Thursday May 19, 2022

'I have never taken dictation from anyone,' Chief Justice Gulzar says slamming critics

In fiery speech, CJP stresses that his court has never come under pressure from anyone, nor will it ever do so

By Web Desk
November 20, 2021

LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Saturday made it clear that allegations that the judiciary was being influenced by powerful quarters do not sit well with him.

During a heated speech at in Lahore held in memory of the late human rights activist and trailblazing lawyer Asma Jahangir, he stressed that his court has never accepted pressure from anyone, nor will it ever do so.

 Gulzar appeared to lose his patience at constant allegations of partiality against the judiciary.

Responding to a speech by veteran lawyer Ali Ahmed Kurd, in which Kurd had accused the courts of not working independently, the top judge lashed back: "I have never [taken dictation from] any institution and have never been under pressure from anyone."

"No one has ever told me what judgement I need to hand down and no one has dared to dictate me on my orders," the country's top judge said.

“No one has interfered in my work — I have made my decisions according to my understanding and as per the Constitution and law.”

Seemingly making an indirect reference to the recent controversy involving former chief justice Saqib Nisar and ex-chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim, CJP Gulzar Ahmed said, “I have not taken anyone's dictation till today and my fellow judges follow the same conduct. No one can say that I have taken dictation.”

The visibly angry judge insisted that the courts have been working according to the law and that Supreme Court judges have been striving to serve justice to the people.

"When decisions are handed down, some people say they are right and some say they are wrong. These are the people's opinions and they have the right to hold them. Everyone has their own opinion and perspective, and it must be respected."

"This is the beauty of the judiciary and democracy and we will follow it,” he said. "Nobody can dare stop us."

However, differences of opinion do not allow any party to accuse the courts of being under pressure, the country's top judge underlined.

“Our court is free to take decisions and it does what it wants freely. Our court hears each party to a case and holds them accountable," he added.

“Tell us which decision was taken on someone’s dictation — it simply isn't so, so stop creating these misgivings among the people,” he warned.

"Do not misguide the people, do not spread chaos, do not shake people’s trust in the [state's] institutions," he continued in his sharp rebuke.

“There is rule of law in Pakistan, not some individual’s. We will continue to work the way we have been.

“We will support and promote the Constitution, law and democracy in the country and we will not accept any undemocratic setup. We will quit [if forced to do so] and we have done this before.

"That should be enough for today," he concluded.