Humans in the Stone Age traditionally had armed gangs to solve disputes. Whoever had a big gang and arms was ultimately the winner in the end.
With the evolution and progress in thinking and civilisation, humans realised the importance of justice and merit to solve the disputes and they invented the judicial system. Courts were set up and disputes were taken to these courts before a judge to solve them. With the birth and evolution of better judicial courts, humans also discovered the art of manipulating the process of this system and used propaganda, power of status and money.
In the subcontinent, courts are often used to settle personal scores or to annoy enemies by filing baseless allegations and cases. In our country, people mostly love to file baseless cases by nature. Usually they go to courts just to settle personal grudges and enmity. So this habit of filing baseless and illogical cases against each other not only overloads the work of courts, but also becomes a tool to waste money and time of the opponent.
There is a social factor to it too. Our collective psychology is that if someone is accused of any sort of allegation, and is visiting the courts to seek justice, we take him as a criminal even if he wins the case and proves his innocence in court. On the other hand, millions of people struggle to get justice through the courts, but their cases are not taken up or so slow is the process that it normally takes two to three generations to finally get the verdict from the court.
In the case of a common man being accused in any crime, he is instantly rewarded punishment if the accuser is wealthy or influential. Contrary to this, if an influential person commits any crime or is accused of any charge he gets instant relief from the courts. The cases of Mustafa Kanju, Ayyan Ali and Pervez Musharraf are the latest examples in this regard. These three influential people committed crimes in front of many people, but somehow managed to get bail and flew to foreign countries.
During the famous Zain murder case hearing in the Supreme Court, the mother of the deceased told judges she could not pursue the case because she has daughters and their lives were in danger. The accused Mustafa Kanju hailed from a well connected and political family and so she received constant threats. The statement of the deceased Zain’s mother actually was an indication that law enforcement agencies and judiciary are the pawns of feuds, politicians and powerful elite. Mustafa Kanju, murderer of Zain, is still enjoying life in open air instead of being behind bars, and each and every breath he takes in freedom, is actually a slap in the face of the miserable and incompetent system of police and judiciary. If the same crime was committed by an ordinary fruit seller, shopkeeper or job holder, they would have been convicted within weeks and would have been hanged to death by now.
Likewise what Musharraf and Ayyan Ali did, if it was done by an ordinary person he or she would have been behind bars. But because all of them were well connected, and rich, they managed to slaughter the law, and are now enjoying their lives. There are thousands of criminals like them who with the power of money and connections massacre the legal system of Pakistan every day and keep blackening the face of society and system.
State, judiciary or law enforcement agencies do not even think to touch the powerful criminals and to some extent facilitate them to get off the hook. If a high profile person or terrorist is presented in court, most of the judges take leave to avoid the proceedings, or most of the time they give relief or clean chits to them due to pressure or to secure their job.
Their frustration of being oppressed by the powerful is being thrown on the common man and they practice their full authority on the weak and common people just to satisfy the ego, hurt by the influential and powerful mafia. Mostly, even the judicial findings are being kept in the dark. From the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report findings to the Abbottabad incident report, many judicial fact findings are not announced or not published. The missing persons cases become missing files but no judgment is given. Strangely, cases of a political nature and blasphemy of religion are taken on an urgent basis and their decisions are announced quickly. It is strange that court can find time to hear a pure case of political nature, based on political rivalry, but it cannot somehow find time to take up thousands of cases whose files remain buried under the table for decades.
Judges can hear blasphemy cases on an urgent basis and easily convict the minority or weaker person, but they can’t dare take cases of land scams of Army generals or the big criminals. They can rule that the NAB officials Major Shabir and Tariq, who took action against corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, and recovered billions of rupees looted from national exchequer, were hired against the rules even after serving 17 years, thus forcing an early retirement. But they cannot dare to ask bureaucrats and politicians from whom the officers recovered black money.
Recently the higher courts observed that judiciary and judges are being criticised unnecessarily and this is a contempt of court. The Islamabad High Court Chief Justice made the observation that nothing will be accepted against religion. Now this raises some serious questions. Is not the murderer of Zain living freely a mockery of the legal and judicial system? The widow and orphan son still seek justice for their husband and father. The custom inspector who caught Ayyan Ali red handed is a clear proof of a weak and inefficient legal and judicial system.
Musharraf brutally suspended the constitution of Pakistan two times, kept the judges of the Supreme Court under house arrest – is that not contempt of court and law?
Bringing the weak and common people to justice and giving exemption to the mighty and well connected – is not contempt against humanity?
Millions of common people are watching these big guns breaching the Constitution and with their empty eyes they are only asking one question: when will they be given justice, when cases pending for years will be heard by honourable judges? A society can never flourish if the justice is being given selectively.
People are looking towards the honourable court and asking: is it not better to take up cases of the common people and give them justice instead of focusing on how to shut Facebook and other social media websites to stop any kind of blasphemy. Yes, blasphemous content should be stopped but so should the exploitation of the legal system by the powerful elite.
Judges are not supposed to preach or interpret religion, nor do they need to teach moral values based on religious principles. Their duty is to interpret constitution and to make sure that speedy justice is being provided to aggrieved people. When will the court judges take Suo Moto notice on the contempt of not providing speedy and true justice to millions Pakistanis? The common people are waiting for an answer.