Easy access to people: SC asks govt to upload laws on websites

Also orders to make arrangements to publish error-free law books at affordable prices


Our Correspondent February 11, 2015
Also orders to make arrangements to publish error-free law books at affordable prices. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: A three-member bench of the apex court directed all the provincial and federal governments on Tuesday to upload complete laws on the websites of the Federal Law Ministry.

The Supreme Court (SC) bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, also passed certain directives regarding errors in printing/publishing of law books.

The development came as the SC has observed that in any civilised system of government, the first and foremost obligation of the government is to make sure that all applicable laws are easily available to people in an understandable language.

The bench lamented that the complete and updated laws were neither available on the official websites of the provincial as well as the federal governments nor in the hard copy.

The judgment authored by Justice Jawwad was announced on Tuesday while the SC office was directed to send the copy of the judgment to the five governments through their Chief Executives and Law Secretaries as well as to the Secretary of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan with notice for February 17.

The judgment says that notices were issued to the provincial, federal governments and bar councils in order to devise an effective mechanism or legislation to ensure the publication of error-free law books.

Neither the bar councils nor the federal or provincial governments showed any seriousness in addressing this major issue as they had not undertaken the exercise of codifying the statutes and subordinate legislation made pursuant to rule-making powers given to the respective executives by legislation. However, some steps were noted to be taken by the Punjab government.

After hearing the law officers and the law secretaries of the five governments and taking into account the reports submitted on behalf of the respective governments in the present matter, the court directed that the complete Pakistan Code (‘the Code’) shall be compiled and displayed on the website of the Federal Law Ministry.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2015.

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