What is judicial Activism?Before we dwell on the causes and features of judicial activism, let us first understand what it is. A modern democratic state is built on the principle of trichotomy of powers, i.e. the judiciary, executive and legislature have to perform their won designed functions.However, it has been observed that even in developed polities, the functioning of the legislature and executive leave a lot to be desired. Instead of being vigilant and acting as a check on executive persecution, the legislature becomes its hand-maiden. In addition, it is slack in enacting laws.To fill the vacuum resulting from this legislative-executive mal-functioning, the judiciary has to assert itself by providing relief to the sufferers of tyranny and by interpreting laws, which are either deficient or vague.Origins:Historically, the architect of Judicial Activism was Chief Justice John Marshall of the United States. In two landmark cases, Marbury vs Madison and Mccullough vs Maryland, he laid the foundation of the doctrine of Judicial Review i.e. the judiciary should have the power to determine whether a law enacted by the legislative or an act done by the executive was constitutional or not. In the 1930’s, Roosevelt’s attempts to pack the supreme court with his favorites back fired.Judicial Activism in Pakistan:As already identified, Pakistan’s judicial history is replete with cases like overturning of Maulvi Tamizuddin’s appeal, Dosso’s case and the Nusrat Bhutto case, where the judiciary bowed to the executive’s pressure. However, things changed after 1985.In the Saifullah case in 1988, in spite of the executive’s strong pressure, it was made mandatory that elections would be held on party basis. Later, the LHC and the SC both declared that the Junejo government was dissolved unconstitutionally. By a very active interpretation of Article 17 of the Constitution, the Nawaz Sharif government was restored in 1993. Had the SC interpreted the article textually, the case should have been heard by a High Court at first instance.Judicial activism is back with a vengeance, and this time it is being spearheaded by Justice Saqib Nisar, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP). Certain questions pique one’s mind about this scenario. For instance, Justice Saqib Nisar assumed the charge of the Supreme Court on December 31, 2016, but he has been found active for the past one month, especially since December 15, 2017. What has made him breach his ten-month dormancy to invoke judicial activism?
It is possible perhaps, that this a part of the judicial politicking that has been taking place since Nawaz Sharif was ousted from the Prime Minister’s office on July 28, 2017. Like him or not, Nawaz had a strong support base which the Supreme Court has upset since then. As a result, the judiciary finds itself in need of some good PR.
This has resulted in a new kind of judicial activism in which a team of judges leaves the safe confines of the court, visits certain public places and enquires about the provision of facilities. For instance, on December 19, 2017, Justice Saqib Nisar along with two other judges (Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Umar Ata Bandial) visited Mayo Hospital Lahore unannounced reviewing the situation of healthcare provided to patients.
In principle, the team of judges should have visited the Lahore District and Sessions Courts unannounced, met the litigants and enquired about the problems of corruption and inefficiency they face in the lower judiciary.
The team did not bother to pay such a surprise visit to the Lahore High Court, where any litigant could have informed the team that petitions against the government (or in which the government is a party) are fixed preferably before the additional (ad hoc) judges. These judges prefer not to bring cases to a conclusion and let them either linger on or eventually be shifted to the court of a permanent judge.
This malpractice contravenes the publicly declared statistics dependent claim of Justice Saqib Nisar that the sheer number of cases overwhelms the judges. Certainly, despite repeated formal requests filed by a petitioner to decide the matter, if judges keep the cases pending under one ruse or another, the number so accrued imbalances the case-judge equation.
If asked, the Medical Superintendent of Mayo Hospital could also have shown the team the statistics aspect of doctor-patient equation, but that could have ruined the whole purpose of the visit. The tyranny is that for evaluating the performance of the healthcare system, the team visited the hospital in person, but for the evaluation of the performance of the judicial system, the team relied only on office-based statistics.
The city of Lahore is the centre of attention because it has been the centre of judicial aversion after July 28 judgement. The focus of judicial activism on Karachi is to balance the focus on Lahore. Having found Lahore tranquil and receptive, the team brought along Justice Asif Saeed Khosa to attend a seminar arranged by the Lahore High Court Bar Association at Al-Hamra Hall on January 20, 2018.
