Karachi Bar Association spars with Chief Justice of Pakistan, passes resolution against Saqib Nisar for 'behaving like an SHO'

The Karachi Bar Association is at loggerheads with the Chief Justice of Pakistan over CJP micro-managing of the judicial system and interfering in functioning of high courts in Pakistan. The stalemate intensified after KBA, in a resolution, has said that the CJP's "behaviour with judges of lower courts should not resemble an SHO disciplining an errand sepoy or a wadera (landlord) with his haris (sharecropper)".

The Bar association demanded that the CJP urgently convenes "a full court meeting of the apex court  to discuss concrete steps to redress the adverse repercussions (of the CJP's acts) and to ensure that all judges are enabled to decide cases independently and restore public confidence in the judiciary as a whole".

The resolution also says that the KBA is dismayed at the resignation of Additional District Judge of Sindh, Gul Zamir Solangi, "reportedly on account of his public humiliation at the hands of the CJP". "As a result of such public humiliation, Sindh has lost a fine judicial officer and countless more have been demotivated," the Bar has alleged.

"Disagreement with the opinion of any Judge, whether of equal or inferior status, should invariably be expressed in terms of courtesy and restraint," the Bar's resolution states.

The Bar has also objected over the CJP's working in "full view of the public". Since no court in Pakistan allows live telecasts, the Bar has remarked in its resolution that, "By entering courtrooms with dozens of news-cameras in tow, disrupting ongoing judicial proceedings and publicly humiliating judicial officers by tossing around their mobile phones — the CJP undermined not only the dignity of the judge concerned but his own office."

The resolution says that the Bar "supports transparency and accountability in the judicial system but not by carrying out a reality show on live television". In this regard, the Bar notes that, "Court inspections should be conducted by quietly entering the court unannounced, noting the proceedings and — in case wrongdoing is observed — directing the competent authority to take appropriate disciplinary action."

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According to a report in The Express Tribune, CJP Nisar had said that he was "unable to put his house in order while hearing a petition regarding judicial reforms". “I openly admit that I have been unable to put the house in order," the CJP had remarked during the hearing of a petition filed by five young lawyers, the report says.

According to the report, the origin of this tussle can be traced back to January when the CJP had launched an initiative for judicial reforms. He was expected to constitute a committee comprising of Supreme Court judges to bring in judicial reforms in Pakistan as he wanted the general public to "reap the benefits of this initiative as soon as possible". For this, the CJP had also chaired an all Pakistan Chief Justices Conference, the report states.


Updated Date: Jun 29, 2018 13:14 PM

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