CJP rules out any unconstitutional step in county.

RAWALPINDI: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that no dictator should have courage in future to commit any illegal step in the country, adding that this has become possible with in the result of the lawyers’ sacrifices and struggle.
Addressing to the inauguration ceremony of lawyers club and chambers in Rawalpindi on Friday Chief Justice said that the judges vowed to protect the constitution of the country, adding that Judges would not take oath under the PCO. I called the 3rd November action as martial law and not the emergency plus, he said.
He said that we have proved through actions that there is independent judiciary in the country, adding that Rawalpindi bar played pivotal role in the success of the lawyer’s movement for the restoration of deposed judges.
He said that the verdicts would only be announced according to the constitution, adding that the verdicts could not be issued according to the will of any person.
He said that in the verdict of the 31st July 2009 the judges of the Supreme Court set aside all the illegal actions of the dictator.
He said that there would be rule of law in the country, adding that there is a good relation between the bench and bar.
He said that the confidence of the masses increased on judiciary after independence, adding that know everything is notice of the judiciary and it has become possible through print and electronic media.
He said that through independent media the masses have become aware about their rights, adding that judges held long struggle for the restoration of judiciary and faced many problems including sacrifice of job.
He said that many people used to talk about illegal action for political interests, adding that no one would have courage to commit illegal action and there be no one in judiciary who would validate the action of the dictator.
He said that according to the article 5 of the constitution all the citizens are bound to loyal with the country.
He said that the number of cases is increases after the restoration of the judiciary, adding that the sacrifices of the judges would not go in vain.
Chief Justice said that the lawyers’ community has earned a great respect for the legal profession. They are the role model for the community and have exhibited exemplary conduct for securing independence of judiciary, adding that they stood with Bench to restore the rule of law and constitutionalism in the country. Without their untiring efforts the present scenario could not have seen the light of the day.
CJP said that after restoration of independent judiciary in March 2009, the first step was taken to gear up the system of administration of justice towards securing inexpensive and expeditious justice at the grass root level.
The Judiciary after restoration was facing the severe problem of backlog of cases at every level from lower to the superior courts. Number of cases pending in the district Judiciary was much higher as compared to High Courts and Supreme Court, CJ said.
He said that the district judiciary is the backbone of the judicial system of Pakistan. If the District Judiciary delivers to the satisfaction of the people it inspires confidence and earns respect of the people. About ninety percent of the litigants, at first stage, come in contact with District Judiciary. Therefore, the impression and confidence of public regarding the judicial system, is directly dependent upon their experience at this level.
The delay in dispensation of justice not only causes agony to the litigants but also badly affects the fabric of socio-economic activities. This has been the main issue before the successive law reform commissions and committees set up from time to time.
The delay discourages the people to approach to Courts for the redressal of their grievances. In this situation, the Bars raise the voice of the people’s conscious and operate as sentinel of their portal of freedom. It was the lawyers’ community of the country who vigorously carried out the struggle for the rule of law and awakened the nation to taken a stand on constitutional dispensation.
The successful campaign and un-precedented sacrifices offered by them let to a new dawn of independence of judiciary. This in turn raised public aspiration and expectation from justice sector. Now we have entered in new arena of paradigm shift, where we have to deliver the legal rights protected by the Constitution and the Law.
The National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) was established under the National Judicial Policy (Making Committee) Ordinance 2002. Under the auspices of NJPMC the first National Judicial Conference was held in February 2007 in which all the stakeholders of justice sector including the member of the bench and the bar, public functionaries, academicians, members of the civil society and media participated.
Iftikhar Chaudhry said that the purpose of convening National Judicial Conference was to give a platform to all the stakeholders to present their views so that new ways should be devised for resolving legal and judicial problems. In this Conference many issues pertaining to judicial independence, delay reduction, Alternate Dispute Resolution, legal education, eradication of corruption, time management and court management etc. were deliberated.
On the basis of these deliberations, after restoration of judiciary in 2009, the NJPMC in its consecutive meetings formulated the National Judicial Policy 2009, he said.
CJ said that after implementation of National Judicial Policy a considerable success was achieved specially in the District Courts. By and large the targets set out by the policy were achieved with proper assistance and cooperation of the Bar. After implementation of National judicial Policy, the NJPMC has convened three conferences, which were attended by all stakeholders, to re-visit the National Judicial Policy and to discuss various issues on the past experience. Upon the out come of the conferences the policy was revised accordingly. I remember an instance, when it was reported that cases are decided/disposed of mere on technical grounds, he said.
