Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, who is set to retire from his post as the top judge on January 17, is known for taking up suo motu notices mostly during his tenure.
CJP Nisar was appointed to the office on December 31, 2016, and during his time at the Supreme Court, he heard many high profile cases, including the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif among others.
–Tayyaba Torture Case
This was the first suo motu case taken up by CJP Nisar in January 2018. The case was about a 10-year-old domestic help Tayyaba who was tortured by an additional sessions judge and his wife in Islamabad. The duo was convicted of their crime in 2018.
–Money Laundering/Fake Bank Accounts Case
The apex court took a suo motu notice of suspicious transactions after the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) issued a report on the same. Following this, in July 2018, the apex court ordered to investigate further into the investigations by the FIA and constituted a six-member JIT.
After this, former chief of Summit Bank Hussain Lawai and senior banker Taha Raza were arrested. Later, Anwar Majeed and his son AG Majeed of the Omni Group were also arrested.
The FIA told the SC that money laundering of Rs37 billion had been done through 29 bank accounts of seven companies.
–Mineral Water Companies Case
In November 2018, CJP Nisar took a suo motu case pertaining to the alleged exploitation of water resources by mineral water companies operating in the country. The top judge had said that the mineral water companies have dried up Lahore and Sheikhupura and sought data regarding the water usage by companies from the concerned departments. On January 12, 2019, the Supreme Court imposed a levy on companies selling mineral water and beverages at a rate of Re1 for every litre of surface water extracted by them.
–Zainab Murder Case
On January 11, 2018, the top judge took suo motu notice of the rape and murder of minor girl Zainab in Kasur. Her body was found near a garbage dump days after she went missing. Following this, the CJP ordered the Punjab IG to submit a report within 24 hours.
Later on, Imran Ali, a local of the area, was arrested and convicted of the crime and was sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court. In October, he was hanged at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail.
The top judge took suo motu notice of the massive increase in the population of the country. Two committees were formed and directed to come up with a uniform policy to tackle the issue within two weeks. He also said that “controlling Pakistan’s increasing population is a bigger issue for the nation than water scarcity”.
A suo motu notice was taken on the conditions of government hospitals in Lahore in January 2018.
Following this, notices were issued to 19 medical superintendents of government hospitals and were directed to submit reports regarding the availability of emergency machinery/equipment comprising of ventilators, oxygen, incubators OTs facility, angiography machines, CT scan, MRI, ambulances.
–Tax Suspended on Mobile Cards
CJP Nisar took a suo motu notice on the high taxes charged on mobile recharge cards.
On June 11, 2018, he suspended all taxes deducted by cellular companies on mobile phone recharge. The consumers were paying 42 per cent tax, including 19.5 per cent Federal Excise Duty, 12.5 per cent withholding tax and 10 per cent service/maintenance charges on every Rs 100 card.