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Home Critical Analysis/Archives ERROR AT THE APEX
The Error Multiplied
The Hamilton & Plaisted
The majority opinion in Zaheer ud Din also relied on Hamilton Vs Board of Regents of University of California (1934) 293US 245 and Commonwealth vs. Plaisted.(1889) 148 Mass 375. The cases were quoted from Shareef-ud-Din Pirzada’s book on fundamental rights. Hamilton was a case of students who refused to get compulsory military training imposed by the University of California. Military training being an obligation to defend the state has nothing in common with the practices penalized by Ordinance XX, which were purely religious. Refusal by students of a university to join compulsory military training on the ground of religious belief has no parallel with the case of Ahmadis, who did not refuse to perform any social duty or to defend the country against all enemies.
Plaisted” was a hundred years old case relating to use of streets for religious meetings or beating drums. The fundamental right of religious worship was not at issue. How the obvious difference between regulating and denying a right escaped the notice or attention of the Pakistan Supreme Court, is not easy to understand.
It has been demonstrated above that the American cases cited by Abdul Qadeer J, did not support the reasoning adopted in Zaheer ud Din.
All the laws challenged in these US cases were neutral, universal and non-discriminatory but the Ordinance impugned in Zaheer ud Din is manifestly discriminatory and singles out Ahmadis for a penal law, which punishes the religious practices of Ahmadis. As indicated in the opening observations of this chapter, the American case law was cited with the object of silencing the criticism of the liberal and enlightened public opinion and the Human Right concerns. In return the court has attracted uncomplimentary remarks from legal circles.
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