At the occasion, Justice Saqib Nisar delivered a speech replete with political connotations. For instance, by saying ‘strong leadership can change the fate of the people,’ he obliquely blamed politicians for not possessing leadership qualities. On the same day, a befitting reply came from PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who said at a public gathering in Karachi that “Pakistan will suffer if the judges in the country continue to ‘play politician’.” In a Tweet, Bilawal Bhutto snubbed the judiciary again when he revealed that the Law Reforms Commission had failed to perform its duties. Instead of meeting four times a year, the commission has not met once since 2015.
Justice Saqib Nisar has overlooked the fact that strong judicial leadership can also change the fate of the judiciary. For instance, the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), which was formed under Article 209 of the 1973 Constitution to hold judges accountable, can be made functional.
There are several complaints of misconduct against judges pending before the SJC, which is headed presently by Justice Saqib Nisar. Even complaints of misconduct against Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Chief Justice Lahore High Court, who is about to be elevated to the SC, are also waiting for their hearing and decision.
Article 209 is the product of the parliament elected by the people who do not permit Justice Saqib Nisar to provide protection to fellow judges from being held accountable. The SJC cannot be made defunct.
The idea of ‘serving the people’ under the rhetoric of judicial activism remains vacuous when the direction of the activism deliberately avoids the higher judiciary
The first place to defend the basic rights of the people is not Mayo Hospital but the SC itself. The Constitution bestows on people all rights to know what happens to their complaints duly filed against the highhandedness of judges. The Constitution does not authorise anyone to protect a judge from being charged with misconduct, especially when the facility of Section 14 of Article 209, ‘Punishment for frivolous information,’ to protect an accused judge is available.
No judge can be above the law and immune to accountability. Subduing Article 209 is tantamount to protecting judges and muffling the voice of the people, who have a right to complain and get their grievances against judges addressed.
The judges cannot don the attire of self-righteousness and deprive people of their right of having honest and able judges to decide their cases. It is the people who are taxed to pay the salaries of the judges, besides meeting the expenses of their associated privileges. The people’s lack of trust in the judiciary can be traced back to this protectionist policy. People fear the emergence of a judge mafia.
Activism In Aid Of The Oppressed:Perhaps the brightest side of Pakistan’s tryst with judicial activism is the increased relief being provided to common citizens in the shape of Public Interest Litigation and suo moto notices. Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid provided relief to thousands of illegally incarcerated youth during 1993-1996. He also stood up against the building mafia. He provided sue moto relief in the famous Feroza Begum case when he ordered the release of a tortured MQM worker, whose mother was being forced to change her party loyalties.The Bright Side:Judicial activism is the last refuge against an arbitrary and irresponsible government A vigilant judiciary upholds the constitution, confining the legislative and executive to their constitutional spheres. It acts as a check against the privileged power abusers of the society i.e. the building, crime and drug mafias, corrupt parliamentarians and the influential ‘law molders.’A benevolent judiciary alleviates the agony of the underprivileged by providing suo moto relief.The Dark Side:However, if judicial activism is hijacked by individuals for personal aggrandizement and not for the common man, then it can bring to a standstill the whole government machinery. This was witnessed recently. Because of the whims and caprices of one man, the judiciary, instead of asserting itself for upholding the constitution, became the center stage of confrontation. Contempt cases and political dueling became the order of the day. Mercifully, the crises was resolved amicably.However, it was instructive. Judicial activism was well received and admired when it was exercised in public interest. However, when activism was turn into a personal vendetta even after the five judges had been appointed to the Supreme Court, public opinion decidedly tilted against the Chief Justice.Conclusion:It is heartening that judicial activism has come to stay in Pakistan. However, we still need to remove constitutional lacunae that impinge on the freedom of the judiciary.Conscientious judges can be dumped in the Federal Shariat Court. Benches of “troublesome” High Court judges can be changed by executive fiat. All these provision need to be removed from the constitution. Also, we need to expand the judiciary to dispose off the backlog of pending cases.One must be grateful of the fact that strong democratic traditions are taking roots in our political system. A strong judiciary increases the faith of the common man in the system. It also leads to political stability and constitutional harmony.The extraordinary jurisdiction exercised by the apex court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution to take a Suo Motu action is generally explained in terms of some popular legal notions like ‘Judicial Activism’ or ‘Public Interest Litigation (PIL)’. However, sensu stricto, this practice is hardly related to either of these notions. Judicial activism is a legal term that refers to the judicial decisions that are partially or fully based on the judges’ personal or political considerations, rather than existing laws. Black’s Law Dictionary defines judicial activism as a “philosophy of judicial decision-making whereby judges allow their personal views about public policy, among other things, to guide their decisions”. Judicial activism is also considered to be an aggressive approach to the exercise of judicial review, in which judges are more inclined to invalidate legislative or executive actions. So, just like the judicial review, the origin of judicial activism can also be traced to the American constitutional jurisprudence.
