ABBOTTABAD – Chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that no one can dare derail the system and judiciary is the custodian of the Constitution.

Addressing the Abbottabad Bar Association on Saturday, the CJP praised Parliament for invalidating the measure taken by a military dictator by approving the 18th Amendment, adding that the system must run under law and constitution.

He said: “Institutions are bound to respect the constitution and the Supreme Court is aware of its jurisdiction stipulated in the Constitution.”

The chief justice asserted that the constitution put the judiciary on guard to protect rights of citizens, check the acts of mal-governance and powers abuse by authorities or institutions through exercising its power of judicial review.

He said that four governments were removed through 58(2b) and it was heartening that the present parliament was completing its five-year term.

The CJ said that the Constitution demanded a democratic system in the country and after religious scriptures, it was the most sacred document for the nation.

“Observance and protection of the constitution was mandatory for every individual whether or not they had taken an oath to safeguard it. Pakistan has become a civilised country and the system should run under law and constitution,” he said.

He went on to say that the judiciary alone could not impart justice without assistance of lawyers, who had proved that the supremacy of the Constitution was above everything during the lawyers’ movement.

“Islam considers ‘Justice’ an attribute of Allah Almighty and a religious duty. Everybody is equal before the law, irrespective of his position in the society”, he added.

Citing the lawyers’ movement, he said that the unprecedented movement had earned the praise for the country and portrayed a positive image of Pakistan in the international community.

“It was because of this that in May 2012, the International Council of Jurists, conferred an award to me, in recognition of my struggle for the rule of law and administration of justice, which indeed was the recognition of the struggle of lawyers, civil society and of the media,” he added. 

“It is the right of the people to get justice and the judges are striving hard to deliver this task in the best of their abilities. National Judicial Policy was formulated in consultation with all the stakeholders to ensure the eradication of corruption, independence of judiciary and reduction of backlog of cases.”

He said that judges of the superior and lower courts were doing untiring efforts to deal with the issue of backlog of cases.

He also said that strong parliament and judiciary were the guarantee of public welfare.