Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary has said that a dictator ambushed democracy and the constitution on 12th of October 1999 but the civil society and the judiciary is now a guarantee against such adventures.
The chief justice, who was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Judicial Complex, said gone are the days when the constitution was abrogated. The chief justice also applauded services of senior Supreme Court judge Jawad S. Khawaja.
He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Judicial Complex at Daska on Saturday.
The Chief Justice pointed out that lawyers and members of the civil society foiled attacks of the dictator on the constitution and the judiciary.
He said people are now fully alive to their fundamental rights and the vibrant judiciary is working to safeguard their rights. He said the judiciary is also trying to help address the challenge of corruption.
He was confident that with the facilities there will be a marked improvement in their working conditions with new Complex .
Our district judiciary is trying its level best to impart justice despite limited resources, yet the importance of infrastructure cannot be overlooked. Shaping the buildings has a great nexus with shaping the destiny of the nations. When it comes to shaping of the building judiciary, it carries greater more importance as it has to contribute greatly in the performance of sacred duty of administration of justice. This occasion has provided me to share my thoughts with the lawyer’s community of Daska and its surroundings, and I have always felt pleasure to be among the distinguished gathering of eminent lawyers and jurists.
He said the lawyer community has exhibited exemplary conduct for securing rule of law and independence of judiciary. They stood with Bench in the restoration of constitutionalism, democracy and strengthening of judiciary in the country. Without their support, the present scenario could not have seen the light of the day.
The Chief Justice said with the struggle and sacrifices of the members of the Bench and Bar the Pakistani nation was able to have an independent judiciary in the country. Now Judiciary is free in dispensing justice and to safeguard the fundamental rights of the citizens without fear or favour.
“We may have certain shortcomings in our performance but with the support and cooperation of the legal community, we would certainly be able to overcome the same,” he said.
Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that the public aspirations and expectations are very high from the institution of administration of justice. The people acknowledge your unprecedented role in the maintenance of rule of law and restoration democratic dispensation in the country.
He said the successful Lawyers’ Movement has now imposed a great responsibility on the Bench and Bar to respond to the aspirations of the people in dispensation of inexpensive and expeditious justice.
The courts at all tiers are working hard to achieve the targets set out by the National Judicial Policy. The wholehearted support and cooperation are required from the bar to achieve these targets. However, since the implementation of the policy, the output of the district courts is very encouraging.
He added, the number of cases pending before the district judiciary is much higher than the Supreme Court and High Courts. The ratio of the new cases is increasing with growing rate of population. 90 percent of cases are pending before the district courts and the remaining 10 percent are pending before the Supreme Court and High Courts.
The Chief Justice said that the backlog of cases is a big hurdle in way of expeditious justice. The phenomena of the backlog of cases is not new in our judicial history. The backlog of cases is not only Pakistan’s problem, but many developed countries are also facing difficulty in the early disposal of cases. In the past, many exercises were carried out to remove the complexities of procedures prevalent in courts.
In Pakistan, many Commissions were constituted to resolve the issues of backlog and procedural complexities. But the desired results could not be achieved. Present judiciary is striving hard to discharge with the responsibility entrusted to it by the Constitution and the law.
“If we look into history, the institutions were not allowed to flourish according to the law rather they were used for achievement of vested interests,” he remarked.
In Pakistani society, the reins of administration of justice are controlled by the divine principles. Islam has emphasized on establishing a society where no one is above the law.
Pakistan is a democratic country wherein State is responsible to establish social justice and eradicate tyranny as per principles of Islam. It is well settled principle, justice is not only done but it should be seen to be done, he said.
The CJP added the purpose of the justice is to ensure peace, amity, tolerance and welfare of the people. “Our Constitution and laws derive inspiration from the holy Quran and the traditions of the Prophet (PBUH),” he added.
The Chief Justice said all the stakeholders involved in the administration of justice are duty bound to uphold the supremacy of rule of law and constitutionalism. Rule of law is one of the important attributes of Islamic principles. Head of state and common man are equal before the law. The head of State is never considered to be above the law.
The second Caliph Hazrat Omar (R.A) was summoned by the Qazi in hi Court. Justice among people is considered one of the most sacred and important obligations. The vision of Islamic society cannot be fulfilled if it is not based on justice, equality and freedom, he added.
Free, fair and impartial dispensation of justice is key principle of Islamic system of governance. It is not merely a theory but covers all the facets of human life. It is one of the attributes of Allah Almighty, which requires devotion and sincerity to meet the ends of justice. The spirit of the teachings of Islam has been incorporated in the Constitution and the laws of the land. The State and its organs are responsible for expeditious and inexpensive justice. Judiciary is a pivotal institution responsible for administration of justice, however, it equally needs the proactive support and corporation of other State institutions, Justice Iftikhar said.
He said the Judiciary as third pillar of the State plays vital role in brining peace, tranquility and good governance through expeditious settlement of disputes and by protecting the rights of citizens. This has also a direct nexus with the economic development of the country.
He said Sialkot due to its commercial activities is famous all over the world and its contribution in the economic development of the country is noteworthy. If there is justice prevailing in the society then it will definitely give boost to the economic activities.
Therefore, the lawyers of this area being a law knowing segment of the society have also to play significant role in assisting the judiciary to administer the justice in expeditious and inexpensive manner, which will also boost the economic progress of this area in particular and the whole country in general. The quick disposal of issues pertaining to commercial disputes will boost the confidence of the industrialists and encourage them to invest further and would result in influx of huge foreign exchange, the CJ remarked.
The Chief justice also appreciated the steps taken by Chief Justice, Lahore High Court for improvement in the infrastructure of the District Judiciary.