The sole objective for convening the National Judicial Conference is to provide a platform where stakeholders can share their views to devise new ways and means for resolving legal and judicial problems, stated the chief justice.
Addressing the inaugural session of the National Judicial Conference on Friday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that an independent and efficient judiciary ensures social justice and good governance.
The purpose of public interest litigation is to uphold public confidence in the judicial system and provide socio-economic and political justice to all citizens.
“It is also necessary to pass on the benefit of law to poor, vulnerable sections of society,” he added. “Economic disparity is threatening the fabric of society and it is necessary to make procedural innovation in order to enforce fundamental rights to offset its impact.”
The chief justice said that it is the duty of every state functionary to uphold the rule of law and the constitution. When state officials transgress their authority, the court has to invoke its power.
This is possible only if we the judiciary is committed and independent. The chief justice supported the establishment of e-courts to streamline the justice system and bring efficiency and accountability in judicial service. He was of the view that information technology can prove to be important in reducing delay and ultimately eliminating backlog.
The Supreme Court has initiated a number of projects including case flow management and archiving the court record.
The high courts and district judiciary have disposed off 89 per cent of their backlog since the implementation of the policy. The judiciary’s performance has strengthened public perception about the rule of law in the country,” he said.
The targets set out for the disposal of cases in the National Judicial Policy have been achieved. Due to improved performance, the Supreme Court, the Federal Shariat Court, the high courts and district judiciary decided a total of 49,65,731 cases Since May 31, 2009, while 45,72,690 new cases were instituted, which is a great achievement. Article 37(d) of the Constitution of Pakistan mandates that “The State shall… ensure inexpensive and expeditious justice.”
The chief justice appreciated parliament for the 18th amendment which approved the establishment of a Peshawar High Court bench at Mingora and a Balochistan High Court bench at Turbat to provide a higher judicial forum for adjudication of disputes at the litigants’ doorstep. “It will usher a new era of enforcement of rule of law and socio-economic development,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2011.
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