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CJP: SC cleaning political dirt.

Byline: Salim Ahmed

Lahore -- Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday urged the public to stop doubting the integrity of the judiciary and remarked that the judiciary is akin to an elder and wise person whose advice everyone seeks. 'Judiciary is your baba [old, wise man].'

Addressing a Pakistan Bar Council seminar here, he said, 'We have made all decisions independently with our conscience,' adding that people should stop criticising the judiciary for verdicts against them.

Without mentioning any names, he said, 'If a decision is issued against you, don't abuse [the judiciary] by saying the baba has become a part of a design or a grand plan.'

'The baba has not and will not become a part [of a plan].'

Judges are not part of any plan or any conspiracy. The people who review or comment on decisions of the court should read the verdict first, he said.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said that the responsibility for lawmaking rests with the parliament while the job of the judiciary is to root out any flaws in those laws, but continued that the parliament is not playing its part for reasons obvious.

Justice Nisar said he will get a chance to listen to the underprivileged plaintiffs of the country once the 'political dirt gets cleaned by laundry of the Supreme Court'.

'Experts speaking on television claim that Supreme Court has been split. I can assure you, there is no such thing.'

He asserted that the judiciary is working independently without any pressure. 'I don't know where the claims of planned and pressurised judgments are stemming from,' he added.

'You should be proud of the judiciary. We have made the judiciary independent internally.'

Justice Nisar said he wasn't aware that the verdict in the Hudaibya Paper Mills reference appeal would also be announced on Friday the same day that a SC bench, led by the chief justice, issued the judgement in the Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen disqualification cases.

He said that the judgements on the petitions against Khan and Tareen were announced on Friday because he has a 'passion' to issue verdicts within a month.

Chief Justice also remarked: 'All organs of the state are integrated and linked with democracy. If there is no democracy then we will have no Constitution. We have taken an oath to protect the Constitution. It is our responsibility to protect the Constitution.' On the problems faced by the justice system, he said: 'Delay is the biggest vice of our system.' He also claimed that some lawyers charge an exorbitant amount from the people.

'Some lawyers charge as much as Rs15million,' he pointed out, urging that justice should be dispensed at a lower amount. 'Give a 50 percent discount to the people,' he added.

Speaking about the judges' appointment issue, he said that it has been pointed out that some posts are filled by incompetent persons.

He reasoned that the process of making an appointment requires feedback from bar members, government, and then the judges. 'We ask the bar first because we don't want judges' viewpoint to affect the bar.'

The CJP shared that judges are evaluated on three main qualities; integrity, knowledge of law and conduct. 'Integrity is the most important thing for a judge.'

However, he clarified his stance that judges' competency will be reviewed but he won't allow appointments to increase membership of a certain party. 'Most people want to bring their own person so they challenge the current appointments,' he said, sternly adding 'I will not stand by such appointments.'

He accepted that it is possible some incompetent people were appointed. 'But we must investigate how we let this happen.'

He remarked that the conditions are quite hard for judges these days, adding 'it has become hard for a judge to survive.'

He added, 'it is my responsibility to improve the institution. However, I want utmost honesty and honesty of purpose from both lawyers and judges.'

The chief justice said those against whom a judgement has been issued have the right to criticise the reason behind the verdict, but he questioned the insinuations of the 'judiciary being part of a plan' or 'being under pressure'.

He said that no one dictated the court on what line to take in deciding a case.

Referring to the 'analysis on TV channels in the evenings', he said that the perception that there was some kind of division within the Supreme Court was false.

He acknowledged the delay in the judicial process, saying some 'not very competent judges' are responsible for the delay, multiplication of litigation and expensive litigation in cases. An efficient training programme is necessary for judges, he concluded. The judiciary and lawyers will have to make joint efforts to provide cheap justice to the common man, he added.

While lashing out at those issuing anti-judiciary remarks, Chief Justice remarked that abusing and disrespecting judiciary is not a good precedent.

'Verduct in Hudaibiya Paper Mills case would have been different if judges had bias approach,' Justice Saqib Nisar stressed. The chief justice dispelled the notion that the Supreme Court was under pressure and was taking dictation, saying 'we make all the decisions in accordance with law'.

'This judiciary is under no pressure,' said he, adding that even those who don't bother to read verdicts start passing remarks.

'Forget that judiciary is under pressure. Where is this plan and pressure coming coming from , he asked.

'I can swear that there is no pressure on judiciary, all the decisions here are made according to conscience ,' the Chief Justice said.

'Those who can pressure us have not been born as yet. We have promised to deliver justice,' the CJP said.

Nisar said that lawyers plead to hold trial of people before the case is filed. The Chief Justice said that he gets surprised to hear analysis of the prevailing situation of the country. On the problems faced by the justice system, he said: 'Delay is the biggest vice of our system.'
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Publication:Pakistan Observer (Islamabad, Pakistan)
Date:Dec 17, 2017
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