Justice Markandey Katju: Are Pakistani judges real Muslims?

By Justice Markandey Katju–

(Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own)

According to the Quran, after one’s death, everyone has to appear before Allah on the roz-e-mehshar (Judgment Day) and account for their acts and omissions, and those who acted wrongly will be punished.

There is a recorded historical event of 1490 AD (see Prof Charles Stewart’s ‘History of Bengal’) when the Qazi-e-Subah of Bengal, Qazi Sirajuddin gave justice to a poor widow whose son had been accidently wounded by an arrow of Bengal’s Sultan.

By summoning the Sultan to his court and ordering him to give adequate compensation to the widow, the Qazi risked his neck as the Sultan could cut it off for this gross impertinence. Yet, being a true Muslim, the fear of God’s punishment on Judgment Day prevailed in him over fear of the Sultan.

Contrast this with the behavior of Pakistan’s judges today. A reign of terror has been imposed by the Pakistan establishment, with about 10,000 people imprisoned, beaten, tortured, killed or ‘disappeared’, and all kinds of atrocities committed, but the judges have turned a Nelson’s eye to these horrors.

Court orders, like the one fixing May 14 for Punjab Assembly election, are flagrantly flouted, but they do nothing about it.

Dishonest judges like Humayun Dilawar, who had the support of the dishonest Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court, Aamer Farooq, gave a flagrantly flawed verdict against former Prime Minister Imran Khan, denying him the right to produce his witnesses or to hear his lawyers.

And why? Because the judges, like CJP Bandial, care only for their salaries, pensions, and perks.

What about roz-e-mehshar? It is doubtful that they ever think of that.

These judges profess to be Muslims, observing all formalities, quoting the Quran, offering namaz, and observing roza during Ramadan. But are they true Muslims?

They have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect the fundamental rights of citizens of Pakistan mentioned in the Constitution, such as the right to life and liberty, but they have grossly violated their oath.

How will they answer Allah on the roz-e-mehshar?

But do they even believe in roz-e-mehshar, as Qazi Sirajuddin believed, making them true Muslims? I doubt it. When it comes to a choice between following the Quran and doing their duty, or preferring their comforts, they always opt for the latter.

Justice has been murdered in Pakistan, and these conscienceless and spineless judges are party to the killing, and will have to pay the penalty for their misdeeds and gross neglect of duty on Judgment Day.

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