In the first half of the 20th Century, the US Supreme Court tended to interpret laws conservatively, giving rise to the phenomenon of judicial activism in the United States. Therefore, the conservative judges of the Supreme Court just struck down the New Deal, a progressive economic legislation introduced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1930’s. In fact, this legal approach has been controversial since its beginning. ‘Judicial restraint’ is an antonym of judicial activism. Judiciary restraint is another substantive approach to the exercise of judicial review, whereby the judges are required to narrowly interpret laws while adhering to prior interpretations, rather than making decisions based on their personal or political views. The goal of judicial restraint is largely to maintain a balance within the governmental branches. Thus the judicial activism and judicial restraint are nothing but two conflicting approaches to the exercise of judicial review by the judiciary. Therefore, judicial activism is a legal notion essentially related to the judicial process. It, by no means, authorizes the judiciary to unnecessarily interfere in the administrative domain of the executive branch of the government.
Public Interest Litigation (PIL) means the litigation for the protection of public interest. The Constitutions of both India and Pakistan contain certain provisions relating to public interest litigation. Article 32 of the Indian Constitution allows individuals to approach the Supreme Court to seek redressal for the violation of their fundamental rights. In Pakistan, Article 199 of the Constitution relates to public interest litigation. It empowers the provincial High Courts to issue certain writs to safeguard the legal rights of individuals against the unlawful or arbitrary executive actions. Similarly, Article 184(3) of the Constitution extends similar powers to the Supreme Court of Pakistan if there is a “question of public importance with reference to the enforcement of fundamental rights”.
Interestingly, the apex courts in both India and Pakistan are exercising Suo Motu jurisdiction vis-à-vis public interest litigation despite the fact the constitution of neither country contains the term ‘Suo Motu’, or otherwise explicitly empowers the apex court to take an action ‘on its own motion’. In fact, it is only the so-called judicial activism in India which has given rise to the crucial legal notions like ‘Suo Motu actions’ and Basic Structure of the Constitution’. Probably inspired by India, the superior judiciary in Pakistan also incorporated both legal notions into the country’s constitutional jurisprudence. However, the Supreme Court of Pakistan just discarded the so-called Basic Structure of the Constitution thesis through its landmark judgment in 2015 in the wake of establishment of military trial courts, while upholding the 18th and 21st amendments in the Constitution made by the parliament. Now, the Suo Motu jurisdiction exercised by the apex court also needs serious consideration. India and Pakistan are the only two significant countries in the world, where the apex court exercises this sort of unusual and rather controversial jurisdiction.
Based on the principle of ‘Trias Politica’, the doctrine of Separation of Powers essentially maintains that all three branches of the government- the executive, the legislature and the judiciary- should wield their powers separately and independent of each other. Like many other countries, this principle of trichotomy of powers also occupies a pivotal position in the constitutional jurisprudence in Pakistan. The Constitution has exhaustively elaborated the powers and functions of each organ of the government. Therefore, each organ is supposed to maneuver within its constitutional domain. As there is a parliamentary form of government in Pakistan, the executive branch of the government can’t effectively be separated from the legislature. However, Article 175(3) of the Constitution ensures the separation of executive from the judiciary in Pakistan.
