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CHIEF Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar presides over the meeting at the Supreme Court Registry in Karachi on Saturday.—Online
CHIEF Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar presides over the meeting at the Supreme Court Registry in Karachi on Saturday.—Online

KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has urged the judges of higher and subordinate courts to give judgements in accordance with the law on time to ensure speedy justice to people.

Addressing the participants of the 3rd Sindh Judicial Conference at a hotel here on Saturday, he said that unfortunately orders being announced at present were based on choices, instead of law, and added that the judges had the responsibility to provide justice on time and in accordance with the law.

He said that the judicial forum was being criticised for delay in disposal of the cases as people complained of not being delivered justice on time. “I take the responsibility of the delay, but there are several other reasons for this,” he added.

The CJP said that lack of infrastructural facilities and shortage of judicial officers were the two main reasons behind the delay in disposal of cases.

In an unusual move, Saqib Nisar fixes hearing of public welfare cases for Sunday

He said that judicial officers were overburdened as around 150 cases were referred to a judge on a day-to-day basis, and it was humanly impossible to proceed with all cases in six working hours of a day.

“Does the institution meant to provide justice not have the right that it should be provided things to facilitate it,” CJP Nisar questioned.

The CJP said it was parliament’s job to make legislation.“Who is to bring reforms in laws?” It was the responsibility of judges to give decisions solely in accordance with the law, he added.

CJP Nisar said that the judges did not have the authority to give verdicts as per their will and sideline the law.

He stressed that the judicial system in the country needed a major overhaul.

The CJP said that many old laws, including those of colonial era, had not been amended or updated, terming it one of the hurdles in ensuring a healthy justice system.

“We accept the supremacy of parliament, and it is very important in a democracy that institutions do not encroach upon each others’ jurisdiction. But has the parliament updated these laws. This is a question I can’t answer,” he said.

He said the list of pending cases included those in which the person booked was not guilty of any crime. He added that people spent years in jail but when the case was brought to the court it turned out the person concerned was innocent.

CJP Nisar said that in certain cases there was also a need to improve the law, which the authorities concerned should focus on. Therefore, he said, a major overhaul was needed to ensure provision of inexpensive and speedy justice to the people.

He said that the judiciary in Punjab saw the best reforms in the country, and used technology and better organisation to reduce the frequency of pending cases.

Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move, the chief justice fixed the hearing of public welfare cases, including drinking water case, for Sunday (today) at the Karachi Registry.

Earlier in the morning, the chief justice visited Mazar-i-Quaid where he offered Fateha and prayed for the success, tranquility and stability of Pakistan.

He went to the mausoleum without any protocol or security detail and during the travel no traffic was interrupted and no roads were blocked.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2018