as the public at large.