Most of the arguments favoring the exercise of Suo Motu jurisdiction by the apex court primarily revolve around a single point i.e. the malfunction or non-function of the executive branch of the government. Indeed, the incompetent and inefficient executive has created an administrative vacuum which is being tried to be filled by the judiciary now. However, this argument can hardly justify the unnecessary judicial encroachment upon the executive. Two wrongs certainly don’t make a right. Most of the military interventions in Pakistan have been justified on similar grounds. As a matter of fact, the performance of the judiciary is by no means better than that of any subordinate department of the executive in Pakistan. The establishment and continuance of military trial courts speak volumes about the miserable state of our criminal justice system. It is high time the superior judiciary should focus on improving the dilapidated state of the justice system in the country rather than trying to overhaul the executive. Indeed, one should be just before claiming to be generous.
And the need for balance
The frequency of the suo motu actions taken by CJ Saqib Nisar reminds one of the tenure of former CJ Iftikhar Chaudhary. Within less than a week of having been raised to the high office, the incumbent CJ issued two suo motu notices. He never looked back after that. At one point he issued three notices on a single day.
Judicial activism is a double-edged sword. It is understandable in a country ruled by unresponsive administrations which fail to provide some of the most basic needs to their community like safe drinking water, quality education and adequate health facilities. What is more these administrations tend to leave the people at the mercy of the high and mighty with political connections. This being the election year and parties in power at the center and provinces keen to publicise their achievements, some of the politicians have accused the SC of infringing upon their turf. It is argued that the political system needs time to grow much the same way as courts themselves needed time to develop and establish their independence. While this might be called a self-serving argument, it is by no means baseless.
It is also argued that over-indulgence in judicial activism takes away the attention of the court from its basic tasks, one of these being the much needed improvement of the judicial system. It is rightly maintained that corruption remains endemic at the lower levels of judiciary, justice is both costly and delayed and a section of lawyers’ community is becoming increasingly lawless. These issues could not be resolved during the sufficiently long tenure of CJ Iftikhar and would continue to persist under the present CJ if the SC remains engrossed in judicial activism. There is a lesson for the politicians also. In case they create a vacuum by their inaction, it is bound to be filled by non-elected bodies. There is a moral for the judges too. If they do not confine their pronouncements to their verdicts, they are likely to face embarrassments, the latest example being the reaction to the so called “sexist remarks” by the CJ.
Different kind of judicial activism:
This close to the election
Chief Justice Saqib Nisar did not let the Sindh government down, at least, when he delivered a grilling to the Punjab chief secretary regarding the matter of unsafe drinking water in the province. ‘Will you ask the same questions in Punjab?’ Sindh government officials had asked just a few weeks earlier. That the CJ followed the cross-examination with a visit to Lahore’s Mayo Hospital isn’t altogether bad news, especially from the point of view of the people. The provincial government has clearly not placed the water issue anywhere near the top of its agenda – not even in Nawaz Sharif’s NA-120 constituency – and its attention towards schools or hospitals has not won it any awards either.
Meanwhile, Lahore High Court Chief Justice, Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, has introduced ground-breaking novelties of his own. Following the success of his experiment with special courts for women, he has now announced a similar special court for children. Again nobody, least of all the common man, would protest such initiatives. Considering the condition and atmosphere at our lower courts, CJ Mansoor is spot on that we “cannot let the children ruin their lives at the courts”.
Yet, appreciated as such measures are, they do amount to stepping onto the toes of the political hierarchy. At least the politicians will see it that way, especially this close to the general election. Already stung by the judiciary and bending over backwards to paint it in unprofessional colours, PML-N will be more than eager to translate the honourable justices’ steps into political overreach. Also, while the common man will no doubt benefit from any pro-people initiatives – whether they come from the government or judiciary – they would also be far better off if the judges decide to put their own house in order as well. Despite many revolutions, etc, the judiciary has not been able to overcome a backlog of cases that goes into decades. It has also not, therefore, been able to shed a reputation of incompetence, corruption and nepotism. Of late, chunks of the lawyer community have also become first-grade hooligans. Since the justices are out on a crusade, perhaps a bit of soul searching should also be on the agenda.
Lawyers welcome, and worry at return of judicial activism:
Bar rooms around the country are buzzing with opinions on whether or not judicial activism has made a comeback at the apex court after a gap of five years.
Since the start of 2018, jam-packed courtrooms, sitting of benches for extended hours, and issuance of multiple daily press releases have harkened the era of former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has been spotlight after approving a first – the apex court will hear cases of public interest on weekends.
