Judiciary being blamed for poor investigation standards: CJ

Published: April 24, 2011

Chief Justice says the judiciary cannot give a decision against any person where evidence is insufficient. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said on Sunday that deteriorating investigation standards result in courts releasing individuals, for which the judiciary is later held responsible.

While addressing the concluding ceremony of the three-day judicial conference in Islamabad, the Chief Justice said the judiciary cannot give a decision against any person where evidence is insufficient.

His statements come after public uproar over the court’s ruling to release five defendants and commute a sixth defendant’s death penalty to a life sentence in the controversial gang rape case of Mukhtaran Mai.

Chaudhry said the objective of the conference was aimed at improving the national judicial policy.

Chaudhry also said some people have accused the judiciary of interfering in the affairs of executives, however, the judiciary has constitutional powers to regulate the government machinery.

He added that justice was being delayed because of shortage of staff in the judiciary. He also demanded the government remove discrepancies in salary packages of judicial officers.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Umayr Masud
    Apr 24, 2011 - 4:50PM

    I completely agree with the Honorable Chief Justice on this. But I would also like to point out that when the honorable chief justice has taken suo moto actions and the investigation standard is poor the chief justice himself and the other honorable judges have taken the investigators to task. To me it seems like there are only a selective (Political) cases the judiciary asserts their full force.

    I am quite positive in cases of terrorism and in cases like that of Mukhtara Mai even if the case is weak by the investigators the judiciary can take up some judicial activism and pressurize for a better formulation of a case /investigation.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Apr 24, 2011 - 5:33PM

    He himself took up this case and himself decided and now blaming the unknown actors.

    All of a sudden CJ woke up and realized that there are poor investigation standards in Pakistan! How sweet and innocent of him.

    Mirza, USARecommend

  • saleem
    Apr 24, 2011 - 5:39PM

    They why this ‘honorable’ Chief Justice is taking to task the FIA investigation report in case of Hajj Scandal? There he bombarded the FIA for not providing a good investigation report to the Judiciary and rejected the report outrightly. The ‘demon’ there in the Hajj Scandal case is the PPP Government. Recommend

  • Hasan
    Apr 24, 2011 - 6:03PM

    Why doesn’t CJ take action against those investigators who do poor investigations like he always do in every little matter concerning PPP? CJ even took intelligence agencies to task when rights of those terrorists who attacked GHQ, of all places, were concerned however when rights of women and weak groups like Baluchis are concerned CJ merely shrugs and says ’what can I do’? Need anyone say more?Recommend

  • Mulla Toofhan
    Apr 24, 2011 - 6:32PM

    I can see the CJs point of view . If he is to give a fair judgement he has to go on evidence provided to the court, and often in cases against the powerful and influentional the “cases” set up are on weak evidence and poor stansard of investigation, We should be questioning the institutions responsible for collection of evidences and witnesses and putting them to higher standard of performance.Recommend

  • Haris Siddiqui
    Apr 24, 2011 - 6:52PM

    I have full respect for the judiciary but have a few questions for them? How come the judges meet at midnight when it comes to their survival but dont take action when common people are made fun of and seriously hurt by decisions like that of Mukhtaran? How many of the promises made by the CJ during his much publicized rallies were met with? The judges are also part of the society and know well what happens in Pakistan. One should keep the ground realities in mind and must not decide in isolationRecommend

  • Malik
    Apr 24, 2011 - 8:26PM

    It’s simple; Director FIA is from out of Punjab, while those who mis-investigated Mukhtara Mai’s case and the ones beating the hell out of Baluchis are from Punjab. “Chaudhary” Sahib is not taking action against the former two. A word to the wise.Recommend

  • Apr 24, 2011 - 8:32PM

    Poor clarification by CJ,why he not take the action against Muzzafar Garh police officials.what the reaction he showed if it happened with his family..have you any answer Mr.’honourable’ CJ.Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Apr 24, 2011 - 8:52PM

