Soon after taking oath as the 29th chief justice of Pakistan yesterday, ‘maverick’ Justice Qazi Faez Isa has taken the most commendable step by forming a full court to hear challenges to the law clipping the top judge’s power and the hearing of which has been fixed for today.
It is widely believed that Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, who hung up his robes a day ago, has bequeathed to him enormous challenges, including a deeply divided judiciary that has exacerbated political tensions in the country in recent months and weeks.
That Justice Isa is widely known for his enviable competence, scholarly prowess and intellectual propriety is a fact. He is also too well known for his strong commitment to democratic or social causes and rule of law. Moreover, he is a man of indomitable will. It is a grim reality that Justice Isa was shabbily treated during the tenure of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
Ironically, some of his brother judges were found to be less charitable towards him and his ordeal. Justice Isa, who is a part and parcel of the apex court for nearly a decade, is expected to have already buried the hatchet for he is fully aware of the fact that justice must never ever take the form of revenge for it will lose its character as justice if it becomes revenge.
Last but not least, as the Supreme Court has turned the page on the tenure of the outgoing CJP Umar Ata Bandial, who was widely known for his ‘good to see you’ happy demeanor, it needs to reclaim under Justice Isa its role as a judicial beacon free from any real or perceived internal bickering.
Justice Isa has deservedly reached the peak of his career because he was always ready to take on the mantle. I wish him good luck.
Manu Cheherr (Karachi)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023