Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial has voiced his displeasure with the ruling coalition over the government’s retaliation after Supreme Court’s ruling over the Punjab CM case.
Justice Bandial questioned if an adverse court judgment justified the government’s unprecedented move to reject the approval of judges he proposed before the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP).
The CJP said, “I ponder; does such a reaction by the federal government to an adverse decision of the court reflect any respect for the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary? I simply leave the matter there”, he added.
CJP Bandial said that the refusal of government representatives in the JCP was linked to a court ruling regarding the Punjab chief minister’s election.
The CJP said that the federal government’s displeasure had become evident on July 28. While addressing the opening ceremony of the new judicial year 2022-23 he was referring to the July 26 verdict of the court that had declared Pervez Elahi as CM Punjab.
He also stated that since the 18th amendment, when JCP was constituted, it was for the first time that federal government’s representatives had deferred or chose not to support the candidates who were proposed by him (JCP Chairman).
The CJP warned, “The court will not hesitate to act if the Constitution or the constitutional institutions are undermined, violated or attacked.”
He reiterated that the apex court was committed to defending the constitution along with its commands and directions.
Additional Attorney General read out the Attorney General’s speech. Supreme Court Bar Association President Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon also spoke on the occasion.
The CJP also stated, “Nevertheless, it did surprise the court that during the hearing of the case the current and several past office-bearers of the Bar approached the bench with a request to constitute a full court on the urging of the leader of the political party that is also the principal member of the coalition in the federal government.”