ISLAMABAD - The Constitution of Pakistan 1973 is based on the trichotomy of powers, namely, the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary and each of these operates within its jurisdictional domain independently of the others. This trichotomy, however, does not prevent interaction among the three organs. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that in his address at the Full Court reference on the retirement of Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui, judge Supreme Court, on Thursday. The CJP said that the judiciary has never encroached upon the domains of Executive and the Legislature. However, there can be practical issues where the perspectives of judges can be of help to the Executive and the Legislature. He said that judiciary has to be resolute in upholding the rule of law and the canons of justice in accordance with the constitutional norms. The role of the Judiciary is not that of opposition to the other two organs of the State, rather it, in an appropriate case, just places a check on the arbitrary exercise of power by any institution or a functionary of the Government/executive otherwise all the three organs have the same objectives of ensuring constitutional supremacy, establishment of the rule of law, fair administration of justice and protection of the rights of the people. The Chief Justice said that judiciary as an institution that can never be independent until and unless individual judges remain impartial. The judges are the pillars of the judicial institution and they are expected to avoid such words, actions and situations that might make them appear prejudiced and disrespectful to the oath they are sworn to abide by. He stated that at the same time lawyers, clients and witnesses are also expected to refrain from unjust criticism of the judges and the judiciary. The bench, bar and the litigant public are all part and parcel of the same judicial system of Pakistan. They have to work in collaboration with one another in order to achieve the objectives of justice and to establish peace and tranquillity in the society. He maintained that Pakistan being a democratic state is based on Islamic principles of social justice wherein the State is responsible to establish justice and eradicate all forms of oppression, transgression and tyranny. He said: Rule of law is one of the important attributes of Islamic injunctions. We are at the crossroads of our existence as we are facing the natural calamities and internal and external threats. At this juncture, we should fulfil individually and collectively the responsibilities and obligations enshrined in the teachings of Islam, which are the primary sources of the law of the land. Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui, who retired on October 14, in his speech stated that the task of a judge is by no means easy. The balance of the civilized world is maintained by his independence, fearlessness and courage. Justice Shahid said: If a judge fails in his duty, there is nothing left to be saved. Additional Attorney General for Pakistan K.K. Agha, Vice Chairman Pakistan Bar Council, Latif Afridi, and General Secretary Supreme Court Bar Association Qamar Zaman Qureshi also addressed on the occasion. Latif Afridi, while admiring the Chief Justice for declaring bar for the judges after their retirement, said: We hope that the generals too are barred so that the space for younger and deserving elements remain open. He said: The judiciary must observe the constitutional limits, as provided in the 1973 Constitution, so that it is not pricked nationally and internationally and military dictators find no chance to derail the democratic order. He complained that despite the newly introduced Judicial Commission the quality and quantity of High Court judges have suffered a setback. In Sindh High Court there are only 16 judges against the total strength of 45. In Peshawar High Court there are 15 judges against 20, and in Lahore also there are complaints about the number as well as the quality of judges, while the Balochistan High Court is also no exception. He further said that the senior most judges in the High Court should be elevated to the Supreme Court and there should not be pick and choose. Favouritism and nepotism should not be allowed to prevail. He added the representatives of the bar in Judicial Commission also face difficulties in projecting their viewpoint. Regarding difficulties in the new Judicial Policy, he said that dispensation of justice has been substituted with disposal of cases. The subordinate judiciary needs the attention both in respect of their financial position as well as promotions especially those who enjoy integrity, efficiency, knowledge and commitment to norms of justice.