- Fawad Chaudhry turns down invitation to Asma Jahangir Conference when told it will conclude with Nawaz’s speech.
- Says conclusion of a conference addressed by CJP and senior judges with Nawaz’s speech is “contempt of judiciary”.
- Advises SCBA to “remain neutral”.
Federal Minister for Information and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said on Sunday that the conclusion of the Asma Jahangir conference with PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s speech is “a contempt of judges and judiciary”.
“Conference addressed by CJP and senior judges is concluding with speech by an absconder. It’s nothing but a contempt of judges and the judiciary,” Chaudhry Fawad tweeted today.
Later the Federal minister said that he has turned down the invitation to the event, held in Lahore in memory of late human rights activist and trailblazing lawyer Asma Jahangir.
“I had been invited to the Asma Jahangir Conference today. I was told that the conference will conclude with the speech of an absconder,” said the minister.
Fawad went on saying that inviting Nawaz Sharif to make a speech at Asma Jahangir Conference is “tantamount to mocking the country and the constitution”, therefore he has excused himself from attending the conference.
He further said that he has advised the Supreme Court Bar Association to “remain neutral”.
“Advised SCBA that they should remain neutral, only then lawyers can contribute!” he wrote.
CJP delivers fiery address on first day
Yesterday marked the first day of the conference, with Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed delivering a fiery speech during the event.
The top judge appeared to lose his patience at sustained allegations of partiality against the judiciary, stressing that his court has never accepted pressure from anyone, nor will it ever do so.
Responding to a speech by veteran lawyer Ali Ahmed Kurd, in which Kurd had accused the courts of not working independently, the top judge lashed back: “I have never taken dictation from any institution and have never been under pressure from anyone.”
“No one has ever told me what judgement I need to hand down and no one has dared to dictate me on my orders,” the country’s top judge said.
“No matter how many cases have come before me, I have never made a decision at the behest of anyone,” he said.
Also Said that “No one has interfered in my work — I have made my decisions according to my understanding and as per the Constitution and law.”
Seemingly making an indirect reference to the recent controversy involving former chief justice Saqib Nisar and ex-chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim, CJP Gulzar Ahmed said, “I have not taken anyone’s dictation till today and my fellow judges follow the same conduct. No one can say that I have taken dictation.”
The visibly angry judge insisted that the courts have been working according to the law and that Supreme Court judges have been striving to serve justice to the people.
“When decisions are handed down, some people say they are right and some say they are wrong. These are the people’s opinions and they have the right to hold them. Everyone has their own opinion and perspective, and it must be respected.”
“This is the beauty of the judiciary and democracy and we will follow it,” he said. “Nobody can dare stop us.”
However, differences of opinion do not allow any party to accuse the courts of being under pressure, the apex court judge underlined.