'We seldom try people for contempt despite so much criticism,' says CJP

Published January 20, 2018
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar while addressing a ceremony in Lahore on Saturday.—DawnNews
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar while addressing a ceremony in Lahore on Saturday.—DawnNews

We have seldom tried people for contempt [of court] despite so much criticism against us, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar said while addressing a ceremony in Lahore on Saturday.

In December last year, the CJP had asked those criticising the courts to "not malign the judiciary if the verdict is against them", also clarifying that the judges were not taking "dictation" from anyone.

Justice Nisar on Saturday said that the current Supreme Court bench comprises people who are truly independent and hold up to the highest standards of integrity.

"Today, on this forum, I say that when I critically analyse my team, I never find any flaw," he said. "Yes, there can be a lack of knowledge on this bench, and I would raise my hand and admit in front of you all that my knowledge is probably the least among my peers on the bench."

"I believe that this team, once it starts working together, will be purer than gold and provide exemplary justice."

Speaking to his fellow judges, Justice Nisar told the story of Lord Denning, a famous judge, and Mrs Stone.

"One day Mrs Stone threw a book at Lord Denning because she did not believe the judgement was fair. The book missed Lord Denning as he tilted his head and hit the wall behind him. He smiled and calmly remarked, 'I am sure this wasn't pointed at us.' That is the level of calm judges are expected to show," Justice Nisar explained as he concluded the story.

"If anyone believes that being an SC judge is a paid vacation, they should think again. Every judge has the responsibility of providing justice to the people. We will have to answer in front of God for the work we do here," Justice Nisar warned members of the SC bar while adding that he expects the highest level of conduct from his bench.

"Being a judge is not about being able to pass whatever judgement one likes. It is about providing justice by the book. And if any of us cannot do that, we should retire and do something else."

He added: "We are not here to have fun; we are here to give people exemplary justice."

"I sometimes equate lawyers with doctors. Doctors cure physical ailments and lawyers cure the ailments of the society," the CJP said.

While welcoming members of the bar to the gathering, the chief justice said that the bar and the bench are two arms connected to the same body — one cannot function without the other.

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