Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday said the Supreme Court’s queries to better understand others’ perspective should not be perceived as the court’s interference in the legislative process.

The chief justice made those remarks while heading a three-member SC bench hearing a case about the media commission

“Yesterday it was again asked how the judiciary could interfere with the legislative process,” the chief justice said, without naming anyone. “Parliament is supreme but there is also the Constitution above it.”

Justice Nisar was referring to remarks given by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the National Assembly on Monday in which he severely criticised the recent judicial activism, alleging that it was badly affecting the functioning of his government.

“Headlines get made when we ask questions even though our remarks are to understand each others’ point of view. If we question whether or not a certain person is qualified [to hold public office] then is that akin to insulting the parliament? Is asking a question also insulting a parliamentarian?”

The chief justice said he is neither giving a clarification nor is he liable to give one, adding: “We do not want to make clarifications our weakness.”

“We will not be deterred. In fact, we will, with the best of intent, utilise the power that the Constitution and the law has given us.”