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Supreme Court bans use of word 'sahib' for government officials

Supreme Court bans use of word 'sahib' for government officials


He ordered to send a copy of the decision regarding the ban to the KP IGP, AG and home department

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ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa on Wednesday ordered banning the use of word sahib for government officials during hearing of a criminal case. 

The chief justice was heading a three-member bench which was hearing the bail plea of a murder accused of Mardan. 

The use of word sahib by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa additional advocate general (AAG) for a police officer irked CJP Isa. When the chief justice asked him to give details of the case, the AAG said the “DSP sahib can explain.” 

The chief justice retorted that you have spoiled everyone by calling them sahib. “He is a DSP, not a sahib. He is an incompetent DSP.” 

The CJP said the use of the word sahib does not reflect an independent nation. When the word sahib is used for government employees, they think that they can’t be held accountable. 

He ordered to send a copy of the decision regarding the ban [on the word sahib] to the KP IG police, advocate general and home department.

CJP Isa observed that police did not investigate the case. They consider the Supreme Court a court of magistrate.

He expressed his anger as the AAG and other officer failed to argue the case. “Are we here to see the faces of lawyers? Was the [case] file so heavy that two officers of KP had to bring it to Islamabad?”

The CJP observed why the nation was funding police. A nine-year-old boy had been murdered and police investigation was incomplete. Due to flawed investigation, the court would release a suspect and they [police] would blame the court, he remarked.

CJP Isa observed that police did not deem it necessary to investigate the case seriously as the dead boy belonged to a poor family.

He asked a police official about his burgeoning waist. You are a member of a force, he said and added that in the past a belt was used [by the officials].

The chief justice expressed his anger when the AAG sought details from the DSP. “Is it a courtroom, or your office? It is irresponsible attitude to do office work in the courtroom,” he remarked.

CJP Isa asked police officer about evidence against the accused. The DSP (investigation) Peshawar replied that two witnesses saw the child with the accused. The chief justice said that you could add four witnesses [in the case]; where is the evidence?

The DSP said the child used to work in his uncle's workshop.

The chief justice observed how an uncle let his nephew go with a stranger? “Why did the workshop inform the child's family about the incident after 16 days? Why did the police not record the statements of the workshop employees?” he asked the DSP.

The KP police [officials] are the worst [investigators], the chief justice continued.

He observed that the police did not conduct any investigation to determine who was responsible for the death of the child.

Later, the court granted bail to the accused.