CJP once again rejects claim of running Sheikh Rashid’s campaign

ISLAMABAD: Responding to the ongoing social media campaign against his visit of a Rawalpindi hospital on Sunday, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar has clarified that he did not take part in the election campaign of the Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

“I have no political relationship with Sheikh Rashid,” said the CJP while hearing a petition filed by the AML chief seeking direction for completing the under-construction Mother and Child hospital.

Instead of conducting hearing of the case in the courtroom No 1, the three-judge bench headed by the CJP heard the matter in SC committee room due to the CJP’s indisposition.

CJP denies running ‘anyone’s campaign’ while visiting Rawalpindi hospital

During the proceedings, the CJP said an impression was given that he visited Rawalpindi for someone’s election campaign, adding that judges “are least concerned whether people give vote to Sheikh Rashid or not” and that he visited Rawalpindi in view of people welfare.

“Sheikh Sahab, it’s your business and I have nothing to do with politics,” he said.

Rashid lamented that a particular segment on social media was campaigning against the chief justice.

A footage showing the CJP visiting the hospital along with Rashid was widely circulated on social media with many – including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif – criticising the top judge for ‘running’ Rashid’s campaign.

Legal experts are also urging the top court to show caution these days when the election campaign is in full swing. Political parties still criticize former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry who had visited several places to address returning officers ahead of the general elections 2013.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) Vice Chairman Kamran Murtaza said, “The judiciary is responsible for only giving speedy and quality justice and it should not get involved in the matters which are in the domain of executive and legislation.”

He added, “People will ask judges for expeditious disposal of cases as a total of 1.8 million cases are pending in various courts. Likewise, around 40 thousands cases are pending in the apex court.”

Sindh Bar Council Vice Chairman Salahuddin Khan Gandapur passed a strong statement against the CJP, saying instead of interfering in political matters, the apex court should focus on pending cases.

The statement also demanded a fair trial for Islamabad High Court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, adding that the SC should also hear the missing persons cases. The SBC vice chairman also calls into question the process of the appointment of judges.

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Hospital’s case

Additional Attorney General Chaudhry Amir Rehman assured the bench that the project would be completed within 18 months, adding that a committee led by senior doctors would be formed to oversee the work as well as purchase of machinery.

A senior official of the PWD requested the bench to form a committee to oversee the construction work. He suggested that a representative of the Supreme Court should also be included in the committee.

The bench later included Additional Registrar Adman Khawaja Daud in the committee which would submit report to the SC every month. It is to be noted that the cost of the whole project is Rs5.3 billion

Rashid, the AML chief, told media after the proceedings that the PML-N media cell was running a campaign against the CJP. He said that the construction of the hospital had been halted for the last 13 years.

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    Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1748297/1-cjp-rejects-claim-running-sheikh-rashids-campaign/