CJP vows not to let democracy derail in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar promised to not let democracy get derailed in Pakistan.

“I am making a pledge and promise to you from this forum that Insh’Allah we will never let democracy be derailed in Pakistan,” remarked the CJP Saqib Nisar while addressing the National Judicial Policymaking Committee (NJPC) meeting.

“The day that will happen, I will not be here that’s my promise,” he remarked.

The CJP further remarked that the judiciary and the courts pose no threat to democracy.
“There is some kind of rhetoric and impression being given that there is a threat to democracy or we have become part of it. We are not part of it. We will never be part of it. We have buried the ‘doctrine of necessity’ in the Sindh High Court Bar Association case and there cannot be a better judgement in the history of Pakistan,” the top judge added.
The remarks come a day after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said that the courts have validated martial laws in the country on the basis of the ‘doctrine of necessity’.
While speaking in a seminar in Karachi, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz chief had said that the doctrine of necessity adversely affected democracy in the country, adding that a section of the judiciary has always supported dictators.

Moreover, the top judge urged the community of judges to join his campaign of dispensing justice. “I bow my head to you to become part of my campaign and start delivering justice. We have to enforce the fundamental rights of the people. This is our responsibility,” he urged.

“Constitution is the supreme document of any country,” he remarked, adding that parliament has the authority to make laws. “Our job is to uphold the sanctity of the law.”

Integrity, honesty, uprightness are the virtues of a good judge, stressed CJP Saqib Nisar, adding that the judges should not worry about getting more benefits. “We are one of highest paid government servants… so let us deliver.”

He urged the judiciary to continue working with passion and intelligence. The CJP pointed out that the hurdles being faced by the lawyers are not “insurmountable”.

“I have seen many passionate judges, who worked in unfavourable conditions. This [court proceedings] should not be considered as work. The Chief Justice of Canada resigned and said this work was his passion but now it seems like a job. I don’t want a job,” said the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

“We have to work hard for country’s progress and improvement,” he stressed.

‘Judiciary working independently’

The CJP reiterated that the judiciary is working independently. “Forget about those people who think that there is planning here. Your judiciary is not only independent outward but inward as well.

Every single judge of mine is independent. In-house there is no pressure on anyone. This is the culture we have developed,” he added.

The laws should be updated with time, he remarked, adding that rather than waiting for what law will come next we have to dispense justice as per country’s law and Constitution.

“We have to hold many kingpins accountable,” he said.

The top judge also remarked that judiciary is an important pillar of the state. “We are part of judiciary and judiciary is an important organ of the state. There will be an imbalance if this organ does not work,” he said, adding “Trichotomy of power is the spirit of democracy.”

Reminiscing the olden times, the CJP said that the lawyers used to follow certain decorum to not affect the judge’s attention in court. “The lawyers made no noise in the courtroom; they used to bow before the bench and pulled their chairs quietly.”

Over the issues pertaining to the staff and administration control of judiciary, the CJP remarked: “Your staff should be under your administrative control. But, your control should not be under the federal government but your chief justices. We will work out a plan for this as per country’s law.”

The meeting, which is being held in Supreme Court, seeks to overview the performance of the judiciary in the country.

The committee last met on January 13 in the apex court’s Karachi registry and will continue in today’s meeting its deliberations on measures being taken to check delays in court cases besides getting rid of the huge backlog, The News reported.

The chief justice, in his addresses to gatherings as well as in meetings, has vowed to introduce reforms in the sector to ensure speedy justice.
Addressing media on January 13, Justice Nisar had said the judiciary needs a major overhaul to ensure provision of inexpensive and speedy justice to the people.