Delayed justice

June 15, 2019

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ACCORDING to press reports, over two million cases have been pending in our courts. Lots of pending cases are decades old.

Justice Saqib Nisar once said that he was pessimistic about the functioning of the current justice system and the main reason behind its failure was judges themselves. He also passed verdict on a 53 years old case.

Powerful, corrupt elements manage to acquire services of senior lawyers, who are too willing to sell their soul in return for hefty fees in total disregard of national interest.

Our judicial system is obsolete, inefficient, overburdened, and to make things worse, in the lower judiciary, dishonest practices are also not unknown. Both parliament and the government have failed to introduce laws to protect the interests of the common man. VIP culture is overwhelming. Corrupt politicians, senior bureaucracy and feudal lords have proved too powerful to be tackled by the law enforcement agencies.

The following are also some of the reasons for delay in justice: a shortage of judges, holidays (summer vacations of courts for 60 days), Saturdays/ Sundays (92 days) and national holidays (15 days). This means out of out 365 days courts do not function for 167 days.

Then defence lawyers do not attend courts as they are either sick or one of their family members is sick. As if this is not enough, lawyers consider it their moral and national duty to observe strikes. Then we have stay orders and numerous adjournments.

We can only pray and hope that one day our ministry of law will wake up and look into these long overdue problems, and our parliament will find time to pass the necessary bill.

S.H. Jafarey

Karachi

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2019