To err is human. This adage is the ultimate refuge of a human being. Commit a mistake and expect magnanimous forgiveness from a fellow human being. In the public domain, every error is a gaffe which makes Chief Justice Saqib Nisar more controversial with every passing day, especially after his recent judicial activism. On January 13, this year, while delivering a speech at a judicial conference in Karachi, Justice Nisar said, “I don’t think I have written a long speech. I am always told that a speech should be like a woman’s skirt. It should not be too long that one loses one’s interest. Nor should it be too short to cover the subject. So I will be adhering to this principle.” The original idea might be to create a convivial milieu, but the analogy invited the ire of women rights activists who launched a diatribe against him saying that the quote exposed the deep-rooted sexism and that Justice Nisar was not required to amuse anyone by allegedly objectifying women. Consequently, on January 24, Justice Nisar apologised publicly. This was the first regret he expressed and the first retraction he made openly. On March 27, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met Justice Nisar for two hours at the Supreme Court; on March 29, during a hearing on illegal constructions in Murree, Justice Nisar remarked that his job was to listen to the pleas of every ‘faryadi’ (complainant) and this was why he had let Abbasi meet him. Though the word ‘faryadi’ can be understood better when translated into ‘solicitous’ than into ‘complainant’, the word took the country by storm. The mock-cum-malign encapsulated in the manner and the context in which the word ‘faryadi’ was articulated stirred the followers of Abbasi’s political party. In the evening, in a public gathering, when a reporter, Azaz Syed, asked Justice Nisar if it was appropriate for a judge to call an elected prime minister a ‘faryadi’, Justice Nisar replied that he had not uttered such words at all. In the immediate aftermath of this query, not only reporters were barred from asking questions to publicly available Justice Nisar, but the SC also felt constrained to issue a press release averring that the word ‘faryadi’ was not uttered for Abbasi, though the press release admitted that Justice Nisar had uttered the word ‘faryadi’ overtly. Apparently, Justice Nisar seems to have forgotten that the acts of delaying and denying justice to people by the judiciary, the presence of venal and inept judges running the judiciary, and the presence of corruption and other anomalies in the judiciary are also violations of fundamental rights of people enshrined in Article 184(3). The public domain takes its toll especially when mistakes are done publicly. The first difference between the banned TV anchor Dr Shahid Masood and Justice Nisar is that over the years Masood had created an unrestrained overdeveloped penchant for committing mistakes publicly and getting off scot-free. It is getting away with mistakes that opens space for making more mistakes transforming a mistake into a blunder. The second difference is that Masood had reached the point where he had exhausted all facilities for retracting his words. Contrarily, Justice Nisar has at least twice pulled back his words uttered publicly. The third difference is that Masood had no option to constrain reporters from asking him questions. The feature Justice Nisar shares with Masood is that they have both erred publicly. The more is the public exposure, the more the mistakes are to surface. When Nehal Hashmi was invited the second time through the contempt of court notice, he vocalised a simple point broadcast on TV screens, ‘if the chief justice can retract his words with impunity, why can’t I?’ On March 27, after his meeting with the prime minister, Justice Nisar said that the judiciary would continue to play its constitutional role. This is an interesting but intriguing statement. The reason is that, on the one hand, by invoking about 30 suo motu notices since the beginning of this year, Justice Nisar has prioritised Article 184(3), as if this were the only article embodying the constitutional role of the judiciary. On the other hand, within the given domain of Article 184(3), Justice Nisar is selective to express his concern by cherry-picking the areas other than the judiciary. That is, Justice Nisar has bifurcated the domain of Article 184(3) into non-judicial (such as politics, social, and economic) and judicial. He has invoked Article 184(3) only in the non-judicial domain under the belief that the domain of the violation of fundamental rights and the consequent enforcement existed necessarily outside the lower and high courts. Despite the fact that he has not even visited higher or lower courts after becoming CJP, Justice Nisar has persisted on emphasising the constitutional role of the judiciary. The perception is that he has remained aloof and unapproachable to common people who bear the real brunt of our crisis. Apparently, Justice Nisar seems to have forgotten that the acts of delaying and denying justice to people by the judiciary, the presence of venal and inept judges running the judiciary, and the presence of corruption and other anomalies in the judiciary are also violations of fundamental rights of people enshrined in Article 184(3). In short, functioning in the public domain under the influence of Article 184(3) exclusively, stomaching violation of fundamental rights practiced by delaying or denying justice in lower and higher courts, publicly saying wobbly words prone to retraction, and avoiding reporters under the ruse of security concerns is a quartet, is something that a high office-holder should try to avoid. The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, April 4th 2018.