Chief Justice Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar has said that judiciary has to intervene when government fails to fulfill its constitutional duties.
He said this during a hearing on the provision of clean water to the citizens at the apex court's Karachi Registry on Monday, Express News reported.
Expressing concern over government's inadequate response, the CJP summoned Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday, and former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday.
Nisar said Kamal would have to answer how 50-acre land was illegally allocated for a treatment plant in Mehmoodabad.
In his remarks, Nisar reiterated that providing clean water and a healthy environment was the responsibility of the government. “When the government fails to fulfill its responsibilities, judiciary has to intervene,” he added.
According to Water Commission’s report, 77% of water in Sindh is not being utilised, and that 80% water supply in Karachi is filled with human waste. Similarly, 90% of the city's residents do not have access to clean water, and all four water treatment plants have been malfunctioned.
“In a democratic system, judiciary has the status of a guardian... if any pillar of the state does not function, we will hold it accountable."
The CJP said that "judiciary judges on merit only, without prejudices", adding that good work is appreciated as well. “The rich import water from abroad whereas dirty water is for the poor,” he remarked.
He said a video received from Water Commission had been sent to Sindh Assembly speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, but it wasn’t shown to the lawmakers. “We know our authority, we will send the video to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to broadcast it on every channel."
CJP Nisar said he will not question any government officer but the chief ministers of Sindh and Punjab, adding that the condition in Punjab was the same as rivers had turned toxic.
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