News Analysis |
In the latest development, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on Monday remarked that in order to curb the practice of giving false testimonies, court will now reject a testimony completely even if only a part of a testimony is based on lies. “All those who have given testimonies, beware. We are starting a journey towards truth from today — March 4,” the chief justice said.
The top Judge also noted that people lie before the courts and complicate the matters. It is not for the first time that the false testimony irked the CJP rather he has expressed his utmost displeasure on many occasions. “People who lie in testimonies have ruined the [judicial] system,” he remarked.
It is argued that the LHCs in all four provinces of the country need to focus on the process of selection and training of judicial officers in order to make sure the provision of speedy justice to everyone.
The statement was made while the chief justice dismissed a murder case after it was found out that it was based on a false testimony given by a police officer. Now the top court has framed its policy of zero tolerance for those found telling a lie before a court. As a matter of fact, the SC has hinted at that the law allowing to award life imprisonment to those found of misleading the court.
Recently, the CJP made a big decision for speedy trial of murder cases. It has been decided to establish model courts to conclude murder trials immediately. The trial courts will be bound to give the decision on murder cases in four days. The implementation work on establishing model courts will begin after March 15.
A large number of cases is pending before the courts in Pakistan. The CJP expressed his ardent desire to deal with pending case in his maiden speech when he remarked that “I would also like to build some dams, a dam against undue and unnecessary delays in judicial determination of cases, a dam against frivolous litigation and a dam against fake witnesses and false testimonies and would also try to retire a debt, the debt of pending cases which must be decided at the earliest possible.”
Experts believe that the concerns shown by the top judge are very important and need immediate action. It is argued that the LHCs in all four provinces of the country need to focus on the process of selection and training of judicial officers in order to make sure the provision of speedy justice to everyone. Moreover, the major problem is pressure on the lower courts due to a large number of cases pending before them. It is important to note that according to the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (L&JCP), a total of 1,873,085 cases were pending disposal in all the superior and subordinate courts of Pakistan as on November 30, 2017. As per the statistics compiled by the L&JCP, the Supreme Court has 38,071 cases pending till November 30.
Justice Khosa also said that he will take Suo Moto notices ‘very sparingly’ on the matters related to public interests and of national importance.
All five high courts have a huge number of 293,316 cases, which are yet to be decided. Of them, the Lahore High Court (LHC) has 147,633 pending cases; the Sindh High Court (SHC) has 93,404 undecided cases; the Peshawar High Court (PHC) has a pendency of 29,525 cases; the Baluchistan High Court (BHC) has 6,510 cases awaiting decisions; and the IHC has 16,244 pending cases.
Furthermore, according to the report, the district judiciary – sessions’ judges, additional sessions judges, senior civil judges, and civil judges — is also faced with an enormous pendency of 1,541,119 cases. Although Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is small in size compared to Sindh, its district judiciary has more than double undecided cases. The district judiciary of Punjab has 1,187,076 pending cases; the district judiciary of Sindh has 99,820; the district judiciary of KP has 204,209 cases; the district judiciary of Baluchistan has 13,009 cases, and the district judiciary of Islamabad has 37,005 cases awaiting disposal.
The issues like false testimonies not only delay the cases but implicate innocents too. Justice Khosa also said that he will take Suo Moto notices ‘very sparingly’ on the matters related to public interests and of national importance. It is worth mentioning here that lawyers often complained over the excessive use of Article 184 (3) of the constitution [authorizing superior/constitutional courts to take Suo Moto notice of cases in public interest] by the former CJP caused a delay in other decisions. As a matter of fact, the CJP Khosa has not taken even a single Suo Moto notice since the day he has assumed the office.