The Constitutional Command of Independence of Judiciary Requires That Courts Shall not be Dependent on Executive for Security:
The Supreme Court in a recent judgment, Criminal Appeal No.633 of 2019, has emphasized that the Independence of judiciary is the constitutional command and it shall be actualized in all facets. The security of judges is not an internal function of the judiciary in Pakistan, rather it is dependent on the executive and police institution which undermines the independence of the judiciary.
The Court has observed so in the background of the case at hand where the Assistant Commissioner at district Kalat illegally arrested the Qazi/Civil Judge in order to take revenge from him. The judge was arrested on the complaint of a woman, whose case was pending before the judge, wherein she alleged that the judge had forced her for illicit relationship. After the arrest of the judge by the Assistant Commissioner, the matter was brought up in the knowledge of the Sessions Judge who wrote an application to the Registrar of the Baluchistan High Court. The same application converted into a writ petition by the Chief Justice and a committee was constituted to enquire into the matter. The committee found that the very judge had issued arrest warrant of the Assistant Commissioner in a case pending before him. Having flared up on the order of the judge, the AC set a trap to avenge and approached the woman to develop illicit relationship with the judge which was later on used against the judge. The judge resigned later on but a contempt proceeding was initiated against the AC under the Contempt of Court Act, 2003.
The BHC punished the AC with imprisonment till the end of the court proceeding and fined him of PKR 5000/ as well. The AC challenged the said order in the Supreme Court. The SC maintained the order of the BHC and emphatically observed that independence of the judiciary shall be saved from the intrusion of the executive. It has been seen that district police withdraws the security of judge who pass orders against the police officials or district management. This practice undermines the independence of the judiciary. The Court further observed that it is the people’s confidence reposed in the judiciary which is the real strength and power of the judiciary. The law of contempt is primarily intended to protect the very trust and confidence of the people reposed in judiciary. In this background the Supreme Court directed the High Courts to take up this matter with the respective provincial governments and devise a scheme to have their own security force/personals.crl.a._633_2019_15092023