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Judges are not part of any plan or any conspiracy: CJP

17 December, 2017

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LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday categorically stated that there was neither any pressure on judiciary nor it was part of any ‘bigger plan’ in giving verdicts in the high-profile cases.

“All organs of the state are integrated and linked with democracy. If there is no democracy then we will have no constitution. We have taken an oath to protect the constitution. It is our responsibility to protect the constitution,” he told a seminar organized by the Pakistan Bar Council.

Stressing on the importance of democracy, Justice Nisar said they had made all decisions independently and without any pressure, adding that people should stop criticising the judiciary for verdicts against them.

“Judges are not part of any plan or any conspiracy. The people who review or comment on decisions of the court should read the verdict first,” he said, adding those against whom a judgement has been passed have the right to challenge the verdict, but the insinuation of the judiciary being part of a ‘plan’ or being under pressure was questionable.

Justice Nisar said that no one dictated the court on what line to take in deciding a case. He said he wasn’t aware that the verdict in the Hudaibya Paper Mills reference appeal would also be announced on Friday – the same day that a SC bench, led by the chief justice, issued the judgement in the Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen disqualification case.

He said that the judgements on the petitions against Khan and Tareen were announced on Friday because he has a ‘passion’ to issue verdicts within a month. “If someone had been able to dictate [the judges], the Hudaibya judgement would not have turned out the way it did,” he pointed out.

“All the judges are independent and can take their own decisions.” Referring to the analysis on TV channels in the evenings, he said that the perception that there was some kind of division within the Supreme Court was false.

Referring to the judiciary using the analogy of a baba (village elder), he said, “The judiciary is your baba […] do not doubt its integrity.”

Without mentioning any names, he said, “If a decision is issued against you, don’t abuse [the judiciary] by saying the baba has become a part of a design or a grand plan. The baba has not and will not become a part [of a plan].”

On the issues faced by the justice system, he said, “Delay is the biggest evil of our system.” He claimed that some lawyers charge an exorbitant amount from the people. “Some lawyers charge as much as Rs 15 million,” he pointed out, urging that justice should be dispensed at a lower cost. “Give a 50 percent discount to the people,” he suugested.

Speaking about the judges’ appointment issue, the CJP said that it has been pointed out that some appointments were not up to the mark. He reasoned that the process of making an appointment requires feedback from bar members, government and then the judges. “We ask the bar first because we don’t want viewpoint of the judges to affect the bar’s.”

The CJP shared that judges are evaluated on three main qualities: integrity, knowledge of law and conduct. “Integrity is the most important thing for a judge.” He said that competency of the judges will be reviewed but he won’t allow appointments to increase membership of a certain party. “Most people want to bring their own person so they challenge the current appointments,” he said, adding, “I will not standby such appointments.”

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