Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Tuesday said he greeted everyone with “good to see you” because “respect and courtesy” were necessary.
The top judge’s remarks came after he had exchanged greetings with former prime minister Imran Khan by saying “good to see you” during the latter’s appearance before the apex court on May 11. During that hearing, the court declared the arrest of Imran in the Al Qadir Trust case, which took place at the premises of the Islamabad High Court, as “invalid and unlawful”.
The judge’s friendly greeting to the PTI chief added fuel to the government’s claims that the benevolence of members of the Supreme Court was limited to Imran Khan. It generated a wave of criticism, including from PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif.
The CJP responded to the criticism while hearing a civil case today. While hearing a civil case today, the CJP had an interaction with lawyer Asghar Sabzwari. He initiated the exchange by saying: “I am pleased to see you as you have appeared in my court after a considerable period.”
Justice Bandial said he says “good to see you” to everyone, noting that he had faced a lot of criticism for using the phrase.
“I show everyone respect,” the chief justice said. “Respect and courtesy are necessary for everyone,” he added.
Shortly after the CJP’s remarks made the news, PML-N’s Maryam posed a number of questions for the chief justice on Twitter.
“How many criminals who have stolen billions do you greet with ‘good to see you’? Do you bid farewell to everyone by calling the registrar to send a Mercedes for them? Do you shift everyone from jail to a rest house? Do you shower everyone on remand with bail? Do you tell everyone to call ten family members, chat with them and go to sleep?”