PPP minister accuses PTI of defaming judiciary

Published August 1, 2021
“When the conduct or competence of judges cannot even be discussed in parliament, how can a federal minister imply that a judge is incompetent?” question Nasir Hussain Shah. — DawnNewsTV/File
“When the conduct or competence of judges cannot even be discussed in parliament, how can a federal minister imply that a judge is incompetent?” question Nasir Hussain Shah. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: Taking exception to recent remarks made by a federal minister about the competence of the judges of superior courts, Sindh Minister for Information Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has alleged that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is in a “habit of defaming judges”.

“This is destructive of the very institution of judiciary, a pillar without which a state cannot stand,” he said in a statement here on Saturday.

The statement came from Mr Shah, apparently in response to the remarks made by federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry last month while speaking at a seminar on “Lawfare and Pakistan”, organised by the Centre for Law and Security, in which he had criticised the current process of the appointment of the judges in the superior judiciary merely on the basis of seniority.

Fawad questioned process for appointment of judges to superior courts

The Sindh minister “condemned” Mr Chaudhry’s remarks and termed them “uncalled for”.

“When the conduct or competence of judges cannot even be discussed in parliament, how can a federal minister imply that a judge is incompetent?”

Mr Shah said they had the utmost respect for the chief justice of the Sindh High Court (SHC), who was not only the senior most but also a very competent judge.

“In fact all the top four judges are extremely competent and there is no doubt or question about their integrity, honesty or competence which is well known,” he said.

The minister said there was no Sindhi-speaking judge in the apex court after the retirement of Justice Faisal Arab. Therefore, he said, like the chief justice of Balochistan, who was a Baloch, had been elevated to the SC, “we expect that the chief justice of Sindh High Court too will be elevated”.

Meanwhile, Fawad Chaudhry expressed surprise over Mr Shah’s belated statement, saying that in his speech he had not questioned the competence of the sitting judges and had only suggested that the seniority of the judges should not be the sole criteria for their appointment.

“It was an academic remark and obviously beyond the comprehension of honourable Nasir Shah Sahib,” he said.

Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2021

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