2014: From judicial activism to judicial restraintFormer CJ Chaudhry had initiated judicial activism after the restoration of judges in March 2009. This continued until his retirement in December 2013.
During his tenure, Justice Chaudhry took notice over maladministration of federal and provincial governments as well as redressal of people grievances. He was also at the court complex for 16 to 18 hours every day during his tenure.
Justice Chaudhry’s remarks were covered far and wide by the press, but they also made him a controversial figure.
After his retirement, his conduct has been highly criticised by every section of society. Likewise, due to the court’s intervention in matters such as the Reko Diq case, rental power project cases and others ended up hurting the country in international courts and other forums.
Scuffle at court: Case registered against ‘unnamed’ lawyersHis successors, justices Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, Nasirul Mulk and Anwar Zaheer Jamali distanced themselves from Justice Chaudhry’s judicial activism and adopted a policy of judicial restraint, mostly avoiding taking notice of executive failures. Their approach was appreciated by the legal fraternity.
The incumbent chief justice continued the policy of restraint last year, being very selective in taking notices over executive failures to resolve fundamental issues, but with the start of the new year, he has become much more proactive, surprising many including those who have known him personally for decades.
Major political parties have shown concern over the revival of judicial activism by the incumbent chief justice. Much like the PML-N, Pakistan People’s Party leaders are also complaining that the superior judiciary is interfering in executive affairs. The PPP has objected to the court’s orders in favour of Inspector General of Sindh Police AD Khawaja.
Sharif’s anti-judiciary rhetoric has his lawyers worriedOne section of lawyers has also shown concern over the appointments of retired judges to oversee certain matters, which are being adjudicated by the apex court.
The lawyers were of the opinion that the SC should not give any new responsibility to retired judges who are or were controversial for any reason.
A senior law officer, however, opined that the incumbent judiciary has given the concept of judicial engagement, which is a brainchild of the American court system. He believes that the chief justice is only taking notice over matters wherein the executive has shown abject failure.
Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Ahsan Bhoon said Justice Chaudhry’s era of wide-ranging activism was very harmful to the country, but the incumbent CJP is only taking notices of limited issues such as health and education, where the executive has completely failed.
A society without meaningful dissentPTI lawyer Chaudhry Faisal Hussain also appreciated the incumbent CJP’s approach to taking notice of public importance. He added that judicial activism has already been initiated since former CJP Muhammad Afzal Zullah tenure but this approach has been misused by former CJP Chaudhry.
Another senior lawyer said that they may object to the present CJP’s style of conducting proceedings, they are sure that his judgments will not cross the parameters of the law. He also urged the CJP to ensure that his remarks and speeches should be carefully worded because everything he says is taken very seriously.
Likewise, it is an admitted fact that parliament has not legislated on the recommendations of the judiciary but it is also true that despite the request of the Pakistan Bar Council, the Supreme Court Rules, which were formulated in 1980 by the regime of dictator Ziaul Haq, have not been amended.
Likewise, the performance of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan has also not been up to the mark for the last decade. Some people say that there is a dire need to revamp this institution for the delivery of justice.
Members of the superior bars also complained that despite the demands of lawyers, Judicial Commission of Pakistan’s rules have yet to be reviewed to ensure transparency in the process of appointing judges.
Meanwhile, the process of self-accountability within the judiciary has slowed down. The Supreme Judicial Council, led by the CJP, initiated misconduct proceedings against a couple of judges, but the matter has been pending for months after two of them challenged the SJC’s rules in the apex court.
One section of lawyers suggested that the CJP should shift his focus only to improving the justice system, saying this is an area where he could leave a lasting legacy.
