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Justice delayed is justice denied!

For our courts, today, the idea of justice finds its roots in the legal phrase “Fiat justitia ruat caelum” (literally: let justice be done though heavens may fall). These days, justice is not viewed as an ideal that relieves the grievances of distressed people; rather,  it is seen and utilized as a tool to gain attention in the society.

A few days back, a citizen, Dr. Attiya Masood, assistant professor at Punjab University, approached Lahore High Court in a Writ Petition asking the court to direct the registration of a criminal case, under Section 429 of Pakistan Penal Code, over the alleged murder of her pet. Her cat had been murdered allegedly by the  veterinarian Dr. Owais Anees. In her petition, she  alleged that her eighteen month old cat fell ill on January 18th,  and she called the doctor to conduct her checkup. She further narrated that, for every visit, she paid the doctor the fees that he asked for. For the last visit, however, he asked for a much higher amount, which she refused to pay. As a result, the accused gave her cat five injections of Zintac, which ultimately proved fatal for the cat and she died.

 Even though what has happened with Ms. Attiya is actually sad, rather an offence under the penal code, and she has a right to bring the matter to the court, but the ironic fact is the importance which the Court has given to this matter. Amidst all the back-log of cases (some of them being of grave importance, even relating to the rampant killing of innocents), the court decided to hear the petition, the very next day of its filing.

 Honorable Courts, and their Honorable Judges, a very humble request, in this regard, is that we, the people of Pakistan, demand justice on more important issues.

Please keep in mind the 141 students, killed in the brutal massacre at Peshawar Army Public School, and their parents seeking justice from you. Recall those Shias who become victims of target killing, every day in Karachi. Think about those 43 members of a peaceful community, rewarded for being the followers of a different sect. Keep in mind the unfortunate incident of Tahira, a wife from Jacobabad, killed by her husband and brother-in-law in the name of ‘honor’, and it has almost been 60 days with no attempt to resolve her (family’s) grievance. Think of those killed in the incident of Model Town, during the dharnas of PTI and PAT, people responsible for that injustice and brutal murder are still considered ‘authorities’.

Let me reiterate the fact that no illegality has been committed in accepting the said writ petition; no grave injustice has been done to the party, against whom a report is called for from the SHO; no contravention of the pillars of legal procedure have been done; no one has partially benefitted from the case.

All I am humbly asking is whether justice is for cats alone?

 This is not a case of murder of innocent people; this is not a case where a widow is praying before the court for her and her children’s share in inheritance; this is not a case where a 10-year old son of a business-man has been kidnapped for ransom; this is not a case where a 28-year old woman has her face burnt as a result of acid thrown by her ex-fiancé; this is not a case where thousands of sympathizers of Hazara killing (Quetta incident of 2013) sat-in, waiting for justice; and this is not the case where heavens fall on someone when his family member is brutally slaughtered in Karachi.

Rangers trying to maintain law and order in Karachi

Rather, this is the case where justice has been done before the heavens could fall. This is the case where the grievance has been resolved before their shoes even worn out, visiting the courts, praying for justice.

It is the need of hour that we choose our preferences properly. That we consider the fact that each one of us has the potential to become something better in our lives, and therefore, every life is precious. That we put the rights of human beings on a higher pedestal. With these hopes, let’s wait for justice to be done, to all of us, before the heavens actually fall.

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