Taking Notice - By: Munir M Hasan, PhD

A poetic verse of an Indian poet, Rahat Indori, is worth considering. This verse appears to be said in the backdrop of the courts in Pakistan, and I want to share it.

جو جرم کرتے ہیں اتنے برے نہیں ہوتے

سزا نہ دیکے عدالت بگاڑ دیتی ہے

In Pakistan, almost all the elites are involved in illegal acts and in mega corruption. However, not a single politician or other prominent person has ever been punished for his crimes. Even the former Prime Minister has only been disqualified to hold his seat in the Parliament and is debarred from contesting future elections. It is not a punishment for his corruptions.

Here I am quoting some incidences where the culprits should have been punished, but they were never punished.

If the former Prime Minister was checked and punished at his first mega corruption as Prime Minister in Motorway M2 case in 1991, then he would not have dared to do many other mega corruptions and the fate of Pakistan would have been much better.
Over the years there have been large numbers of cases throughout the country of dishonouring and killing of young boys and girls. Only in Kasur, the recent ugly incident was the twelfth of its kind in the last one year. If the criminal was punished at the very first incidence, then many other lives would have been saved.

People demonstrating against the rape and killing of young girl in Kasur have been fired at from point blank range killing two people. If the killers of the 14 people were punished and hanged in Model Town, Lahore case four years ago, then present Kasur incidence would not have happened.
In September 2012 some 257 people were burnt alive and 600 others were injured in a textile factory in Baldia Town in Karachi. However, no culprit has been punished in more than five years.
Police has been known to be a personal armed wing of the ruling elites, not following the law but to serve their masters. They have been killing people in fake encounters. However, no punishment has ever been awarded to the culprits or to their masters.
All types of crime dens (for example, supplying of narcotics, gambling, and many other similar crimes) in the whole country are running under the supervision of the Police and under the patronage of the ruling elites. However, no punishment has ever been awarded to any of them.
Adulterated food Items are on sale everywhere. It is like selling poison to the public. However, no action has been taken to punish the defaulters.
Unclean rather dirty water is being supplied in the cities. It is like spreading waterborne diseases like hepatitis, diarrheal diseases, including Cholera and other serious illnesses such as Guinea worm disease, Typhoid and Dysentery. However, no person is made responsible for spreading diseases and is not punished.
Fake medicines are being sold under the patronage of the elites. However, no elite has ever been punished.
The list is long.

Recently, the Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan has taken notice of some events under the civil rights violations. Such notices have been taken earlier in large number of cases by many governmental dignitaries without any useful results. If the target of the Supreme Court in taking this action is to punish the criminals, it is certainly a welcome sign. However, if the criminals are not punished, then it will amount to give false hopes to the people of Pakistan.

There are some black spots in the judicial history of Pakistan. It is on the record that in the past Pakistanís apex court has been taking some unusual, undesired and unpopular decisions. One of them is awarding death penalty to ZA Bhutto on the pressure of the government, as admitted by one of the honourable judges of the Bench which awarded this punishment. In another judgment it has reviewed its earlier decision against the former Prime Minister after a lapse of almost a decade, against the norms of the Supreme Court, reversing the punishment and removing his disqualification to make him eligible to contest in the next general elections. How unfortunate this decision was! It was especially a strange decision because recently the Supreme Court has disallowed review of Hudaibiya Papers case on the basis that it was time barred. This has certainly given undue relief to some corrupt dignitaries.

If the Supreme Court can take such bold steps against the norms of the Court, then we should also expect some bold steps in protecting the genuine rights of the common man. If the criminals are so clever and strong that they can dodge the courts, and the courts find themselves helpless to punish the criminals, then there is no need of any court. Strong elites have been deciding and will continue to decide their cases in their favour until and unless they are duly punished. Taking notices by the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan will be fruitful only if and when the corrupt criminals are punished in the shortest possible time. Otherwise it will simply be a waste of time.

Posted on Jan 15, 18 | 3:32 am