1. Introduction2. What is judicial activism?3. Judicial Activism in Pakistan; a Historical Background4. Judicial Activism in Pakistan Today5. Signs of Active Judiciary• Shazaib Case• Rental Power Case• Ephedrine case• CNG Prices• Baluchistan Missing Persons• Karachi Target Killing6. Benefits OF Judicial Activism• Strengthen Democracy• Relief to the Poor• Corruption Reduction• Justice Prevails• Public Safety Insurance• Promotion of Liberty7. Some Recommendations8. Conclusion
JUDICIAL ACTIVISM IN PAKISTANOutline:”Despondency and uncertainty were dominating the facet of the rule of law in Pakistan and then in a sudden a man rose like e phoenix from the ashes and struggled for the restoration of rule of law and opened a new era of justice for all “INTRODUCTION Judiciary, 3rd pillar of the state What is Judicial activism? Present proactive role of judiciary in PakistanORIGIN OF JUDICIAL ACTIVISM Marbury v/s Medison caseLEADING CAUSES OF JUDICIAL ACTIVISM Ineffective role of executive Ineffective role of legislature Violation of human rightsJUDICIARY IN PAKISTAN Constitutional provisions for the formation of apex court (Articles 176-191) High courts of provincesROLE OF JUDICIARY IN PAKISTAN Before 2005 (Confused era for judiciary) Eminent cases ( Maulvi Tameezud din case , Dosso case, Asma Jilani Case, Nusrat Bhutto case, Zafar shah case etc) After 2005 (Beginning of new era)JUDICIAL ACTIVISM IN PAKISTAN Emergence of judiciary in 1980’s One man’s movement to restore rule of law Suspension of chief justice and movement for his restoration Public support for the judiciary Role of media in MovementLEGAL STATUS OF JUDICIAL ACTIVISM Suo Moto Actions u.s 184(3) Power of judicial review Custodian of constitution is apex court Guardian of the fundamental rights of the people Precedents from the globeIMPACTS OF JUDICIAL ACTIVISM Enhancement of public’s trust on judiciary Striking down of NRO Accountability ( Hajj Scam, NICL scandal. Rental power case etc) No one is above law ( e.g Departure of Prime Minister) Striking down of contempt of court law Dual nationality of parliamentarians Historical judgment in Asghar khan case Suo Moto actions in numerous cases (e.g Balochistan missing person case)CONFRONTATION OF JUDICIARY WITH EXECUTIVE ON SOME GROUNDSROLE OF IFTIKHAR MUHAMMAD CHAUDRYTHERE ARE LOT MORE THNGS TO DO Measures that should be taken for the continuance of changed scenario Elimination of corruption from lower courts Speedy justice Increase in the number of judges Fair appointment of judges Positive role of judiciary for the strengthening of democracyCONCLUSION ” Courage of one man restored the respect of judiciary , controlled the law and order of state and dealt with many ill of society successfully now there is the only need of the continuity of the system”
Waqas Ahmed Hashmi:
JUDICIAL ACTIVISM IN PAKISTANOUTLINES:1. Introduction2. What is Judicial Activism?3. Origin of Judicial ActivismMarbury Vs Medison caseMacquillun VS Maryland Case4. Judicial Activism in PakistanA. Historical Backgroundeg. Moulvi Tameez ud din case, Dosso case, Nusrart Bhutto CaseB. Current scenario5. Is it a Judicial Activism or Judicial Adventurism in Pakistan?6. Causes of Judicial Activisma. Mal performance of executiveeg. Sugar crisis, Punjab Bank scam, missing person issueb. Mal performance of legislatureeg. NRO, 17th amendment, ambiguity in lawsc. Corruption/ No accountability d.Violation of Fundamental Rights of peoplee. Role of strong civil society7. Repercussions/impacts of Judicial Activisma. Protection of Fundamental Rights of peopleb. Check on extra-constitutional acts of administrationc. Political adventurismd. Public awareness against injustices8. Legal status of Judicial Activisma. Suo moto notices U/A.184(3)b. Judicial Review Power c. Supreme Court is guardian of Fundamental Rights of peopled. Precedents..eg USA and India9. Judicial Activism Vs Parliamentary Sovereignty10. Conclusion
Judicial Activism and PakistanA-introductionB-a brief history of Pakistan’s judiciary(relevant cases)C-role n purpose of courts n judgesD-pakistan’s judicial system(current)E-journey of pak judiciary(struggle for independence)F-judicial activism:good or bada-argumants forb-arguments againstF-judicial activism in pakistana-constitutional status(trichotomy)b-NROc-democracye-fundamental rights,missing persons IDPsf-impacts on war on terrorg-impacts on international relationsG-there is a thin lne b/w wanted n unwanted jud. activismH-future of jud. activism:a-hopesb-guidlines/suggestionsI-conclusion