The Supreme Court of Pakistan is negotiating the price of selling justice with Bahria Town. The town’s counsel suggests the court to close the matter, as Bahria Town is willing to deposit rupees 250 billion. However, the court seems determined not to lower its price for selling justice. The SCP is adamant that it will charge the property builder one trillion to lay off the case of illegal land transfer and grabbing. Furthermore, the court had threatened the owner of the property firm that failing to pay the price; it would initiate the case against him on merit.

One becomes more convinced of the adage that “Judges should not speak but their judgments” as the remarks of the judges while hearing the case of illegal transfer of land suggest that they are negotiating a deal with the real estate developer. Is this what the apex court has reduced to? Objectivity and deciding the cases on merit are no more the criteria with which the court decides a case. This is the impression an ordinary person gets from the proceedings of the suit against Bahria Town.

The perception that the powerful ones get away with justice is already deep-rooted in the collective psyche of the nation. The comments of the counsel for Malik Riaz’s firm and the Court to waive off the charges against the real estate developer implies that it is a kind of negotiation that the two sides are trying to win. While it is understandable that the real estate developer counsel is working hard to protect the interest of his client, whose interests are the court protecting is the question that must be asked.

The esteemed judiciary knows better than anyone else on how to correct the wrong that has been committed. And no one is questioning the apex court on the proceedings against the real estate developer. However, it is people’s right to ask about the appropriateness of the language that the court is using while trying to dispense justice in the present case.

Instead of threatening the property firm for initiating proceedings on merits, the court should look into the matter on facts and merits. It will find enough reasons to impose a hefty penalty of rupees one trillion on the developer for the illegal transfer of the land even if the case is decided on merit. Attempt to couple every case with dam and efforts to raise money for dam funds this way are nothing but harm to the concept of law and justice.