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Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. — File photo
Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. — File photo

LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said in the democratic set up of Pakistan every institution has to recognise and respect constitutional norms.

He said the three main state organs -- the judiciary, executive and the legislature -- though powerful in their respective domains, could not go beyond their constitutional limits.

The CJP was addressing a roll signing ceremony held on Saturday at the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry where he awarded practice licenses for the apex court to 15 lawyers.

Justice Chaudhry was of the view that the success and efficacy of a democratic system depended on independence of the judiciary which could not be ensured until and unless all the state institutions cooperated and worked within their constitutional framework.

He said the judiciary being custodian of the Constitution had been specifically equipped with the power of judicial review to check the arbitrary exercise of power by any authority or institution.

He said the Supreme Court had endeavoured to introduce legal and judicial reforms through prudent interpretation of laws and various landmark judgments and formulation of judicial policies.

The top judge said a strengthened and independent judicial system played an assertive and decisive role for the promotion of rule of law which was a basic substance of democracy. It was the statutory and constitutional responsibility of the judiciary to safeguard fundamental rights and restore entitlements to their owners and grant relief to the aggrieved, he added.

He said the judiciary had a definite role to play for effective administration of justice for the establishment of a just society, based on respect for law.

The CJP said the National Judicial Policy that was revised from time to time, in consultation with all stakeholders at national and international level, set out guidelines for the judges and lawyers for prompt and fair dispensation of justice. It was now the duty of the lawyers to follow them and facilitate the courts in dispensing justice at the grass-roots level, he added.

He said the hard work and efficient performance of courts had strengthened public trust in the justice system of the country and more and more people were approaching the courts for resolution of their disputes and redressal of grievances.

At the end, the CJP welcomed the newly-enrolled lawyers of the Supreme Court and hoped they would continue to practice law with passion and earn respect for themselves and the institution of judiciary.