ISLAMABAD - The last two days of the outgoing year (December 30 & 31) might have been enjoyable for the staff of the Supreme Court, Islamabad, but were bad for the litigants as no bench worked on the principal seat, something seen for the first time after eight years.
Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, however, heard cases in Lahore Registry, along with Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa.
Former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry used to hear cases himself along with two other judges in Islamabad during all winter and summer vacations.
During Justice Chaudhry's tenure the Supreme Court used to be a busy place for lawyers as well media media persons and a good deal of news items originated from here. The former chief justice always had many important cases of public interest on his table. But after his retirement, the workload for journalists has also come down to a great extent.
With the departure of Justice Chaudhry, there is also a change seen in the working of judges. During his tenure, common litigants used to complain that their petitions were not taken up due to other high-profile cases, which the former CJP used to take up through suo motos notices. To clear his table, the outgoing CJP used to work even after court hours.
But the situation has changed now. Now petitioners complain that SC judges call it a day at 3pm and don’t like to sit afterwards, because of which the disposal of cases is not as high as it once was. The poor litigants, who come to the apex court from far flung areas after facing traveling hardships and spending their hard-earned money on expensive accommodations in the capital to be able to be present in the court at the time of hearing have to go go back disappointed, with no idea when their cases would be taken up next. Around 20,000 cases are pending in the Supreme Court at present. The Supreme Court canteen business has also been adversely affected and now much less people are seen in the premises.