f Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has stressed that dispensation of effective and expeditious justice was a Constitutional requirement of Pakistan.
Addressing the seminar organized by Chief Justice, Sindh High Court (SHC) attended by all the relevant stakeholders, the CJP stressed that tit was a well settled legal principle that justice is not only to be done but it should be seen to be done.
The ultimate purpose of justice in the society is to ensure peace, amity and tolerance, which contribute for the welfare of people. Our Constitution and laws derive inspiration from the holy Quran and traditions of the Prophet. Man is a supreme creation he declared.
Stressing that great responsibility was entrusted on the shoulders of those who have to participate in the process of administration of justice, he cautioned that any error or flaw could make the judge accountable in this world and the world hereafter.
Drawing participants attention to Article 4 of the Constitution requiring the State to ensure inexpensive and expeditious justice, he quoted Daniel Websters saying that Justice is the great interest of man on earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together, and advised that all actors involved in the administration of justice, including the Bench, the bar, the investigating agencies and prosecution, were duty bound to administer justice and uphold the supremacy of rule of law.
He stressed that it was the inalienable right of every citizen to enjoy the protection of law and to be treated in accordance with law as envisaged under.
He defined the main objectives of the criminal justice system as prevention of occurrence of crime, punishing the transgressors and the criminals, rehabilitate them, compensate the victims as far as possible, maintain law and order in the society and deter the offenders from committing any criminal act in the future.
He deliberated that in every society the responsibility of keeping the people safe from the unfair acts of others is entrusted to the State, while the rationale of the criminal justice system was the realization of rule of law, which is one of the basic conditions for sustainable development of societies; as Where there is rule of law resultantly, the people hold confidence in the ability of the State institutions to provide justice and security, he reasoned.
He also observed that the incidents of extra judicial killing were in violation of the due process of law, and violation of the right to life as safeguarded in Article - 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, while Article-10 provided important safeguards against arbitrary arrest and detention , followed by Article 10-A which guaranteed fair trial in determination of civil rights and obligation as well as criminal charges.
He also announced that In all the Provinces a new service for prosecution of criminal cases has been established to ensure prosecutorial independence for better coordination in the criminal justice system of the province and the matters incidental thereto, as the law assigns a very important role to the prosecution agency in the criminal justice system.
He highlighted the important role of the prosecutor, who being in-charge of the prosecution is bound to cooperate with the court for the speedy trial and to minimize the backlog, and his role not only commenced as soon after registration of case, but also lasts up to the final adjudications.
He also noted investigative weaknesses, structural flaws in the whole system and lack of coordination among its stakeholders at grass-roots level for causing an increase in litigation in society and dismally low conviction rate, which was quite worrisome, as it devoted, inter-alia, lack of coordination between the investigation and prosecution agencies, and reflected the dire need of improvement in the system in term of training, knowledge and coordination between all the stakeholders.
He also held the importance of The investigating agencies and police for their vital role in the dispensation of justice particularly in the criminal matters.
Similarly, the quality of legal education plays significant role for the prosecution he stressed, informing that this issue had also been dealt within the National Judicial Policy, with certain guidelines provided to ensure the dispensation of criminal justice.
Concluding his address he reiterated his hopes that the deliberations of this session would help identify the institutional weakness and yield appropriate recommendations in concrete terms.