This is apropos a report published in your paper dated 26 May, on problems and lacunae pointed out by outgoing Chief Justice Azmat of Lahore High Court. Expectations of people have been raised after their struggle for restoration of independent judiciary led by Chief Justice of SC Ch Iftikhar. Failure of an elected government to deliver and instead aggravate the woes of masses burdened by inflation, lawlessness, crimes, poor governance, cronyism, extortion, power breakdowns and massive corruption, has only increased pressure on our superior judiciary. Unfortunately instead of delivering affordable justice to people, restoration by default has put in place a new breed of lawyers, some freemasons, who have abused this opportunity to hike their legal fees astronomically from thousands to millions and even crores of rupees. The High Courts with their magnificence architecture, judges chambers, and spacious bar rooms are reduced to a concrete jungle, if affordable and timely justice to people, is no longer primary sole objective. What purpose do they serve, if the case and hearing of Nafess Khan, a teacher who was brutally beaten and tortured by a powerful feudal Aslam Madhiana of Sargodha, whose family comprises of a Federal Minister, Chairman of PAC, and an MPA son gets delayed on technicalities, while Nafees faces death threats. It is now being rumoured that Nafees Khan may seek political asylum in some foreign country because Islamic Republic of Pakistan cannot protects its victims of injustices like rape victim, Dr Shazia Khalid or victim of acid attack who fled to Italy and was so frustrated that she committed suicide. Is Pakistan a country where villains, criminals and the corrupt alone are secure?

What sort of a society are we, where senior citizens are made to wait for years and their due emoluments not paid by private and state corporations who don’t mind paying several lakhs to branded lawyers, whose presence over awe even judges, forcing them to deny justice on technicalities. If Judiciary is to be slave to technicalities on rules evolved in 19 century, than it has no role in 21st century, other than a mere bureaucratic post. The Supreme Court alone has some credibility in this country, but it alone cannot deliver, if other important arms of the judicial system fail to reform and face enhanced challenges that credibility and raised expectations and hopes of people have given birth to.

IRFAN BUTT,

Karachi, May 28.