Stories about judges

Miscarriage of justice: For Khadija Siddiqui, justice was delayed and denied

Shah Hussain’s May 25th ‘acquittal’ in the Khadija Siddiqui case has led to public outrage. People’s faith in the criminal justice system seems to be shattered yet again. In 2016, Khadija was attacked by a helmet adorned assailant multiple times, 23 times to be precise, with a knife. On July 29, 2017, a magistrates’ court convicted Shah, her classmate at law school, of attempted murder and criminal hurt (Sections 324 and 337 of the Pakistan Penal Code) and sentenced him to seven years in prison. In March, 2018, a session’s court reduced the sentence to five years, and last week, the Lahore ...

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Today, Jinnah and Allama Iqbal’s noble profession is being held hostage by rogue elements

The practice of law is considered a noble profession in every society, pursued by those for whom reading, writing and interpreting sentences, words and even punctuation marks is second nature. Lawyers breathe life into the sacrosanct Constitution and other legislated statutes, construing them in different ways when presenting their cases before judges. The reverence for legal practice lies precisely within this sophistication. Today, the profession of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal is being held hostage by a few rogue elements that have slowly crept into the system. Misbehaving with judges and locking them up in their chambers is now a ...

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As we bid adieu to American Idol, the legacy lingers on

The American singing competition, American Idol unfortunately meets its finale this year. Created by Simon Fuller based on the British series Pop Idol grasped my attention since its very first season in 2002. Being a fan of the idol platform, American idol had me glued to the screen for at least nine consecutive seasons. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t missed any season over all, but the anticipation decreased significantly as Simon Cowell left the judges panel. I mean, I’m a fan of Jennifer Lopez, but only as an artist, not too sure about her as a judge. Simon Cowell and ...

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Cooking up a storm with Masterchef Pakistan

An idea struck me while watching this week’s episodes of Masterchef Pakistan. The arrival of the Masterchef franchise to a country doesn’t necessarily reflect the inherent love for food in that society, but rather it is an example of a country’s television-cooking industrial complex reaching a certain level of sophistication. Masterchef requires celebrity chefs and a television audience used to cooking shows. While the country’s media is still popularly associated with talk shows and famous anchors, cooking shows have quietly established themselves as mainstays of Pakistani TV, offering competition to both news and general entertainment. When Chef Shae walked in as ...

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With Ali as Randy, Bushra as Simon and Hadiqa as Paula, what will Pakistan Idol look like?

After creating much hype and expectation, Pakistan Idol is finally here and it is good to see reality television in Pakistan being done this professionally. Having been an avid follower of American Idol for more than six years, I have to say that the Pakistani team of Idol has done a commendable job; from the pre-launch publicity, the judges, the contestants, the fun and the drama, everything about the show makes it a must-watch! So let’s get down to business. Here is my first impression of the show: The contestants I was pleasantly surprised to see the size of the crowd outside the venue. It was definite ...

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Zain Ghaffar: The lawyer who law could not save

The sweltering heat on May 21, 2013, was nauseating. This is when my senior Mr Shahid Ikram Siddiqui asked me and another colleague to sit in the court where his case was to be heard after the judges’ tea break. We entered the air-conditioned court room of the Lahore High Court and I took the seat on the extreme left corner, which would have a direct view of the counsels when proceedings would begin. I began to go through the case papers which Mr Siddiqui was to present that day. I was deeply engrossed when my colleague brought to my notice ...

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Bench strength

For litigants in the capital, the absence of a couple of judges has been deeply unsettling. The crisis at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has left several plaintiffs in trouble. As such, the crisis is only a couple of months old, because the court has functioned smoothly since its establishment in 2010. On November 20, 2012, the terms of both Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui expired. However, President Asif Ali Zardari did not confirm two additional judges for the court. So there are currently only three judges serving the Islamabad High Court, including Chief Justice Iqbal ...

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Are lawyers above the law?

Having successfully restored deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, some lawyers – we all know who I am referring to – have started to think that they are above the law. The recent attacks by lawyers on policemen, readers and judges are truly abominable. These acts of mob violence can be expected from the uneducated masses. However, coming from a highly educated bunch, this uncouth aggression is shocking, to say in the least. There has been a string of incidents across Punjab in the past few months where lawyers have manhandled policemen and court readers, entering into unwarranted arguments and abusing ...

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Pity the judges and judgements

With apologies to both the great Khalil Gibran and honourable Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, one is proud of this nation which, in the last 65 years, has survived even after breaking up.  I beg to differ with two observations of Justice Khosa, one where he said “Pity the Nation” and second where in the final analysis he called people to stand up to defend the constitution, giving reference to the Arab Spring. I was part of this movement even before it was launched. For the first time, as the secretary general of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, I issued the statement ...

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A reporter’s eye: Inside the Supreme Court

Among heavy contingents of law enforcement agencies and hovering helicopters, a horde of people marched towards the Supreme Court yesterday. As they crossed countless walk-through security gates with special entry cards in their hands, they looked excited about catching a glimpse of the soon-to-be-convicted prime minister. While it is totally in keeping with local tradition to create such a scene, at the contempt hearing yesterday, goras (foreigners) too joined us at the forefront. Inside courtroom number 4, the environment was electric. All seats in the courtroom were filled hours before the proceedings began. Besides lawyers, the room was packed with federal ...

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