Parliament is supreme, judges respect it: CJP

ISLAMABAD –  The Supreme Court Friday said no matter what people say, but the parliament is supreme for them and judges respect it.

Heading a three-member bench hearing a suo motu case about the dried-up Katas Raj pond, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, without naming anyone, said: “We heard the other day people were condemning the parliament, but for us it is supreme.”

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had passed disparaging remarks against the parliament, addressing a public rally in Lahore a few days back.

The bench sought details of the Evacuee Trust properties and the income it received from them. The bench also issued notices to the cement factories operating in Kalar Kahar.

The chief justice said if the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) failed to provide details, its chief Siddiq-ul-Farooq should go home. The bench observed they had to keep their eyes open on all issues.

The chief justice expressed anger over non-appearance of the ETPB chairman and said he should be present in the court on all hearings. The top judge remarked why not he (Farooq) be removed from the post and a new board be constituted. The judge said shops and flats of ETPB on The Mall in Lahore had been given at a very low rent.

The chief justice said Farooq had been assigned a key post because of his 30-year affiliation with a political party (PML-N). “The man who collected newspapers for the party office was appointed on such an important post,” he said. The chief justice said the court would fill the gap wherever institutions showed laxity.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said limestone from Chakwal was being sent to India and Shri Hanuman had no statues. He said the protection of minorities was part of their religious responsibility and obligatory under the Constitution.

Additional Advocate General Asma Hamid said the Katas Raj pond had been filled with water. Ramesh Kumar, chairman, Pakistan Hindu Council and PML-N MNA, said the pond had not been filled up with stream but from tube-well water.

The chief justice said that by passing an order to close down cement factories in Kalar Kahar, they did not want to create a situation like the sugar crisis in the country.

Referring to an order passed about substandard milk, the chief justice said when they banned the use of injections in buffalos for enhancing milk, the Gujjar community objected to it. The CJP remarked: “Gujjars don’t want decrease in milk quantity and are least concerned about the children dying of cancer.”

The chief justice said there would be no compromise on health issues and they were not afraid of strikes. He said they were ready to accept the blame that routine cases were pushed back for the sake of public-interest cases being heard even on Sundays.

The hearing was adjourned for two weeks.

 

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