‘Awami CJP’ promises to champion democracy

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–Chief Justice Nisar says judiciary will never stand for martial law under his watch, rubbishes idea of  ‘judicial coup’

–Says well within courts’ rights to question govt when people’s fundamental rights are in question

–Says sanctity of vote lies in serving and catering to needs and affairs of the people

 

LAHORE: Promising to always be a champion of democracy and the fundamental rights of the people, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar has vowed that the judiciary will never bow down to any pressure, and will uphold its duty to the people of Pakistan.

“As the father of this institution, I am promising you that the judiciary of this country will not be pressurised by anyone,” the chief justice said while speaking at an event arranged to honour Allama Muhammad Iqbal at Aiwan-e-Iqbal, Lahore.

“I am astonished when journalists and analysts raise a hue and cry about martial law. Nobody dares try something like this in Iqbal’s country, for which Quaid-e-Azam only envisaged democracy,” he said to a thundering applause.

“I can assure you that myself and the 17 [other] justices of the Supreme Court will not allow anything of the sort and will stand in the way of such a breach of the law,” he went on to say. “The day that someone tries to attempt martial law in this country I will step down,” he said.

The chief justice further said that people claiming that the country is facing a ‘judicial martial law’ at the hands of the judiciary should forget this idea as the judiciary would not stand for anything but the law.

“We will fight for your [the people] rights until the day we feel that we no longer have your support, and that day we will gladly and willingly leave our office,” he said.

“Mr Arif Nizami has called me an ‘Awami Chief Justice’” he said referring to the comments made by the Aiwan e Iqbal Complex Chairman and Pakistan Today Editor Arif Nizami on the occasion, “but I am not doing any of this for populism or approval but because it is my duty,” he added.

Addressing the crowd, the CJP lamented the early demise of Quaid-e-Azam and Iqbal, saying that Pakistan’s reality would have been much different if these leaders had lived for some time after the partition.

“This country is the result of constant struggles. It was not given in charity to us but was built upon the sacrifices of thousands. But now the ‘tasawur of Iqbal’ is in danger,” he said.

The chief justice went on to say that the country was currently facing the problems it was because of its continued lag in education, health and the slowness of the judicial system itself.

“Education is the most basic and fundamental of rights which the government in responsible for. What kind of a country is it where rather than building more universities, 80 kanals of existing university land is given away to developers?”

“It is the state’s duty to provide education to these ‘innocent children’. I am ashamed to live in a country where money is the only thing that separates a talented student from getting education,” he said.

Justice Nisar also said that there are 6,000 schools in Balochistan without restrooms or potable water and the situation in Punjab is similar as well. “It is absolutely my duty to question why the children of this country are in such a dire state and I will never forgive myself if I ever fail in this duty,” he said to the enthused crowd.

The chief justice then proceeded to talk about health, saying that ICUs, CCUs and private rooms for things like ultrasounds were unavailable in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other provinces. He pointed out that since he had given three a week-notice for the approval of 1,300 necessary drugs, 1,170 had already been approved.

“Have I done something wrong by protecting this fundamental right? The sanctity of the vote is in helping the people, not counting numbers,” he ended in an allusion to the complaints of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Admitting that the judicial system had not been up to the mark in the past, he said that while it was his responsibility it was the failure of other systems that had resulted in so much pressure upon the courts that cases that are decades old are still being decided.

“Why do you think the judicial process is so slow? It is because people are forced to go to court. Nobody wants to litigate without some solid reason,” he said.

Accepting responsibility as the chief justice for the judicial system, he urged different institutions to come together to correct the system and asserted that it was time for the judiciary to deliver.

“A single trial judge has hundreds of cases that need to be handled daily and only a few hours to deal with them. Tell me, are three minutes per case enough when we already have a slow public prosecution and defence system?” he questioned.

“Has any work been done on Alternative Dispute Resolution? Have we taken any steps to promote mediation? Contract law, acquisition law, and even some of our criminal law is centuries old. How can it be expected that the judicial system will be efficient?” he asked.

Besides Justice Nisar, Arif Nizami, Hamid Mir, Zia Shahid and Justice (r) Nasira Javed—the chief guest— also spoke on the occasion that marked the 80th death anniversary of the great national poet.

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hon’ble CJ is now getting controversial. He needs to concentrate on the cases before his court. Only one man talked of this so-called Judicial Martial Law and he meant a strong Judiciary only.

  2. He should be saluted.In Pakistan,people have no voice.They are under the yolk of feudalism,half educated religious bigots and unpatriotic and greedy
    political and business classes.Out of all muslim nations from Morocco to Pakistan, here,youth have very little education,females not allowed to express their talents.It is the least prepared nation to face the education and technology driven fast changing world.It is alarming.

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