CJ said that the matter was taken up with Chief Justices of the High Courts. Resultantly, these cases were not only restored but directions were passed to the District Judiciary to decide the cases on merit after providing full opportunity of hearing to the parties, so that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly be seen to have been done.
Chief Justice said that transparency in the functioning of Courts and eradiation of Corruption, in all its manifestation, on the part of judicial officers and officials, is the corner stone of the National Judicial Policy. Corruption in judicial system adversely affects and lowers the confidence of litigant public in the judicial system.
He said that our wholehearted efforts will come to nothing if the evil of corruption is not firmly checked. The National Judicial Policy suggested strict adherence to the Code of Conduct by all the judicial officers and officials and initiation of disciplinary action against the corrupt ones.
CJ informed that a Cell for Eradication of Corruption from Judiciary has been established under the supervision of Chief Justices High Courts for disciplinary action against corrupt and incompetent judicial officers and court officials. Complaints are received through the Registrar of respective High Courts. Since the implementation of National Judicial Policy so far many disciplinary actions have been taken against those judicial officers and court officials who were involved in such practices.
CJ said that in the province of the Punjab 71 officials were dismissed, 2 judicial officers and 43 officials were removed, 1 judicial officer and 10 officials were terminated, 7 judicial officers and 32 officials were compulsory retired from the service, adding that in Sindh 29 officials were dismissed, 6 judicial officers and 5 officials were compulsory retired from service, similar, major penalties were imposed against 6 judicial officers and 16 officials.
He said that in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 8 judicial officers and 6 officials were compulsorily retired, 2 officials were removed and against 2 judicial officers major penalty were imposed.
CJ stated that the number of Criminal cases has direct nexus with the capacity of the Prisons. At the movement in the Rawalpindi District about 48373 cases are pending in the Courts out of them 8508 are only criminal cases. While in the Central Jail, Rawalpindi, there are 4939 prisoners instead of its capacity that is 1994.
The intensity of this problem can be checked through early disposal of cases. In this regard the role of lawyers is indispensable in terms of providing assistance to Court. Without co-operation from the Bar, the Courts cannot dispose of the cases expeditiously. Similarly, the Bench is also under obligation to provide fair trial and to adopt due process of law to protect and safeguard the rights of the litigants CJ said.
However, it is reiterated again that additional courts are to be established at the district level where extra judges and necessary staff should be appointed on priority basis to handle the ever increasing institution of fresh cases and stemming the tide of ever increasing backlog CJ said.
The presiding officers of those courts where cases are relatively low in numbers may be rotated to those courts which are facing steep rise in new institution and big backlog of old cases.
CJ said that there is also an urgent need to impart appropriate legal education to the presiding officers of the district judiciary along with the support staff so that they are professionally well prepared to handle the variety of cases being brought before the courts. It is all the more necessary in view of challenging issues being taken up in courts now-a-days like intellectual property cases, commercial litigation, and cases related to white color crimes with reference to money laundering and terrorism, he maintained.
Chief Justice said that there is also a perpetual requirement for appointing of judges in the various High Courts of the country. It gives me considerable personal satisfaction to share with you the fact that after the promulgation of 18th Amendment, I have taken special care to not only expedite the process of appointment of fresh judges to the High Courts in the country but also to choose the best candidates who have impeccable integrity and solid professional experience.
CJ said that this process of appointment takes some time wherein the Judicial Commission proposes and scrutinizes each and every candidate thoroughly and passes on its recommendations to the Parliamentary Committee. The Committee in turn takes time to further assess and approved the recommendation of Commission.
The final recommendations are then notified by the competent authority as per rules. This entire process requires some time which is necessary for making the most appropriate choices for appointment of Judges of the superior courts in the country, he said.
This so called delay in the appointment of judges may be frustrating but it is important to assess the cases carefully and make the right decision. However, I assure you that no extra time will be taken then required for making such appointments in the superior courts of the county.
Chief Justice addressing to lawyers said “You have struggled for restoration of rights of the citizenries as enshrined in the Constitution. Now you should continue your struggle for consolidation of the grounds so far secured. People are looking toward you to not only provide them guidance and inspiration to achieve their rightful place in the society but also to provide them with hope for future.”
At the end CJ call upon the stakeholders of justice system to care for the weaker section of society including women, children, and prisoners.

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