Speaking to the full court reference for the outgoing Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali on Thursday, the designated-Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar underscored the need for gradual implementation of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for expeditious disposal of commercial cases.
Citing Article 184 of the Constitution that defines original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said that apex court while exercising its power under Article 184 (3), often examines the executive actions of State functionaries and passes effective orders.
He added that at times the legislative actions of Parliament, including subordinate legislation, have been examined and declared to be ultra vires. Terming the role of judiciary important, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar expressed that the same would be pursued with greater passion and vigilance in the times ahead.
“I am deeply conscious of the fact that as the dominant Muslim majority and as per the Constitution and our conscience, it is our moral and legal duty to fiercely uphold the rights of all minorities including religious minorities. As the custodian and the guardian of such rights, this court will ensure their enforcement, including women rights in a meaningful manner,” Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said.
Terming delay in expeditious disposal of civil and criminal cases a serious issue, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar expressed hope to take all the stakeholders of judiciary on board and identify causes behind the concern whereas tangible action would be taken to overcome the situation.
Seeking support of the bar for reducing pendency, the designated Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar underlined that Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism has proved to be a very effective mechanism in other countries. “If ADR cannot straightaway be installed for every kind of litigation, it may be gradually introduced into the system by creating an arrangement where a certain category of commercial matters be resolved through ADR. Likewise in the criminal justice system, in order to provide effective and speedy justice it is expedient that the methods and mechanism of investigation must be improved by resorting to modern tools and techniques such as greater use of forensic science and DNA profiling. This is required on an urgent basis,” Justice Mian Saqib Nisar added.
He pointed out that public confidence in judiciary would be possible if it is impartial and free from all sorts of external pressures and influence, adding that with the grace of God the Pakistani judiciary is truly independent saying, “We will strive to maintain this independence.”
Emphasising to update mechanism to curb menace of corruption Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said, “The judiciary will not tolerate corruption either within or outside.” Speaking on the occasion, Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said that panic, nepotism, mismanagement and economic disparity in the society are creating gloomy environment in the country.
He said that without addressing all these menaces, being a nation with sense of responsibility, there would be no bright future, adding that under the fact every Pakistani is supposed to play his/her role to give prosperous Pakistan to next generation.
Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council Dr Faroogh Naseem said while addressing the full court reference that currently there are some good, some very good and some brilliant judges in the superior judiciary of Pakistan. “But at the same time there are some who have been able to dodge into the superior judiciary as confirmed judges, but who do not deserve to remain as members of the superior judiciary unless the Supreme Judicial Council assumes the role of a Judicial Performance Commission,” Dr Naseem said.
President Supreme Court Bar Association Rashid A Razvi said in his speech that Supreme Judicial Council remained idle which should be made active to make the administration of justice more accountable and transparent in order to enhance the rule of law.
However, responding to Rizvi, Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said in his address that the Council is fully operative and taking decision in response to complaints effectively, saying two days before a number of cases were decided. He said that no decision has been disclosed to avoid publicity.
Razvi expressed concern of the bar saying that it is a frequent complaint of the bar members that judicial precedents, rules and interpretation of the Superior Court are being ignored by the judges of the learned high courts as well as subordinate judiciary. Rizvi was of the view that such approach of the high courts and subordinate courts is causing burden to litigants as well as Supreme Court.
Calling immediate attention of the designated Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar to ensure implementation of the National Judicial Policy 2009, according to which cause lists of Supreme Courts and High Courts would be issued one month in advance. Razvi also urged the designated Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar to get benefit from the management system for filing the petitions in Supreme Court and high courts and notices should be served to counsels of the party through emails instead of traditional system.
Rizvi also urged the designated Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar to take steps to amend the Supreme Court Rules 1980 for effective administration of justice in line with the contemporary regime.
Source: Business Recorder
Byline: Recorder Report
December 16, 2016