A kangaroo court is defined as a mock court in which the principles of law and justice are disregarded or prevented.
Now relate this definition to the remarks made by the chief justice of Pakistan on June 18. While the Attorney General and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s defense counsel were presenting their case, the chief justice asked how a convicted person could represent 180 million people. It is also worth noting that the Attorney General and defense counsel did not complete their arguments until late in the morning of June 19, while the supreme court on June 18 ordered enhanced security arrangements in the courtroom for the next day.
In other countries, courts are expected to act as a neutral body between the prosecution and defense and to decide the case on the merits of the arguments. But in this case, the supreme court chose to take sides as is evident from the chief justice’s remarks on June 18 and the court’s expectation that the planned disqualification of the prime minister the next day might result in a law and order situation.
The prime minister’s fate was sealed before the conclusion of his lawyers’ arguments. Do we need another definition of kangaroo court? Apparently it is a judicial coup d’etat with the support of some hidden forces. I don’t know whether Pakistan is learning something from the Egyptian supreme court which last week dissolved parliament on strange pretexts, or vice versa.
Masood Khan, Jubail