ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Saturday said that there is no immunity for anyone ‘come what may’ and everyone has to follow rule of law.

“It is high time that this sea change in our constitutional and political history is accepted by all without any ifs and buts. This is a new Pakistan where old structures are crumbling and past demons of extra constitutional deviations are being exterminated one by one,” the CJP said at a lawyers’ roll signing ceremony.

“We have learned from history that no country can realise the dream of progress and prosperity for its people without following the route of rule of law and supremacy of constitution. The early we imbibe this message in the life blood of our existence, the sooner we will reach the ‘Promised Land’.”

Congratulating the lawyers on their becoming able to practice in the apex court, the CJP said this great privilege also brings with it greater responsibilities. He said that lawyers are bound to follow the dictates of law throughout their life and help their countrymen in realising the dream of rule of law and supremacy of constitution. The chief justice said the country witnessed unprecedented changes in the wake of lawyers’ movement resulting into a healthy debate about the need to ‘change our old habits’ where expediencies held sway over rule of law and supremacy of the constitution.

“Being the lawyer of the apex court, it is your added responsibility to fully make yourself well versed with the challenges being faced by both the bench and the bar in view of raised expectations of people. It is my firm belief that charity begins at home. Unless and until the lawyers are committed to their job, the output of the institution cannot sustain improvement.”

The chief justice urged the lawyers that they must exercise extreme care in picking up their briefs. “Once committed to a case, you should focus on it in a most honest and diligent manner. Your assistance to the bench, while exercising professional work ethics and avoiding frivolous adjournments, will increase the output of the courts. This will be a win-win situation for all. Not only the litigants will get early... relief but the lawyers will also get more cases.”

Earlier, welcoming the lawyers he said it was a matter of great privilege and pride for “you that now you will be able to practice in the apex court” of the country. “This is the moment to cherish and look up to as it will herald you into a world where your professional acumen and abilities will be tested to the core. Your enrolment as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of Pakistan is a significant acknowledgement of your lifelong commitment to the profession of law.”

He said the law profession was undoubtedly a noble one in the sense that its members are equally responsible for the administration of justice and as a practitioner of law “you have to behave like an epitome of rule of law and incarnation of supremacy of the constitution... As the proverb goes, you have to wear law on your sleeves all the time”.