    Too late Mi Lord CJ. All Judges know how the standards are low and continue to deteriorate. Judges we have are of poor quality. Just open PLD’s dated 1950s and compare them to judgments written in 2000s. There is a world of difference in the quality and language of the verdicts pronounced. Yes, Mi Lord we know that various opinion polls held over the years show the Police and the Judiciary to be among the most corrupt Institutions in Pakistan. What have you then done about it??? As in the movie “Maguire” the actor says “show me the money.” We want to see the mighty, racketeers, looters and those obstructing justice bought to JUSTICE. If the investigation is poor then Judges should seek new evidence, no matter at what appellate stage. What the people of this country want is JUSTICE that has been DENIED to THEM. In Mukhatran Mai’s case the SC Judges have failed to do their duty and to bear responsibility for their actions. They became part of those obstructing JUSTICE for Mukhataran Mai. Is that too hard for you to decipher???Recommend

  • Pan Mat
    Apr 24, 2011 - 9:09PM

    So much for daughter-of-Pakistan syndrome!!!

    Contrast the public protests for Aafia’s case, which was dubious at the very onset versus Mukhtar Mai’s case. I really salute Mukhtar Mai for her courage in standing up against the system that is heavily biased against minorities and women.Recommend

  • White Russian
    Apr 24, 2011 - 9:36PM

    It is good that Judges have finally realised that their is a very narrowly technical job. Hence they should stop behaving like revolutionaries.

    Pity that Mai’s Case turned out to be useless for the political purposes. Hence poor investigation is just that: poor investigation. Had it been useful in embarrassing PPP, or if Zardari was involved, poor investigation would have attracted few more suo-motos, with a dozen demotions, a score of transfers, and an hourly head-line attracting admonitions. Alas, a human tragedy (like Mai’s predicament) is not as important as fixing the sugar prices, or swiss cases.

    My advice: Stand on a similarly strict legal grounds in other cases as well. Admit that constitution gives immunity to president. Do not occupy newspaper headlines with threatening messages to all and sundry everyday. Judges should speak strictly through their verdicts only. Recommend

  • a ercelan
    Apr 24, 2011 - 10:02PM

    as a judge and as a person, the CJ should reflect: it was his word against Musharaff. If the CJ privileges himself, then he demeans his faith and his constitutional responsibility – zero discrimination between pauper, preacher and popeRecommend

  • Chikna
    Apr 24, 2011 - 11:11PM

    we pray that courts will bring to justice everyone regardless of their parties….Recommend

  • parvez
    Apr 24, 2011 - 11:19PM

    The SC sits at the apex of the criminal / judicial / legal pyramid. This small body of superior minds have a lot of responsibility and a lot of power rests with them. The public expect much from them and repose confidence in them. This statement was a serious confidence destroyer.Recommend

  • umar
    Apr 25, 2011 - 12:44PM

    If court change inquiry officer in one case why not it order for cases which appeal to masses of people, the sole reason which appears is presence of political gimmick which is absent in cases of masses.

    Court order federal government for appointing certain person for inquiry why not here court order so mr honorable judge do give political statement and try to find scape goat just accept that justice system is as much corrupt as any other department is

    GOD SAVE US ALL

    ALTHOUGH WE DO NOT DESERVE SAVING Recommend

  • Usman Arshad
    Apr 28, 2011 - 6:55AM

    This shows how substandard and submissive our judicial system is.I agree with CJP that deteriorating investigation leads to such nasty situations.However,Judges should take action against those officials who donot pay heed to their duties.
    Mukhtaran Mai case was such of them in which influentials Mastois removed all the evidences.I am suprised that if CJP knows that why he does not take action against those officials who had already removed the evidences.
    Sorry to say,if this continues then public would start to do justice themselves.Recommend

  • Mubasher Pasha
    Apr 28, 2011 - 6:29PM

    I disagree with “justice was being delayed because of shortage of staff in the judiciary”. That excuse is merely a scape goat for the Judiciary. In reality, they don’t need to increase the number of judges, they need to decrease the number of cases. Here’s how & why:
    “Chief Justice said the judiciary cannot give a decision against any person where evidence is insufficient”.
    The Judiciary admits it cannot give a decision without any evidence, yet it keeps entertaining cases that are lodged without a shred of evidence. In the first instance, the Judiciary should dismiss all fabricated cases that have baseless allegations without evidence. This will automatically decrease the number of cases as well as discourage people from filing fabricated cases knowing it’ll be dismissed. Secondly there should be a system of penalties & repercussions for allegations that are proven a lie to further discourage fabricated cases & hence less burden on courts with only genuine cases to deal with.Recommend

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