International Conference: Legal experts focus on judiciary’s shortcomings

Published: April 30, 2012

Investigations are conducted by undisciplined officials, conviction rates are low.

KARACHI: The international conference on criminal justice system concluded on Sunday, with Sindh High Court Chief Justice Musheer Alam expressing hope that its suggestions might make the legal system function better.   

The three-day conference was organised by the Hamdard Law School, in collaboration with the Network of Asia Pacific Schools and Institutes of Public Administration and Governance (NAPSIPAG) and the Committee for Welfare of Prisoners.

“It is heartening to note that we finally engaged in such an analysis,” said Justice Alam, while adding that the country has started witnessing the benefits of having a free judiciary.

The final session of the conference was chaired by Dr Ritu Diwan, head of the Centre for Gender Economics at the University of Mumbai, and was on “Social justice, governance and ethics.”

District and sessions judge Dr Qamaruddin Bohra said that the conviction rate remains woefully low, between five and ten per cent across all registered cases. “The prosecution system has collapsed as investigations are conducted by undisciplined police officers.” Dr Bohra added that it is in the witness’ personal interest to remain silent. The accused gets acquitted from cases that are presented in front of prominent judges because of unavailability of trustworthy witnesses.

Nazish Brohi, an independent researcher and development consultant, referred to an absence of consensus on the “idea of the state,” which allows the government to use “force and violence to deal with various challenges.”  As a result, the country will remain preoccupied with domestically generated security threats.

Raza Ahmed Rumi said that at least 19,550 cases were pending at the Supreme Court, while another 199,243 cases were backlogged at the country’s higher courts.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2012.

Reader Comments (3)

  • Mirza
    Apr 30, 2012 - 10:25AM

    This says it all “at least 19,550 cases were pending at the Supreme Court, while another 199,243 cases were backlogged at the country’s higher courts.”

    Justice delayed is justice denied. There are cases, murder appeals and constitutional petitions rotting in the HC and SC by tens of thousands. However, the PCO SC judges have been chasing and building a case on a single unreliable witness and make him a prosecutor as well. The SC judges and three HC chief justices have nothing better to do than chase MI and HH on an unsigned memo that HH never saw and delivered. MI wrote and delivered the memo beside spitting venom constantly against Pakistan and army. Yet our judges find him more credible prosecutor than the Attorney General of Pakistan. Asghar Khan might have to wait a few more decades before his case can get that kind of attention. BB’s murder case and Taseer’s broad daylight murder are not even heard in a HC let alone starting like all political cases from SC.

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  • Reader
    Apr 30, 2012 - 3:00PM

    @Mirza:
    Wah Mirza Saab, you dont spare a second in lashing SC, who really deserve, lol..
    apart from such hefty work done by SC so far in the history of Pakistan, How come you skipped the protocol given to Dr. Arslan recently delying the PIA flight. and he kept on insisting that his fleet of cars should go up-till door of Plane on the runway. and the sympathetic treatment of Musharraf. And not taking any sou-moto in the sectarian killings.

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  • Bhatti
    May 1, 2012 - 1:03PM

    One who criticises on SC u dnt 9 now exploitation on common man in our country is decreased after independence of judiciary.And now it is not necessary to hire a lawyer and a poor can go in Sessions court for his redressal.

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