ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, while taking notice of the missing persons, has summoned officials of law enforcement and intelligence agencies, including provincial heads of Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence, today (Sunday).

Besides Pakistan Army’s ISI and MI, those summoned include Director General (DG) Rangers Sindh and Sindh’s Inspector General of Police (IGP).

According to a press statement issued on Saturday from the office of top court’s spokesperson, some people met chief justice during his visit to lower courts and complained that their relatives or family members are missing and their whereabouts are still unknown.

“Taking cognizance of the issue, the Chief Justice has summoned the DG, Rangers, Sindh, IGP Sindh, provincial heads IB, ISI and MI at Karachi on 24.06.2018 at 12:00 pm, Supreme Court Branch Registry, Karachi,” the press statement stated.

It further stated that chief justice paid a visit to District Larkana’s courts where he met judges, lawyers and litigants.

He witnessed court proceedings, inspected case files, observed court procedures and heard in detail grievances of people and hardships faced by litigants.

During his visit to city court-III, the people in attendance witnessed an unprecedented situation when chief justice admonished an Additional District & Session Judge (AD&SJ) after the former spotted a mobile phone of the latter on his desk.

The chief justice grabbed the phone and tossed it on his desk with the warning to keep the phone in the room during proceedings.

The CJ also asked the AD&SJ regarding the number of cases he had heard since the morning. However, the AD&SJ could not satisfy the chief justice with his answer.

Vice Chairman Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) refused to comment over the episode. However, majority of the legal fraternity is criticising such form of judicial activism.

Former Attorney General for Pakistan Irfan Qadir told The Nation: “every judge is as much a judge in his courtroom as the Chief Justice himself is.”

He further stated that it was unfortunate that the bench and the bar were being subjugated by the personality cult of an individual at the cost of seriously undermining institutions.

“It is absolutely unbecoming on the part of CJP to have conducted himself in such a manner. It is undoubtedly a sad day for the rule of law in Pakistan,” he said.

A section of lawyers said that there were Efficiency and Disciplinary Rules adding that session judges were the subordinate of high courts and not the Supreme Court.

According to the press release, the chief justice also visited judicial lockup and heard complaints and issues of under trial prisoners and took stock of overall performance of district judiciary and prosecution services and expressed displeasure over absence of prosecution lawyer in cases.

“He also directed the judges to decide cases expeditiously in accordance with law and asked lawyers to appear in cases regularly and avoid undue and frequent adjournments so that cases can be decided in time and prompt relief can be extended to litigant parties,” the press release stated.

During the court proceedings, the chief justice also questioned the judges presiding over the courts and pointed out the shortcomings and discrepancies.

“Taking notice of the issue, his lordship asked the Chief Justice, High Court of Sindh and Registrar, High Court of Sindh to take action against the delinquents and incompetent judges in accordance with law, so as to ensure speedy justice to people,” the press release further added.

It further stated that the CJ also visited Government Hospital Sukkur, Chandka Medical College Hospital Larkana and Sheikh Zayed Women’s Hospital, Larkana and met the patients and heard their complaints.

“He expressed his dissatisfaction over dreadful situation of hygiene and cleanliness in the hospitals and directed the concerned administration of the hospitals to improve it and address the complaints of patients so as to provide better health facilities to the patients.”

During the visit of hospitals, the CJ observed many deficiencies in the services rendered to general public. “Therefore, taking notice of the dearth of services to general public, the Chief Justice of Pakistan has directed Chief Secretary and Secretary Health, Government of Sindh to submit a detailed report about deficiencies and demands of hospitals, either of human resources, medical equipment or any other at the level of tertiary care hospitals and district headquarters hospitals overall Sindh by next Monday i.e. 02.07.2018,” chief justice directed, according to press statement.

It further added that chief justice also took notice of excessive and unscheduled load-shedding in hospitals and directed WAPDA authorities to make hospitals free from load shedding so that patients can get better treatment.

The Chief Justice also came down hard on the performance of provincial government.

According to the press statement, the CJ observed that the apathy of the government was evident and reflected poorly on the pathetic state of governance in the province.

“He observed that all government departments need to put their act together in order to provide relief to the general public and serve them in the best possible way,” the statement added.