Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday defended the apex court's judicial activism, explaining that the judiciary is the "guardian of the fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan" by the law and thus "duty bound to ensure that the rights of the people are protected".
The chief justice, during his speech at a graduation ceremony for medical students at the Islamia University Bahawalpur's historic Abbasia campus, discussed the areas the top court paid special attention to during his time in the office, which is set to conclude in January 2019.
Referring to his suo motu notices regarding sky-high fees charged by private medical colleges and lack of facilities at several hospitals, the chief justice said that he was trying to "end the exploitation [of people]".
He said that it was his "judicial duty" to lay down a criterion for medical colleges to ensure that they don't exploit students and parents.
"Did I exceed my jurisdiction by laying down criteria [which ensures] that tertiary hospitals have enough number of doctors, staff and drugs, in order to discharge the obligation of the guardianship [imposed upon the judiciary]?" he asked.
The chief justice narrated his observations during his visits to hospitals across all four provinces and regretted that medical facilities in the country were not satisfactory.
Furthermore, Justice Nisar talked about female doctors who abandon practice after getting their degrees. "If you sit at home and become housewives [after receiving medical education], you violate the oath that you swore today, which is to help the miserable."
He said that the Constitution had ended the quota system where women were allotted lesser seats than men, so that admissions are given on the basis of merit. It is detrimental to the society, he said, when female doctors abandon their profession.
The chief justice urged female students to convince their families to facilitate them so they can serve as doctors and repay the resources provided to them by the state.