ISLAMABAD: A society makes progress and its people flourish when justice and rule of law prevail and all the state organs perform their functions in accordance with the constitution and legal framework. Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali stated this while addressing a full-court reference on the retirement of Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany. The attorney general, Pakistan Bar Council’s executive committee chairman and the Supreme Court Bar Association president also spoke on this occasion.

Justice Jamali said exceeding limits by any institution not only damages democracy but also leaves negative impacts on the welfare of people. The chief justice said the constitution specifies the role of each institution, so judiciary, executive and legislature should work within their limits. Justice Sarmad who had laid down robe yesterday advised the lawyers to discourage their clients from indulging in unnecessary litigation, which would reduce burden of courts.

He said: “Today the beloved country stands at a crossroads. On one hand, we are battling the forces of ignorance and bigotry while on the other trying to pull ourselves out of poverty and debt. Now it the time to unite, forget our infighting, stop blaming others for our woes and gather all our energies to direct them towards building our nation and country.” PBC Executive Committee Chairman Ahsan Bhoon said lawyers and judges also make mistakes: “A true judge will acknowledge error of judgment and brave judges will learn lesson and correct the mistakes,” he added.

Bhoon said there have been judgments delivered by the Supreme Court that were motivated and based on politics, rather than law. The judgment on Sindh High Court Bar Association Vs federation has left deep scars on the judiciary of Pakistan, so it ought to be revisited, not to restore judges but to wipe away the controversial spots on this institution, he stated. Expressing satisfaction, Bhoon said the bar is pleased that the policy of stigmatisation of those aggrieved by the July 31 judgment has been abandoned. He proposed the Judicial Commission of Pakistan should elevate those who are in regular practice. “A wider consultation will bring collective wisdom to the Commission,” he added.

He said it is critical that those holding extreme views be kept away from the judicial institution. “Unlike the past, judges who are elevated to the bench should also be judged on the prejudices they hold as the past experience has been bitter and detrimental to the judiciary,” he added. SCBA President Fazl-e-Haq Abbasi underlined the need to ensure atmosphere of mutual respect of the members of the bench and bar in the best interest of the system of dispensation of justice.