Nothing has damaged the country’s criminal justice system more than the menace of perjury, fabricated testimony or false witness and we would never know how many innocent people have suffered or became victim of this evil practice. However, there is a growing realisation at least in the higher judiciary that how badly these wrongs were affecting the justice delivery system in Pakistan.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Asif Saeed Khosa, has once again expressed his determination to take strict measures to bring an end to this evil practice.
While dismissing a murder case on Monday, Justice Khosa declared that “All those who have given testimonies, beware. We are starting a journey towards truth from today – March 4.” He went on to warn that “If any part of any testimony is found to be false, the whole of it (the testimony) will be disregarded,” regretting that “People who lie in testimonies have ruined the (judicial) system.”
Since assuming the charge of office in January this year Justice Khosa has been expressing his concerns about the shortcomings in the justice delivery system of the country. Earlier in February too he had made some critical observations relating to false witnesses and testimonies.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was quick to post a welcoming tweet on Monday’s remarks of the Chief Justice of Pakistan. However, as the country’s chief executive it is his responsibility to bring about changes and reforms in the system, especially those relating to police operation, registration of FIRs, investigations and preparations of challans which alone can help eliminate the evils of false witness. He must take the lead to bring about these changes by making the legislature and the executive realise its negative consequence for fair delivery of justice.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2019.
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