Administration of Justice in Azad Kashmir and corrective measures

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Dr Syed Nazir Gilani
Administration of Justice in Azad Kashmir has been struck by scandals after scandals at a time, when it is
badly needed to enforce the provisions of right of self-determination and rule of law. Unfortunately it
has dispatched home a very able judge chief justice High Court Mr. Justice M. Tabassum Aftab Alvi after
many years of service, on an administrative ground, apparently mala fide, without pension. Justice Alvi
has remained a man of integrity and has cast many leading judgements. A review is pending. Another
scandal that has shaken the foundations of the discipline of justice, is a petition brought against a senior
lawyer, for benefitting from a fake law degree and defending some newly appointed judges, whose
appointments have been challenged. It means there may be many more fakes in the system and all
would end up in a quid pro quo. A petition has been rushed to International Law and Justice Commission
of the UN and to International Court of Justice in Hague on the prevailing situation of suspicion
surrounding the legal system in Azad Kashmir. How the two UN bodies react to the petition filed by a
Canada based organization remains a surprise. Whatever, the merits of the case, it does not reflect well
on the discipline of justice in Azad Kashmir. Bench and the Bar are under clouds of mistrust and bad

doing. International Bar Association London has been copied into this correspondence. We are engaged
in realising the right of self-determination and in exposing India for her human rights violations in Indian
occupied Kashmir. It does not augur well, if the world is told about our bad habits in Azad Kashmir.
JKCHR has argued the case of independence of Judges and Lawyers in Pakistan at the UN in its UN GA
document 42 dated 7 June 2007 and the case of independence of Judges and Lawyers in Azad Kashmir at
the UN in its UN GA document 16 dated 31 August 2007.People of Kashmir and advocates of their case
need to remain credible at the UN and at all forums. The judiciary in Azad Kashmir has its problems and
these have started surfacing due to the reach and interest of social media. The habitat has had a history
of good judges and administration of justice.These judges released political prisoners on a Rupee one
bond during martial law, took keen interest in habeas corpus applications and in the rights of the
prisoners, regardless of the faith or political view or origin of the prisoner. Administration of Justice in
AJK needs to correct itself and serve the principle of substantive justice. People of the area engaged in
their struggle for the right of self-determination are bound to come into conflict with the State, on the
interpretation of UN Resolutions on Kashmir, their rights and obligations. As an easy way out the Higher
Courts in Azad Kashmir have given up on their original jurisdiction to take a suo moto action in public
interest.Governments in Pakistan shall have to uphold the international standards in the administration
of justice in Azad Kashmir. More so, Government of Pakistan can’t deny the people or Courts in Azad
Kashmir, what is available to people and Courts in Pakistan. Without asserting this jurisdiction, Courts
may not be serving the administration of justice but are seen keeping their hands in the State gloves.
The argument that Constitution Act 1974 does not confer this jurisdiction on these Courts has no merit.
In fact the judges avoid to tangle with the State and this adds to the disservice of public interest. It is a
serious misinterpretation of the Act 1974. Courts of Azad Kashmir have a duty to interpret the
Constitution and fix where things are unconstitutional or at war with the basic principles of justice or
clash with human nights of a citizen. Why should a constitution restrain a superior court (High Court or
Supreme Court) from exercising its suo moto powers in public interest? As a start the Courts have to
examine the merits of INSTRUCTIONAL role of Government of Pakistan in Act 1974. It is the lack of
knowledge or lack of proper training in the interpretation of statutes that Azad Kashmiri judiciary and
lawyers, do not want to over sweat themselves on this principle of jurisprudence. The Act 1974 is
proposed by the Government of Pakistan “in the discharge of its responsibilities under the UNCIP
Resolution”. In other words Government of Pakistan has used delegated or assumed powers under
UNCIP Resolutions in proposing the Act 1974. Responsibility is an obligation to do something. It is the
duty that a person is required to perform in organizational tasks, assignments or functions. At the same
time, it is also worth mentioning that while authority can be delegated, responsibility cannot be
delegated. Government of Pakistan has used the responsibilities conferred upon it and not the original
authority of UNCIP Resolutions. A “power” is an authority to act, whereas a “duty” is an obligation. A
duty compels to act, or prohibits from acting in certain situations. A power, on the other hand, allows to
act in a certain way, subject to discretion. It is important to point out that Authority is the power to give
orders and get it obeyed or in other words it is the power to take decisions. Responsibility means state
of being accountable or answerable for any obligation, trust, debt or something or in other words it
means obligation to complete a job assigned on time and in best way. Courts in Azad Kashmir have
never so far even touched upon the literal interpretation of “responsibilities of Pakistan under UNCIP
Resolutions”. Responsibility means state of being accountable or answerable for any obligation that

Pakistan has undertaken. UNCIP Resolution would never mean to prejudice or hurt the discipline of
administration of justice in Azad Kashmir. Governments in Pakistan shall have to uphold the
international standards in the administration of justice in Azad Kashmir. More so, Government of
Pakistan can’t deny the people or Courts in Azad Kashmir, what is available to people and Courts in
Pakistan. Responsibilities assumed under UNCIP Resolutions in Azad Kashmir, raise the burden of
responsibility and accountability of the Government of Pakistan. -The author is President of London
based Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the
United Nations