Year 2017, judiciary and lawyers

BY: Vasdev Hemnani

According to the many politically well versed experts, the year 2017 by far belongs to the judiciary. Frankly, it doesn’t even take an intellectual to reveal this national fact to us. Though, it might take an intellectual to make us disagree with the claim made above.

It is probably one of those years of our history in which the Supreme Court, along with justice, kept feeding the newspapers with headlines through its remarks in good part of the year. Of all, the word “godfather” was so frequently used throughout the year that instead of buzzing like a borrowed word on our ears it sounds as if we have, after so many years, rediscovered a lost word of one of our own local languages. Being in a country where daily corruption amounts to about 12 billion rupees we were never going to have a hard time to grow familiar with a word like such anyways, no matter which language it belonged.

Until I digress, the judiciary must be lauded for sending a loud and clear message to corrupt elements of the society in previous year. Some of them, maintaining that the ouster of Nawaz Sharif was masterminded by those who despise him (and vice versa), the disqualification of Jahagir Tareen left no defense to play ignorant with.

That’s about the performance of the judiciary. Less is more. Now let’s shift our attention to one of the principle pillar of the judiciary itself, namely, lawyers.

If we are to take the recent remarks given by Chief Justice of Lahore High Court Mansoor Ali Shah as the hallmark of their conduct, we will steadfast to an undisputed conclusion that the strikes stood-out as the most striking factor of our lawyers in year 2017.

Quoting the remarks of the Chief Justice”from February till October of 2017, 1.1 million cases suffered in Punjab only due to the wave of the unrestrained strikes”. In another remark he said “the courts operate in an atmosphere worse than that of bathroom”.

The first remark reveals upon us that on one hand we have the judiciary by our side which is working tirelessly to put things into order by holding the political elite accountable and on the other hand we have our lawyers who keep themselves busy in strikes, hence compensating all the good being painstakingly accumulated by the judiciary. The second remark opens up to the public that even inside the courtroom lawyers remain loyal to the indiscipline observed in their protests outside the court.

These are worrying signs for our justice system. Judiciary and lawyers are indispensible to each other. If the society is to become just, lawyers must match the professionalism shown by our judiciary.