Judges can be corrupt too

Published: October 29, 2010

The chief justice refused to accept the illegal gift of a second plot.

Who should we look up to for justice?

This is not something I came up with – it is the title of Ansar Abbasi’s column in Jang, the Urdu daily.

I used it in this post because I could not think of a better line to express my feelings.

I read in the newspaper that 16 judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan have accepted plots located in expensive areas of Islamabad.

The chief justice, however, didn’t accept one. This wouldn’t have been a problem if some judges hadn’t accepted two plots, including Justice Khaleel-ur-Rehman Ramday and Justice Javaid Iqbal, mostly known to people for their observations in cases involving the government.

Civil servants are allowed by law to accept one plot, but accepting two is illegal. Uptil this point you might have had the impression that I have a problem with the judges accepting two plots. I don’t.

My problem is with the hypocrisy. The judges should either not pass comments in the court room when they hear of members of the government doing something wrong, or they themselves shouldn’t indulge in immoral and illegal activities.

I personally appreciate that the CJ didn’t accept a plot but he is just one person among many. This is not just about him; this is about judiciary as an institution. If our judges are going to indulge in illegal activities, who should we look up to for justice?


Omar Shahid

A business graduate who iworks at a marketing research firm. His interests include discussing socio-political affairs, networking and reading.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • faraz

    Before restoration, Justice Ramday once said in an interview that if he is not restored, he will become a street vendor. His precise words were “rhairhi laga lon ga” :)Recommend

  • AF

    Please quote the law in which it is written that only 1 plot can be allotted to government servants. I know Military Personnel who have more than 1 plot. Also this is not a free gift they have to pay monthly installments which will be deducted from their salary and will continue even after their retirement. so i say there is nothing wrong if they accept plots. Judges only make remarks when something is done illegally and accepting plots is neither illegal nor unethicalRecommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/265/haris-masood-zubairi/ Haris Masood Zuberi

    More like the Hon CJ didn’t accept a plot maybe this time around, due to being under more pressure than ever to live up to bloated expectations of a man whose personal and professional moves prior to 2007 left a lot of questions, which ever since have been conveniently forgotten.

    Another thing that’s forgotten is the fact that the SC detailed ruling regarding the actual allegations mentioned in the infamous reference filed against the Hon CJ in 2007, is yet to be released. The only communique issued merely addressed the procedural glitches involved in that reference which apparently somehow rendered the reference voidable and thus exited from the SC.

    If the SC machinery at all functions, the registrar and office-bearers including clerks would know that the obligation still hangs upon the SC to duly respond to the allegations mentioned in that reference, and if the method used was wrong, make due recommendations to approach the actual subject matter in a prescribed way. Recommend

  • AF

    the detail decision of infamous reference against CJP is available, the citation of the case is PLD 2010 SUPREME COURT 61 you can get the copy of the judgment from any court library. this can also be find here http://www.supremecourt.gov.pk/web/user_files/File/ConstitutionPetitionNo21OF2007.pdf Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/265/haris-masood-zubairi/ Haris Masood Zuberi

    AF, Thanks for pointing out the link. So the detailed ruling was finally released two years later. It’s a long read and I’m going through it. Lot’s of legal debate could’ve followed, and I wonder why this ruling wasn’t publicized, since it pertains to a most high profile case in Pakistan’s history an deserved to be highlighted. Recommend

  • parvez

    A short to the point article. Agree with you all the way.
    Why have the politicians, bureaucrats, armed forces, judiciary and media failed us repeatedly over so many years ? Answer is double standards and hypocrisy.Recommend

  • Deen sheikh

    Well written Omar Recommend

  • Jahanzeb Afzal

    Ramday said before restoration that he had no intention to save his job. He will himself resign once the judiciary is restored.

    Ramday again said before his retirement that he will has no intention and not willing to be adhoc judge. But he did.

    I really wonder by Honorable CJ has still these sort of immoral people who accept bribery in the form of plots. Are they not eligible to be confronted in Judicial commission???

    So do the Councillor of PML(N) who has been alleged for his biased behavior with his political faction. His mindset and mentality is not more than a Councillor. Had he been a little bit man of some self respect or morals, he would have resigned on the public humiliation of Raja Riaz when he challenged him to contest , not in provincial or national, but just local body election.

    Please honorable CJ, remove the black sheep. Take Suo Motto action against those culprits who accepted these plots!!! Sell these plots in open market and distribute the money among poor who are not more than zombies these days due to hunger and lawlessness.Recommend

  • http://www.amcy5.com Sumbal

    We should support supreme court. Because this is in our own favour Recommend

  • Omar Shahid

    Thank you all for your comments.

    @ Faraz: Yes, he said that but those were just words

    @ AF: Here is the link to a newspaper report which mentions this law: http://www.express.com.pk/epaper/PoPupwindow.aspx?newsID=1101084678&Issue=NP_LHE&Date=20101027
    Here is another link to another newspaper report which states that a judge can only be allotted a plot in Islamabad if he/she is serving there: http://tribune.com.pk/story/68265/pms-grace-bestowed-on-16-sc-judges/
    @ Parvez and Deen: Thank you for the appreciation
    @ Haris, Jahanzeb and Sumbal: The point is that everyone is accountable, including the judges of the SC. If they are doing the right thing, people will support them but if they themselves indulge in any wrong activity, then they will be criticized too. I’m not trying to support the government here by criticizing judiciary; I’m just trying to say that you cannot ask anyone to do the right thing if you’re not doing it yourself (I cannot ask you to offer prayers if I don’t do it myself … similarly, if the judges accept more than one plot, they cannot question other people for the kickbacks in various government contracts) Recommend

  • Waqas

    As Cage the Elephant once said
    You know there ain’t no rest for the wicked,
    Money don’t grow on trees,
    We got bills to pay,
    We got mouths to feed
    Ain’t nothing in this world for free.
    We cant slow down,
    We cant hold back
    Although you know we wish we could
    No there ain’t no rest for the wicked,
    Until we close our eyes for good.

  • Hassan Sheikh

    Well Said Wakas :)Recommend

  • Basharat Bhatti


    Poor masses have been supporting all the Pakistani kangroo courts and their so called chief justices for the last 60 plus years. What was the outcome? NRO,NAB and Iftikhar (3in1). Cj is deceiving the nation till his retirement. Govt has agreed to hire him as consultant soon after his retirement. Wish the Pakistani people understand their rights. Recommend

  • ZAIN

    just a technical clarification

    judges of the supreme court and high courts are not civil servants nor are they government servants. as per law the are constitutional office bearers.Recommend