LAHORW - Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar has hinted towards taking notice over former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s anti-judiciary speeches.
The remarks came during the hearing of a suo moto case over the brutal murder of the Qasur Girl Zainab and the subsequent revelations made by the prominent anchorperson.
During the hearing, a journalist wondered why the SC is not taking notice over Nawaz’s speeches. Upon this, CJP said that there is a proper time to take action in any matter. He also said that they are not showing restraint, but will take notice in the matter at an ‘appropriate’ time.
“When we will decide to take notice no power in the world can force us to stop,” the CJP concluded.
The superior judiciary has shown judicial restraint at the unprecedented onslaught against it from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
After the restoration of former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, from March 2009 to December 2013 the superior judiciary was quite sensitive with regard to any criticism against it. A number of contempt notices were issued to senior politicians, journalists, and even PCO judges over the charges of scandalising and ridiculing the judiciary. During this period criticism of the bench became a no-go area.
Since Justice Chaudhry’s retirement, however, the superior judiciary has shown restraint by issuing significantly fewer contempt notices. In 2017, the Supreme Court has only issued such contempt notices to PML-N senator Nihal Hashmi, the owner of a media house, and one reporter.
After the issuance of the first Panama Papers verdict on April 20, the PML-N started targeting the Supreme Court bench and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing corruption allegations against the Sharif family. This criticism intensified after the July 28 verdict disqualifying former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public offices.
Later, Nawaz went on a rally across Punjab, wherein he severely criticised judges for disqualifying him based off a misdeclaration in his nomination papers. With the passage of time, Nawaz’s criticism on the judiciary has increased. Recently, he announced he would start a movement to improve the judicial system.