July 22, 2020

Eulogizing historic verdict of the
Hon’ble Supreme Court

Mr. Abid Saqi, Vice-Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council and Syed Qalb-i-Hassan, President, Supreme Court Bar Association, have strongly commended and appreciated the yesterday’s verdict of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, given in “Paragon Housing Society Corruption Case”, authored by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Maqbool Baqir, terming it as one of the land mark Judgments of the apex Court in Countrys history. Eulogizing the legal acumen of the highly respected Judges of the two members Bench, which has handed down the historic Judgment, emphatically touching upon the importance of human dignity, significance of fundamental rights of citizens and respect for the Rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution, while dispensing justice, will not only always be a source of strength for the independent Judiciary but would also provide guidance to Judges as well as Members of the Bar. The findings and remarks of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, as per its verdict against the NAB, amply reflect about the bias of NAB in handling cases to utter disregard of basic principles of dispensation of justice and fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The handling of cases by NAB, over the years, for political victimization just to please the Government, has lowered down the image of antigraft body which, in fact, has become a tool for arm twisting of political opponents of Government of the day.

The worthy Judges have elaborately observed about the lack of professionalism, expertise and sincerity of purpose that the conviction rate in NAB cases is abysmally low, which certainly is not serving the national interest rather causing irretrievable harm to the Country, nation and society in multiple ways. The verdict also explains that arrest of a person is a grave matter, but the capricious exercise of the power to arrest had deleterious consequences and, therefore, needed to be exercised with care, caution and sensitivity. It has also emphasized that arrest of a person has to be justified not only by referring to prima facie evidence and adequate actionable material sufficiently connecting the person with the offence. The power of arrest should not be deployed as a tool of oppression and harassment. The Judgment also deplores that unfortunately, even after 72 years of independence of creation of the Country and particularly since promulgation of the consensus Constitution, 47 years back, we have not been able to realize the spirit and essence of the ideals set out therein. The people of the Country are frequently denied their constitutionally guaranteed rights and the principles of equality, fairness, tolerance and respect for democratic norms are flouted with impunity. It has also been regretted, in the Judgment, that pygmies are selected, nurtured, promoted and brought to prominence and power, adding that people with notorious backgrounds and criminal credentials are thrust to rule the people in various capacities with predictable results. Similarly, those who caused death destruction and mayhem in our society were trained, financed, protected, promoted and eulogized, thus, turning them into Frankensteins.

The Bar leaders while deeply praising the Judgment which truly reflects the ground realities and real problems of the people on account of rapidly deteriorating performance of different State Institutions, adversely affecting the common man, called upon the Government and all the State Institutions to act in accordance with dictates of the Judgment thus upholding the parameters and principles as laid down in the Constitution for ensuring fair play, equity and easy access to justice which is the only way for good Governance and providing true justice to the people coupled with their sense of security and safety.

(Muhammad Arshed)