With the Supreme Court (SC) facing a significant backlog of cases, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa remarked on Monday that the trend of seeking another date for hearing would no longer fly.
The CJP made the remarks as a three-member SC bench heard a case related to a land dispute, during which one of the lawyers sought to adjourn the hearing for a later date.
In response, CJP Isa reprimanded the lawyer and told him to forget the idea of seeking a later date.
“Through you, this is also a message for everyone that the trend of seeking adjournments will no longer fly. The number of cases pending before the apex court is quite high,” he said.
He further said that “notice [should be issued] during one hearing while arguments should be heard at the next”.
He said that in other courts, another date was given for the hearing in order to furnish more documents. “If a case comes to the SC, then all the paperwork should be complete,” he said, as the court rejected the lawyer’s plea.
Last week, CJP Isa had constituted a committee of judges on case management that will also determine the fate of complaints against judges, pending before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).
The committee, which will also include representatives of premier bars, namely the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), has been tasked with coming up with guidelines on how to clear a whopping backlog of 57,000 cases pending before the top court, speedy administration of justice and fixation and hearing of cases etc, PBC Vice Chairman Haroonur Rashid and PBC Executive Committee Chairman Hassan Raza Pasha told reporters after attending an over two-and-a-half-hour-long session called by the CJP to deliberate on a mechanism for case management.
Subsequently, the apex court had decided that details of the number of cases filed each week and disposed of by the court would be issued regularly on a weekly basis. In a statement, the top court said the decision to share weekly details of cases was taken to ensure transparency.