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Chief Justice of Pakistan on a mission to reform the justice system

Formulating the laws in not judiciary’s prerogative: Chief Justice of Pakistan

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News Analysis |

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar said that formulating the laws in not judiciary’s prerogative, rather, it is the duty of legislators to formulate the laws and make amendments in the present laws.

On Wednesday [Today], while addressing a ceremony, CJP spoke about the judicial system of the country. ‘He questioned the capability of judges and asked that, where have all the capable Judges gone?’ He lamented about the absence of passion within the judiciary.

He held judges responsible for delaying the cases for a lengthy period of time. He expressed dismay over the delay in justice for 30 to 40 years and questioned the role of judges in it. “How can it take 15-years for a case trial to conclude? I don’t understand this,” he asked.

CJP has re-emphasized a number of times that he does not intend to interfere in the work of the executive and provincial Governments but is compelled to do so due to the appalling state of affairs in provinces.

“The Judges in the country do not use their free will and rely on law and constitution, but, they need to learn the law and jurisprudence to achieve capability. Competence is expected from them”, he asserted. “Justice is the base of any society. No society could exist without ensuring justice to its members,” he said.

Hoping to bring the house in order, CJP said that this is the start of judicial reforms. We must appreciate facts. “Superior courts are not courts of facts. Superior courts are courts of laws,” he added.

Read more: Is Chief Justice Saqib Nisar apolitical?

On the subject of salaries and fringe benefits associated with top judges, he said, “Being part of this respected profession, we [judges] must justify the perks, we get from our services. The salaries, we get are similar to other top privileged civil servants in the country.”

On Tuesday, while addressing the lawyers in bar room at Quetta’s district court, the top judge announced the initial legal reforms and termed the current laws obsolete [since civil procedure code was made in 1908], it is no longer compatible with the current conditions prevailing in the country.

Hoping to bring the house in order, CJP said that this is the start of judicial reforms. We must appreciate facts. “Superior courts are not courts of facts. Superior courts are courts of laws,” he added.

He admitted that we do not have the right to formulate the law, but we can bring legal reforms and volunteers can assist me to achieve the desired goal. Mainstream political parties PML-N and PPP have downplayed the judicial activism and confronted judiciary over interference in political work and mandate of politicians.

CJP criticizes political leaders over their failure to solve the basic issues like health, education, and security of its citizens. CJP regrets that legislators even have no time to legislate to improve the judicial system of the country. PPP has accused Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for restricting judicial reforms.

Read more: PTI to NAB Chief: ‘Act before we do’

On April 1, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that, since the judicial murder of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, PPP has always strived for judicial reforms. Even in its last term [2008-2013], PPP was willing to introduce reforms but, PML-N opposed us. “Even, in current tenure, whatever amendments and changes, we were willing to bring, PML-N again opposed us.”

However, both parties (PML-N and PPP) together attempted to discredit apex court’s actions criticizing it for over 1.8 million cases pending in courts of Pakistan. It is understandable that political slogans are raised only after CJP objects and highlights the issues, exposing the democratic Government’s inability to tackle the problems that are faced by the masses in Pakistan.

CJP has re-emphasized a number of times that he does not intend to interfere in the work of the executive and provincial Governments but is compelled to do so due to the appalling state of affairs in provinces.

After being criticized for taking too many Suo Moto cases, CJP is on a mission to restore the collapsed reputation of Pakistan’s judicial system, which is agonizingly expensive and lengthy at the same time.


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