Justice Jillani asks lawyers to play role in strengthening democracy

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ISLAMABAD: Outgoing Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani urged lawyers on Thursday to play their role as responsible citizens to strengthen the democratic culture which, he said, was not possible without instilling tolerance, compassion and respecting each other’s rights. “The cherished dream of an independent judiciary was not possible without the historic struggle of members of the bar,” the chief justice said, adding that now was the time that the legal fraternity also demonstrated that they were responsible citizens and believed in democratic norms.

Speaking at a farewell Iftar-dinner hosted in his honour by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) at the ceremonial hall of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Jillani stressed the need for promoting the forces of cohesion and said it would help develop amity, peace, forbearance and patience in society instead of fanning divisiveness.

This will also help create a positive image of Pakistan in the comity of nations at a time when everybody points fingers at “us and holds us responsible for breeding terrorism”.

The chief justice said democracy could not survive without an independent judiciary, adding that Pakistan was at a crossroads and being a Muslim country “we need to ponder and inculcate the tendency of reasons in society because sleep of reasons always breeds monsters in society”.

SCBA President Kamran Murtaza praised the services of Justice Jillani.

FULL COURT: Earlier, the chief justice presided over a full court meeting attended by all judges of the Supreme Court.

The meeting reviewed disposal and pendency of cases in the apex court. It was informed that the SC had decided 3,533 of the 3,862 cases instituted between April 5 and June 30.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said that 2,000 of the 3,700 criminal cases had been disposed of over the past six months.

The chief justice termed it a remarkable rate of disposal.

The purpose of the meeting, he said, was to review the performance of the Supreme Court in terms of dispensation of justice and disposal of cases and to deliberate on matters pertaining to the functioning of the court.

The judges praised the services rendered by Justice Jillani both as chief justice and as judge of the Supreme Court. They lauded his professional and legal acumen and said he possessed God gifted qualities of politeness, magnanimity, calm and composure.

They also praised his interest in literature and his literary contribution to the institution of judiciary by authoring widely acclaimed judicial anthem “Justice for All”.

The judges observed that Justice Jillani possessed extraordinary visionary qualities and his short tenure would always be remembered as judiciary’s golden period. He will also be remembered for his unprecedented judgments on human rights, environmental issues, rights of minorities and women.

The chief justice thanked the judges and said that because of their cooperation and support it was possible for him to advance the cause of justice.

Later, Chief Justice Jillani inaugurated a museum at the Supreme Court.