Access to information important for ensuring accountability: CJP Isa | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Access to information important for ensuring accountability: CJP Isa

Pakistan Press Foundation

Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa said on Saturday that every citizen had the right to access information, stating that was the only way to ensure accountability in society.

Addressing a workshop held for journalists reporting on superior judiciary, the CJP said that institutions were obliged to allow citizens to have access to details.

He added that the public receives information only through court reporters as he highlighted Article 19 and 19-A of the Constitution, which refer to the freedom of speech and access to information respectively.

Speaking of a petition filed by a private citizen seeking details of Supreme Court employees, the chief justice stated that the apex court ordered its registrar to provide all the details within seven days.

“The institutions under the federal government must give citizens access to information. Not bound by law, but by the Constitution, the SC ordered to give the required details to the petitioner,” said CJP Isa.

He added that the apex court uploads all its important verdicts on its website, which can be accessed by anyone. No citizen can be questioned on demanding information, the CJP maintained.

Justice Isa asserted that the process of accountability will begin only when the citizens of this nation will have complete access to information.

Supreme Court’s Justice Athar Minalllah, speaking at a training workshop, said that the judges should fear no one and they should particularly not get influenced by the criticism on social media.

Justice Minallah maintained that any judge influenced by social media would be violating their oath.

“A judge influenced by criticism would violate his oath”, he said, adding that judge should be independent and should not be influenced by criticism.

Referring to a historic speech by the founder of Pakistan delivered on August 11, 1947, Justice Minallah highlighted the initiation of an endless series of censorship on the state. He said criticism is an examination for the judiciary, and while everyone has the right to criticize, they should also trust the judiciary.

The Supreme Court judge said he learnt a lot from the court reporters.

Justice Minallah stated that freedom of expression is a significant thing that should not be suppressed. “

He highlighted that criticism on the judiciary falls into two categories: one is criticism when allegations are made that informed decisions are being made, and the other is criticism where he does not like why relief was granted.

The SC judge said Pakistan would not have been split into two, if the oath was not transgressed.

Justice Minallah also called for retrospection. “We should ask ourselves, where we are moving to. We want judgments according to out liking, we want a debate according to out liking.”

Source: Pakistan Observer

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