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April 21, 2018

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Neither seek solidarity nor help, says CJP

LAHORE: Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said here on Friday that the judiciary was working independently and impartially, and it did not need any expression of solidarity or help from anyone.

Addressing a dinner reception, given in his honour by the Lahore High Court Bar Association, he reiterated that no one would be allowed to politicise the judiciary. “A trend of showing romance towards the judiciary is getting viral. We do not need solidarity or help from anyone, except lawyers.

“No one should think of politicising the institution of judiciary. We are honoured and respected because we are independent and impartial,” the CJ added. In his short address, the chief justice defended his suo motu actions for enforcement of fundamental rights, saying the infringement of fundamental rights by the state institutions had gone so far that the courts were compelled to intervene.

“State’s omissions and commissions have been multiplied. Courts take action to give the deprived people their rights,” the CJP clarified. Referring to the banners and posters carrying pictures of the CJP and other judges, he said a trend of expressing solidarity and showing romance towards the Supreme Court by certain political quarters was on the rise nowadays. But, the CJP made it clear, the SC did not need any support or help from anyone except lawyers who, according to the CJP, were protectors of the judiciary. “We would not permit pasting of posters or banners carrying judges’ pictures.”

The chief justice said a judge was known by his/ her judgments and judges are the custodians of people’s rights. He emphasised the LHC judges to go to every extent to grant relief to people in cases of violation of their fundamental rights. “If the state performs its duty well, the courts would have no need to do it,” he added.

He pointed out that there was a suggestion from senior puisne judge, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, to allow live media coverage of the proceedings in human rights cases.About the relations between the bar and the bench, the chief justice said the bar had always safeguarded its judges. “In my view, we (bar and bench) are probably two brothers from one mother,” he said and added minor differences between them were the sign of great love, in fact.

“I wish to enhance the dignity of the bar with my character and act,” CJ Mian Nisar told lawyers and asked them to honour the competent members of the bar as well. He revealed that this time they had decided to hold interviews of the nominees before their elevation to the high courts.

The chief justice said he had asked the Lahore High Court chief justice to present the names of most competent lawyers after consultation with the bar to fill vacancies of judges in the high court.

Responding to reservations of lawyers on newly introduced IT-based case management system in the LHC, he said the use of information technology was the need of the hour. However, he said he would request the LHC chief justice to overcome the problems confronting the system.

Earlier, LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Yawar Ali and LHCBA President Anwarul Haq Pannu also addressed the gathering. Earlier in the day, addressing the Charsadda Bar Association after inaugurating a judicial complex in Charsadda, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said that the time has come for the judiciary to deliver or the goals would not be achieved. He said that the most difficult task was provision of speedy justice to litigants. However, he once again reminded that speedy justice was possible after updating the old laws of the country and "this is the job of the lawmakers and executive."

The CJP also sought suggestions and recommendations from legal experts to come forward and find a solution to delayed disposal of cases. He also said there were cases of 1985 pending before him. He questioned how he could answer the litigants of those cases.

Justice Mian Saqib Nisar lamented that decades old cases were still pending with various courts of the country."We all are responsible for delay in justice," the chief justice said. He also said the bench and bar should hold joint workshops and suggest recommendations for speedy dispensation of justice. "I am giving you assurance that civil cases that are taking years would be decided in months," the CJP told the bar.

"The right to life is the most important right," he said and added that the Supreme Court is using suo motu powers to enforce the fundamental rights of people. Expressing dissatisfaction over the state of education in KP, the chief justice said that he had asked the chief minister what reforms his government introduced in the education system, which he was claiming, but said the chief minister did not give a satisfactory answer in this regard.

The chief justice asked the people to inform him about any pressing cases related to fundamental rights, and he would hear the case then and there. Justice Saqib Nisar said he had travelled the world and considered the local judicial complex one of the best in the world. "Institutions are made of people, not of buildings," the CJ said in his speech.

On his way back to Islamabad, the chief justice also visited the District Headquarters Hospital, Charsadda. On his arrival in the district, the chief justice was greeted by protesting teachers of the Workers Welfare Board, demanding release of their salaries and regularisation. The chief justice assured them of resolving their issues.

During the visit, a woman, Naeema, approached the chief justice, claiming that the police were yet to take any action after the murder of her son 10 days ago. The chief justice took notice of the woman complainant and directed the Charsadda district police officer to submit report about the case. He assured the woman that the culprits would be brought to justice. At the hospital, patients also recorded their complaints to the chief justice about lack of basic facilities including medicines, while the doctors admitted the same.

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