Opinion, Politics

Judicial Activism and Pervez Musharraf

As the Anti Terrorism Court ordered to put former President Pervez Musharraf in custody for 14 days, it looks like the the order indirectly implied a solitary confinement. Not even the lawyers of Pervez Musharraf are allowed to meet him. Mr. Ahmad Raza Kasuri, an APML official and a lawyer of the former President said that he was not allowed to meet his client. He lamented that going to courts without consulting his client was like going to war without any weapons.

The other day we saw the Islamabad High Court denying a bail to Pervez Musharraf in an otherwise bailable offence. The High Court Judge, Justice Shoukat ordered his arrest and even went ahead to order the inclusion of terrorism clause in this case. An extreme form of a Judicial Activism. An act that says, “We are powerful, we don’t care for anyone.”

Now that Pervez Musharraf is confined to two rooms in his own house at Chak Shehzad, the confinement is said to be more extreme than the one people are put into at Adiala Jail. We know that law must be equal for everyone. There should be no divide between commoners and powerful when it comes to justice. But, in our quest for Judicial Activism, we must not go to the other extreme end. We should not punish the powerful more than they deserve, just because they are powerful.

You must be very careful when you say “Justice should not only be done, but seen to be done”. You can not treat someone unjustly to make it seem as justice taking place to just those who might see it as justice being done. No justice should be done to please someone or some people, that is called injustice. It looks like in Pervez Musharraf’s case, the treatment he is going through, is the process of making his opponents believe that justice is being done. The message here is simple, treat former General and President as harsh as you can. This way, those who are eager to see Mr Musharraf punished, get satisfied. Look at the headlines in the majority of media, they look satisfied, don’t they?

However, in this process of treating someone harshly to please a majority of people, we fail to realize another great motto of justice that says, “Let justice be done, though the heavens may fall.” Justice must be done whether it pleases a majority or not. Whether someone is powerful or not, we must treat them JUSTLY. Let us not let our prejudices come between our path to do justice. As Allah says in the Holy Quran, “…so judge between people justly, and do not follow desire that it should lead you astray from the path of Allah.”



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