Karachi lawyers condemn CJP’s ‘instruction’ on CPEC-related cases

  • KBA resolution claims Chief Justice Nisar has instructed all courts not to grant ex-parte injunctions in CPEC-related matters
  • Resolution says judiciary can neither support nor oppose any foreign power or investment programme 
  • Resolution also condemns ‘public humiliation of Sindh’s finest judicial officer’

LAHORE: Karachi Bar Association (KBA) on Friday condemned Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar’s “instruction to all courts of not granting ex-parte injunctions in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)-related matters”.

KBA, in a resolution, also condemned Justice Nisar’s assurance to his Chinese counterpart that the judiciary in Pakistan supports them, saying that the judiciary can neither support nor oppose any foreign power or investment programme but merely decide cases before it in accordance with the law.

Last month, Justice Nisar had met his Chinese counterpart, Supreme Peoples Court of China President Zhou Qiang, in Beijing while on an official visit to China.

Talking to Pakistan Today, KBA President Syed Hyder Imam Rizvi said that “the CJP has no authority to issue an order of administrative nature,” and questioned, “if someone moves a court against CPEC-related matters, seeking a stay order, how can the court not grant one?”

“The judicial system is being disturbed with actions like these,” Rizvi added.

Commenting on the issue, Advocate Saad Rasool said: “Institutions must keep national interest in view but the CJP cannot give such a blanket administrative instruction.”

“Lengthy litigation deters foreign investment but every case must be decided on its own merits,” Rasool explained.

In its resolution, KBA endorsed Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who had said that the “final frontier” of judicial independence was when judges would be enabled to decide cases without having to tow the line of the institution to which he belongs.

Furthermore, the KBA resolution also highlighted and condemned the recent incident in which Justice Nisar picked up and tossed the mobile phone of Additional District Judge Gul Zamir Solangi during court hours, saying that the bar association supported transparency and accountability but not by carrying on a “reality show on live television”.

The resolution also reads, “We consider that sporadic humiliation of judicial officers on live television may improve media ratings but not judicial performance.”

Addressing the CJP, the resolution observed, “By entering courtrooms with dozens of news cameras in tow, disrupting ongoing judicial proceedings and publicly humiliating judicial officers by tossing around their mobile phones, the CJP undermined not only the dignity of the judge concerned but his own office.”

“His [CJP’s] behaviour with judges of lower courts should not resemble an SHO [Station House Officer] disciplining an errant sepoy or a wadera with his haris,” the resolution further reads.

KBA’s resolution also lamented that as a result of “such public humiliation”, Sindh “lost a fine judicial officer”.

The resolution also claimed, “Our members report that the CJP has, on occasion, showed his own mobile phone in court whilst pointing out that he has been receiving messages on issues of public importance.”

KBA President Rizvi also said, “The SC should convene a meeting of all 17 SC judges to streamline issues related to the subordinate judiciary.”

“The act of pointing out individual judges like this has not only demoralised judges of the subordinate judiciary but also of the high courts,” Rizvi further added.

“The spirit in which the CJP visited Larkana was correct and it is true that our lower judiciary needs reform but the manner in which the CJP handled the situation is open to critique and he himself must think about such actions,” Advocate Rasool further told Pakistan Today. 

The Supreme Court registrar was approached for comment on the issue but he was not available.



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