MULTAN: Reiterating the old adage that all are equal before the law, Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that judges are under great obligation to dispense justice.
Speaking at the oath taking ceremony of lawyers at the Multan High Court Bar Association late on Saturday, he said that justice was a quality attributed to Allah, and any judge who was sworn in, will be asked on the Day of Judgment that when they took their oath, did they mete out justice judiciously.
Backlogged cases reduced
Claiming that the reforms brought as a result of a new judicial policy implemented in 2009, the Chief Justice said that fruits of this policy have started reaching the common citizen.
“We don’t claim that we have achieved what we desired however, the results are encouraging,” he said before presenting the figures to back up his claim. He said that from the 17,80,364 cases pending in courts all over the country prior to the policy being implemented, the figure had dropped to 15,65,698 by June 2012.
“ This data reveals that the disputes were resolved expeditiously as envisaged in the spirit of the Article 37 (d) of the Constitution. Although much has been achieved by the tireless efforts of the Judges, lawyers, court staff and other stakeholders, however, we look forward to your further extended cooperation for the success in our mission. The recommendations to improve and make it more effective would always be welcome,” he said.
Illiteracy a hurdle to seek justice
The Chief Justice also pointed towards the lack of literacy among the masses as a hurdle in gaining justice and urged the lawayers to act as a bridge.
“In our society the litigants are unable to secure and protect their rights due to little literacy and unawareness. In this scenario the lawyers of our country are under more responsibility to protect the rights of the citizen,” he said, adding, “of course this is not the only duty and responsibility of the lawyer. They have their duties towards Court as well as the general public. “
He urged the lawyers to realise their responsibility to facilitate litigation and desist from knowingly prolong cases. “They [lawyers] should be well prepared in their cases to assist the court. Lawyers must not ask for the adjournments due to the lack of preparation of the cases which causes delay in the dispensation of justice.”
He also lashed out at the increasing lack of discipline among the lawyer fraternity. “They [lawyers] should regularly attend the courts, be punctual and must work with honesty, devotion and professionalism,“ he said in a veiled jibe at the frequent truancy of lawyers from courts on one pretext or another.