News Analysis |
A reference has been filed against the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). According to media reports, the reference has been filed by the Women’s Action Forum (WAF) and members of the civil society two days ago.
— Farieha Aziz (@FariehaAziz) October 14, 2018
The forum has reportedly said that the CJP has failed to maintain the basic constitutional principle which is the separation of power. The Forum alleged that the CJP has “attempted to legislate like a politician, execute like a bureaucrat and commandeer like an army chief”, adding that the top judge has sought media attention like a celebrity.
The reference also mentioned that the CJP has failed to behave like a judge without being involved in controversial political matters. “He [Justice Saqib Nisar] has failed to keep his office free of controversy or to discharge the mountainous heaps of pending cases that plague the judiciary and prevent it from serving as an efficacious provider of justice and due process to the citizens,” it added.
The main argument is that the civilian leadership has remained unable to ensure the provision of fundamental human rights. Therefore, the top judge is taking some steps on the urgent basis.
The SJC has been requested to look into the matter and protect the constitution of the country. It is important to mention here that this is not for the first time that a reference has been filed against the current CJP before the SJC. In April this year, Mr. Ahmed Sultan Tareen, a serving sessions court judge Kohat, submitted a complaint of misconduct against the chief justice of Pakistan.
The reference also alleged the CJP of showing a conduct unbecoming of a SC judge. “There is a lot of evidence against the chief justice of Pakistan that he has failed to abide by the Code of Conduct as required to be observed within the meaning of Article-V. The chief justice by his failure to observe the Code of Conduct has engaged his person as well as the Supreme Court of Pakistan in public controversy having nexus with the political questions,” the reference read.
But later on, the judge was removed from his post.
Ahmed Sultan Tareen, District & Sessions Judge, Kohat, who had filed a complaint before the Supreme Judicial Council against the CJP (https://t.co/Dk7AD0oWL3) alleging violation of the Code of Conduct of Judges (https://t.co/egHSjznRSF) has been removed from his post & suspended. pic.twitter.com/TiaVftypCr
— Haider Imtiaz (@mhaiderimtiaz) April 4, 2018
“District & Sessions Judge Kohat, Ahmed Sultan Tareen, who moved supreme judicial council against CJP has been suspended/removed from post. Order reads it’s done in “public interest”. Is filing a reference in SJC against public interest or is there another reason for this?”
District & Sessions Judge Kohat, Ahmed Sultan Tareen, who moved supreme judicial council against CJP has been suspended/removed from post. Order reads its done in "public interest". Is filing a reference in SJC against public interest or is there another reason for this? https://t.co/W941Gvz5gQ
— M. Jibran Nasir 🇵🇸 (@MJibranNasir) April 4, 2018
The CJP Nisar has often criticized for his unlimited number of suo moto notices by a certain segment of society. Analysts believe that the CJP has indulged himself in the affairs mainly related to the executive and legislature, like repeated raids to hospitals conducted by the CJP and less focus on district judiciary irks many commentators in Pakistan.
Moreover, there are some analysts who claim to be political realists and defend the actions of the CJP. The main argument is that the civilian leadership has remained unable to ensure the provision of fundamental human rights. Therefore, the top judge is taking some steps on the urgent basis. Legal experts, however, maintain that the judiciary must remain in its constitutionally defined domain.
Any action contrary to the mandate it has been given by the constitution may lead to comprise on the integrity of the institution and quality of justice. Analysts opine that the core responsibility of the top court is to ensure the provision of basic human rights and it must focus on it. An undue focus on hospitals and water management may lead to political instability and polarization in an already unstable society.