BEING a law-abiding citizen and legal practitioner, I hope the other members of the legal fraternity would subscribe to what Sindh’s Chief Justice Mushir Alam has said to the press during his visit to the Sukkur Central Prison about the conduct of a section of lawyers, pendency of old cases and elimination of corruption from the law and justice system (June 19).
He also criticised some of the lawyers for giving strike calls and boycotting court proceedings frequently, besides levelling allegations against judges.
As a consequence of such remarks by the Chief Justice, lawyers of subordinate courts went on strike on June 20 at the call of the Sindh Bar Council. This dispute between the SHC and the SBC had been, in fact, simmering for quite some time but the row between the bench and the bar erupted last week after a meeting of the lawyers in Sukkur about the complaints of corruption in the subordinate courts and also the involvement of SHC judges.
In this age of moral and social degeneration and cultural stagnation there are those who do not respect judges and do not follow the due process of law in superior courts or subordinate courts.
They are the ones who obtain good advice on payment of high fees and manage to walk away free without being punished by courts.
Nevertheless, I hope the various measures and reforms adopted by Chief Justice Mushir Alam will gradually improve the situation in the dispensation of justice to all those in need of justice, as no person is above the law.
The vacuum , which was extensively created by the abrupt packing of the entire judiciary by a military dictator on November 2, 2007, and its subsequent restoration on March 16, 2009, had resulted in acute shortage of judges and created in multiple problems.
However, the recent induction of new judges may ameliorate the situation to some extent, but it will take some time when they may be able to discharge their functions satisfactorily in the reduction of judicial workload. The filling of remaining vacancies is, nevertheless, the need of the time in the larger interest of litigants.
SYED IQBAL AHMAD