LAHORE - Chief Justice Saqib Nisar has urged people to fight for their fundamental rights as he expressed his annoyance with judges and lawyers for exploiting litigants.

Enumerating the blessings of Pakistan’s existence on Friday, he painted a very grim picture of fundamental rights and the judicial system of the country.

The top judge particularly held the government, judges and lawyers responsible for the sorry state of affairs.

“We have not got this country as a gift or in charity rather it was a result of a movement and sacrifice of thousands of lives,” Justice Saqib told a seminar in Lahore.

He narrated the tragic story of an elderly woman whose whole family was martyred during migration from India to Pakistan at the time of partition.

He then said only those could truly understand the value of this country who made sacrifices for it.

 

Message to legal community

The CJP urged the judges to dispose of thousands of pending cases, saying that there would be no backlog if all the courts fulfil their responsibilities.

He said incompetence of judiciary and corruption are among the biggest issues of the country. He maintained that no one was superior to the law so cases must be decided purely on merit.

The CJP advised the judicial officers to work tirelessly to give the judicial system its dignified and rightful status. He added that the system needed to be modernised in line with the advancements of the modern era.

Justice Saqib Nisar urged the attendance to read the letter of Hazrat Ali (RA) to a governor in which he describes the qualities of a judge.

“Do you think I have those attributes as a judge?” he asked the audience and then he himself answered, “I don’t think so!”

He fired broadside at the lawyers as well, saying that they do not get prepared for arguments.

“We both (judges and lawyers) are exploiting litigants... Only by mending our ways, we will be able to give a society based on justice to our new generation,” he remarked.

Otherwise, he again quoted Hazrat Ali, saying that destruction is “inevitable”.

He urged the judges to pass judgments with honesty, adding that the judges receive heavy salaries so they should also do their jobs.

 

Human Rights

“We never understand the scope and amplitude to apply our fundamental rights,” Justice Saqib remarked. Highlighting the importance of right to live, he asked why the earth, a small planet, is unique in the universe. And then he himself answered, “It’s only because it has life on it.”

Talking about the right to person and property, he asked whether the two rights were safe and secure in the country. He said all the other rights make a nexus with these two rights. He then co-related his mentioning of the right to live with the issue of missing persons.

Showing the sorry state of fundamental rights’ protection, he said that a doctor repeatedly approached him and said that his son, who was also a doctor, went missing during riots that erupted on an issue of Qadiyanis.

“He (doctor) said ‘please tell me if my son is alive or not’,” narrated the chief justice. “Is it not the fundamental right of a father that he should know where his son is? Who will answer to the families of missing persons?”

With regard to right to property, he said, “The people like Mansha Bomb grabbed the property of people. Is it not against the fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan?”

Justice Saqib also called for amendments in the criminal justice system, saying that the laws of 1872 cannot deliver justice in this modern era.

He called upon the people to work and fight for their fundamental rights and also help others to get their rights protected across the country.

 

 

Fight for your rights!