- And the jury is out on who they support and who they condemn
People are with Nawaz Sharif. Masses are with Imran Khan. People want to get rid of sham democracy. Masses want democracy to go from strength to strength. People are doomed because they are repeatedly hoodwinked. Masses know that People’s Party’s revenge is the best revenge. People know the past of Big Marble Palace. Masses seek salvation through his Lordship’s suo motu notices. People will triumph. Masses will succeed.
On daily basis, we hear, read and see many alterations of above lines; sometimes they are bold and brash, at others they are subtle and suggestive. There are droves of lads chatting away the ills and dilemmas facing ‘people’ of Pakistan at dhabas and political pundits sell their souls on countless talk shows in their bid to awaken the ‘masses’ from their slumber. There is this great hatred between people and the masses. A former prime minister believes that people are with him, for him and mad about him. A present chief justice aims to alleviate the suffering and misery of his country’s poor ‘masses’. One has the love of people, other champions the rights of the masses.
People and masses may sound like synonyms, or are synonyms, to linguists and laymen alike but in our land they are two groups of people at odds with each other over everything under the sun.
They believe that laws are the crutches, justice is the goal. However, in their quest of supremacy, they have become increasingly forgetful of many attributes that Article 2 of Code of Conduct for judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts demands from them
If people have their saviours and sycophants, the masses have their tricksters and toadies. They go neck to neck. The pond they are in is governed by same eternal principle; the smaller fish in the pond always seek the patronage of bigger one or else it’ll end up in its belly. Since it is next to impossible to know the exact location and size of people and masses we must resort to guesstimates. Unknown and irrelevant, both groups in order to survive align themselves with one of the many masters available.
Last year, when the Panama case was all the rage, in these pages I wrote about an interesting legal maxim: ‘Accused is the most favourite child of law and every benefit of doubt goes to him’. Since the line was written before the judgment, much has changed since then. The Mighty Plan to boot Nawaz Sharif out of PML-N seems to reach its denouement. The ultimate fate of Most Favourite Child of Law hangs in limbo. His people wish that he makes a comeback with a huge roar.
And while we’ve once again undertaken the arduous task of sifting the saints from the scoundrels, let us not forget Oscar Wilde’s take on the matter. Our saints have a very shadowy, very dubious, very colourful past, dearest sirs and ma’ams. There is, however, still hope that our scoundrels will turn over a new leaf as well. Both the people and the masses again stand befuddled at the same cursed crossroad.
And on that crossroad, they find Lordships who have no powers to create rules of law, whose only task is to adhere to already established law, find the relevant rule and apply it on the facts of the case. But they go beyond it to serve ‘justice’.
They believe that laws are the crutches, justice is the goal. However, in their quest of supremacy, they have become increasingly forgetful of many attributes that Article 2 of Code of Conduct for judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts demands from them. It says that a judge should be God-fearing, law-abiding, abstemious, truthful of tongue, wise in opinion, cautious and forbearing, blameless, and untouched by greed. While dispensing justice, he should be strong without being rough, polite without being weak, awe inspires in his warnings and faithful to his word, always preserving calmness, balance and complete detachment, for the formation of correct conclusions in all matters coming before him.
In the matter of taking his seat and of rising from his seat, he shall be punctilious in point of time, mindful of the courtesies, careful to preserve the dignity of the court, while maintaining an equal aspect towards all litigants as well as lawyers appearing before him.
Don’t take my word for it, just follow closely the goings-on of the Supreme Court, specially Court Room No-1 for a week or so, note the observations made, dig deep about the suo motus taken, understand the tone and tenor of their Lordships and you’ll know the gulf between what our Lordships are expected to do and what they are actually doing. No surprise that the masses and the people have found a new battle ground in shape of Big Marble Palace. Within couple of months, we will know the victor.
You know the victims already, dear reader. If not, find their names in the title.