Justice Yet Afar

Judicial pronouncements that merit being called ‘landmark’ or ‘historical’, manifest a significant contribution to the public good, protecting rights, providing remedies against injustices, or adding a new dimension of justice. The excitement is about what people consider the transformational value of the verdicts that may bring about changes in attitudes and relationships within a polity or society.
The judgment in consideration has been applauded since it was pronounced in June 2014. Leading jurists, politicians, human rights activists and, particularly religious minorities in the country, welcomed the verdict with great optimism. This judgment has been written about, discussed in classrooms, and
referred to in several petitions in the past five years. It has also earned Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani and Pakistan, recognition in the international community.

Imaginably, on retiring from court on June 19, 2014, the bench headed by Chief Justice Jillani must have felt satisfied that they have removed all possible impediments in the way of compliance of the seven orders passed by incorporating order number eight in the judgment paragraph 37. This paragraph provided a mechanism of mandatory follow-up hearings by a Supreme Court Bench, allowing members of minority communities to approach the Court for compliance of the orders without involving high expenditures, etc. The Federal and Provincial governments were assigned some new tasks in the judgment besides their existing responsibilities – neither appealed against the orders, nor sought any clarification. Apparently, the government functionaries understood what the orders required them to do.

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