MULTAN - Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that neither Islam nor the constitution gives any relaxation to anyone on the consideration of one’s office or status.

“I invite you all to go through articles 5, 9 and 45 of the constitution. They all clearly state that all are equal before the law. And, we have the biggest example set by the Holy Prophet (SAW) when he said that his own daughter will also face the same punishment like an ordinary woman if she committed the crime of theft,” he said.

Addressing the lawyers at the oath-taking ceremony of office-bearers of 39 bars of south Punjab at the Lahore High Court Multan Bench Lawn on Saturday, the chief justice stressed the judges to dispense justice without considering the status or post of anyone since it was their responsibility to provide justice impartially.

“If a judge fails to do justice, he’ll have to face this question here as well as in the hereafter,” he warned. Citing the last sermon delivered by the Holy Prophet (SAW), he said that justice should be equal to everyone. He pointed out that a change was quite visible in the country. “Today all are equal before the law and the credit goes to you all,” he said. He declared that protection of life and property of citizens was the responsibility of state under basic principle of the constitution. “But when the state fails to discharge this responsibility, the court comes forward,” he added.

The CJ said the Supreme Court human rights cell processed at least 150 applications daily to redress public grievances. He declared that the masses would be given justice and the people would feel that the justice was done.

He said the lawyers and judiciary were pursuing the common cause of rule of law and independence of judiciary in the country. He added that the lawyers not only made and saved Pakistan but also brought about a revolution in terms of rule of law. He asserted that the constitution guarantee the existence and progress of the country.

The chief justice hoped that the lawyers of all areas of Pakistan including Multan, Balochistan and Islamabad would play their part for rule of law in the country.  He asked young lawyers to join seniors in their struggle for the rule of law.

He said it was the responsibility of litigants to represent the cases of their clients before the courts with dedication so that they could get justice. He said that the judiciary evolved a comprehensive judicial policy after March 9 as the judicial conferences were held every year to fix problems and deficiencies found in the judicial system.

Justice Chaudhry declared that the judiciary could not remain independent without a strong bar and the fearless support from the bar was a guarantee to the independence of judiciary.

Earlier, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandyal, Justice Shakir Ullah Jan, Justice Tassaduq Jillani, Mahmood Ashraf Khan and Jaffar Tayyar Bokhari also spoke.

Later, the Chief Justice of Pakistan administered oath to the representatives of 39 bars of South Punjab, expressing his hope that they would keep their promises they made in the oath. Meanwhile, the chief justice also inaugurated Aiwan-e-Iftikhar at the High Court Bar Multan complex.