Bad News is Good News
February 11, 2011
Yes that’s true. But it usually takes a little time to convert in good news. Every failure ignites hard work and every lapse awakens vigilance. So failures and lapses shall not dishearten the prudent.
The Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court have apparently lost the round to the members of Parliament. But at least five Judges of the Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice of Pakistan, will now give it a serious thought. And they are welcome to take yet another look at the state of affairs. If they still can’t see the flaws of the 19th Amendment, they better opt for retirement.
The 19th Amendment was a candid attempt to appease the Supreme Court because that Court, after a marathon hearing, did point a few, if not all, the wrongs in the 18th Amendment. So the Parliament (read: the 26-member Parliamentary Committee) thought of winning over the 17-strong Supreme Court. And the first enticement was an increase the number of Supreme Court Judges on the Judicial Commission. The Judges were indirectly assured that their view shall prevail unless they were divided between themselves. When the Judges on the Commission are split 50-50, the Government, thanks to the Law Minister and Attorney General, is a sure winner. In short, the easiest way to reject a nomination is to divide the judges. Divide and rule!
The Judges do have a difficulty. Unlike members of a political party they can’t have a single opinion about a person to be appointed a judge. Judges have to think and act independently than push agendas. They are neither a team nor a gang. If they are united (read: hell bent) to appoint a certain person without merit, they would not be judges. The 18th and 19th Amendments have put the judges in a fix. Whatever is unjust or unfair for judges is everyday business for politicians. While the judges can’t afford to be partial and the politicians can’t succeed as impartial. And whenever judges are pitched against politicians, they are bound to lose.
So the judges have lost and that’s a bad news unless it gives you some contemptuous and sinister satisfaction. Despite their overwhelming majority in the Commission, they were unable to retain four additional judges of the High Court they had found fit for their jobs. Neither the Commission nor the Committee did make any statement about their performance during the apprenticeship period.