Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has warned that he would not tolerate any violation of the orders of the apex court. “Any violation of the orders of Supreme Court would be taken seriously and would entail strict action.”
Taking notice of the killings of lawyers and other citizens in Sindh, CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry assured the people of Karachi and Sindh that the judiciary would not leave them alone and would monitor the actions of the state apparatus.
Addressing members of the bar and bench after administering oath to the newly elected office bearers of the Karachi Bar Association here on Saturday, the chief justice especially referred to the target killing of lawyers in Karachi and said this was “really very frustrating.”
It is unfortunate if these incidents are ignored by the police. “Read our judgement in the suo motu proceedings on Karachi’s law and order situation, we have ordered Sindh’s administration to protect the lives of citizens at all costs,” he said.
He asked the chief justice of the Sindh High Court to summon the chief secretary, Sindh IG, Rangers DG and other officials in his chambers in the presence of members of the bar and look into the issue.
Terming the strength of the judges at Sindh High Court as “meagre”, the CJP asked the chief justice of the SHC to “initiate the process of appointment in consultation with the senior-most judges.”
He said that although SHC CJ Mushir Alam was cautious about appointing judges on merit and the ‘best of the best’, he should still move on with the process.
“Confer responsibility on a person, he will certainly respond by bringing [his] best,” he advised, citing an example while he was serving as the CJ of the Balochistan High Court.
“Select them from among the lawyers and district and sessions judges. A jewel shines only when it is crafted and becomes valuable,” he said.
He told the audience that he had a meeting with senior judges of the Supreme Court and Sindh High Court on the issue and hoped that in the next 15 to 20 days, the shortage of judges would end.
Referring to the problems of parking space, a lack of facilities at the city courts complex, the CJP hoped that the district and high court judges would solve the problems lawyers faced so that they could work for their clients with peace of mind.
He said that the district judiciary was the main pillar of the judicial system and should be given importance in view of its role in the dispensation of justice.
The judges of the district judiciary shall be given incentives and appreciated and should not be condemned for minor faults, he said, adding that if the district judiciary fails to provide the people justice, the entire system would collapse. “The district judiciary shall be strengthened to strengthen the system of the administration of justice,’ he said.
Speaking about the strike and disenchantment among the staff of the lower judiciary over a salary row with the provincial government, CJP said that this agitation was not good for litigants or the judiciary. He asked the Registrar of the Supreme Court to find out about the status of appeals filed by the government against the high court’s decision and said it would be decided on merit soon. Till then, the staff should reconsider its decision to strike two days a week on Fridays and Saturdays.
Responding to a problem raised by KBA President Mehmoodul Hasan about the inordinate delay in the enrolment of new lawyers, enabling them to acquire licenses to practice, making them eligible to compete for the appointment as judges, the CJP asked the SHC CJ to resolve the issue in a day or two in consultation with all senior judges of the SHC.
Hasan and KBA honorary secretary Khalid Mumtaz also addressed the gathering.
Deadlines and highlights
Sindh govt must protect citizens at all costs
SHC CJ to summon top officials in chambers on killings
SHC CJ to consult senior judges on selecting judges, resolution hoped in fortnight
Judicial staff should reconsider two-day strikes
Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2012.