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PESHAWAR / CHARSADDA: Seeking cooperation of the legal fraternity in addressing the issue of delay in disposal of cases, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar stated on Friday that it was time for the judiciary to deliver otherwise it would not be able to achieve its goals.

CJP Nisar was addressing members of the Charsadda District Bar Association at the newly-constructed Charsadda Judicial Complex. Institutions were not made of buildings but by people, he told the lawyers. The chief justice said nations developed through education, leadership, judicial system and institutions. “Our laws are outdated and updating them is not our job,” he said.

He urged lawyers to hold workshops and to look for solutions to the problem of delays in disposal of justice within the existing legal framework. “Tell us how, with the cooperation of the bar and bench, we can decide a civil case in a few months,” he said.

He asked who was responsible for the delays and added: “I, this system, and all of us are responsible for this problem.” Commenting on the suo motu actions he had taken recently, the chief justice stated that they were related to the enforcement of fundamental rights. He said the right to life was an inalienable right, as was the right to education.

Says it’s time for judiciary to deliver

CJP Nisar said the other day he had questioned the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister about educational initiatives in Peshawar or any other city in his province, but the latter couldn’t provide a satisfactory answer.

He hailed Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Yahya Afridi, who had conceived the idea of building a judicial complex, as well as the architect and contractor for the project. CJP Nisar said this was one of the best judicial complexes in the world.

Separately, the chief justice visited the Charsadda District Headquarters Hospital and issued directives to ensure provision of lifesaving medicines.

Earlier in Peshawar, a bench headed by CJP Nisar had ordered the KP Health Care Commission to close down clinics and shops run by quacks within a week. The bench ordered that no court would issue a stay order in favour of any suspected quack seeking any interim relief.

The bench, whose other two members were Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, expressed dissatisfaction with the commission’s performance and directed its chief executive Azr Sardar to work harder.

The bench asked him his salary, and Mr Sardar replied that it was Rs500,000 per month. The bench then asked KP Chief Secretary Muhammad Azam Khan what his salary was, and he told them that it was Rs180,000 per month.

The CJ wondered how a chief secretary could receive a lower salary than the head of a commission that was subservient to him.

Imran’s response to criticism

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan said that two questions regarding the governance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were important for the consideration of the chief justice. “Are the conditions in KP better today than they were five years ago and are the people of KP comparatively more satisfied today than they were five years ago,” Mr Khan said in one of his tweets on Friday.

Mr Khan, apparently responding to the CJP’s remarks about the conditions of various public institutions in the province, said that as far as the situation in the Lady Reading Hospital was concerned it was easier to set up a new organisation than to rectify the one plagued with problems.

Separately, in compliance with an order of the Supreme Court, KP IGP Salahuddin Mehsud submitted a report to the SC bench stating that since Thursday, they had withdrawn around 1,769 police personnel who were performing security duty with unauthorised people in the province. The day before, the bench had ordered IGPs of all provinces and Islamabad to withdraw police personnel from people who were not entitled to security under law.

The chief justice lauded the IGP for his compliance, observing: “If the court was allowed to salute someone I would have saluted the IGP.”

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2018

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