Enter CJ Khosa

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  • And how all things Nisaresque are dead and gone

Sanity has finally returned to Supreme Court (Big Marble Palace). The shenanigans of former CJ have ended sooner than his tenure. Be it judicial overreach or gimmicks like dam fund, even the memories of CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry’s time diminish in comparison to deeds and utterances of CJ Saqib Nisar. Always prone to playing to the gallery, former CJ made a mockery of powers entrusted to him in a wanton manner.

Guised as Messiah; as a man who paid heed to all and every business that was not his. The legacy of former CJ was reduced to ashes by his successor CJ Asif Saeed Khosa who while addressing a full court reference, in a no holds barred manner, made the much needed course correction. Lest we forget the exit of CJ Nisar means an end to all he stood for. The Sahiwal incidence is just the beginning of end of legacy where suo motu was used for anything and everything under the sun.

The overreach coupled with threatening tone with ambitions to rule and reign over all reminds one of wise but overly ambitious Dr Faustus. Faustus, for those who have never heard of him, wanted to rule the world, he wanted absolute power to do mighty things. However, once in possession of unlimited, unbridled power he ended up playing cheap party tricks to amuse his audience. No pun intended at all.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The reality is they barely ever materialised.

It is neither the duty nor place of a judge to follow great men of power. Many ambitious men of substance sought glory by being on the side of the forgotten, the underdog, the wronged, the brutalised and the perennial victim. Men of law ought to be men of justice but that does not mean that they should throw the dictates of law to the wind. Siding with the perished and the doomed, for reasons unknown, gives a powerful person great solace and peace of mind. However, for the robed and revered justices there are other ways to deliver the goods other than empty rhetoric bordering on bombast.

With Justice Khosa in highest place the Big Marble Palace can change realities of our fellow men through prompt judgments, quick and timely disposal of cases at lower tiers, trashing frivolous litigation, weeding out corrupt elements from your ranks, filling thousands of positions in lower judiciary, ensuring that Supreme Judicial Council decides pending references against justices accused of corruption and malpractices and streamlining the whole legal system so that it can deliver justice sans fear or favour.

The all-wise, all-just Lordships’ penchant to speak their minds via their words rather than their verdicts is not limited to politicians and bureaucrats

The judiciary under Chief Justice Saqib Nisar will go down in the history as a period when all the might, main and mind of their Lordships pursued populist causes, churned out partisan decisions that reek of partiality, and meted out justice that had undertones of pick and choose approach.

The all-wise, all-just Lordships’ penchant to speak their minds via their words rather than their verdicts is not limited to politicians and bureaucrats. Their guns have now turned towards their long time allies ie media. The conversation between court reporters Waheed Murad, Mati Ullah Jan, and rifts between two groups of reporters at Press Association of Supreme Court are not causes but symptoms of a greater malaise at play. Making more enemies is never a right choice. CJ Khosa is wise enough to know that.

Craving for the limelight, playing to the gallery, uttering remarks beyond their dignity and stature, using language as a tool to threaten rather as an instrument to probe; our Lordships in general and Justice Khosa in particular had started their uphill journey on a perilous path. They were supposed to speak through their judgments, they’ve ended up as robes who resort to yelling and name-calling. The judges, dearest sirs and ma’ams, are now being judged for shedding the solemnity and seriousness that elevated them.

CJ Khosa has lots and lots of Gordian Knots to untie and free the judiciary from all the shackles it has landed itself into. And thus enter, CJ Khosa, one of the finest legal minds of our time in a messed up arena.