KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar said that it was the responsibility of judges to give decisions solely on the basis of law.
Speaking to media, Justice Saqib Nisar talked at length over issues in dispensing justice to the common man, stressing that the judicial system in the country needed a major overhaul.
Justice Nisar said that many old laws, including that of colonial era, have not been amended or updated, terming it one of the hurdles in ensuring a healthy justice system.
“We accept the supremacy of the Parliament, and it is very important in a democracy that institutions do not encroach upon each others’ jurisdiction. But has the parliament updated these laws. This is a question I can’t answer,” he said.
He said that the judiciary is often blamed for delay in cases but there is more to the issue.
Judges, whether of the apex court of lower courts, have a lot of cases pending before them, which makes it extremely difficult to resolve them on time.
Therefore, he said, a major overhaul is needed to ensure provision of inexpensive and speedy justice to the people.
Speaking about judicial reforms, Justice Nisar said that judiciary in Punjab has seen the best reforms in the country, and has used technology and better organisation to reduce the frequency of pending cases.
The chief justice had summoned a meeting today (Saturday) on reforms in the country’s judicial system, which will be attended by chief justices of all four high courts.
The meeting will be held in the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry.
Another meeting of the judicial reforms committee held on Thursday in the Supreme Court’s Islamabad registry was attended Justice Nisar, Chief Justice Lahore High Court Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and other officials.
Justice Nisar in the meeting apprised the chief justice of steps taken for reforms in the Punjab’s judicial system. These included the use of advance technology, training of lower court judges on alternate dispute resolution, and speedy hearing of cases.
Justice Nisar on January 8 had said that judicial reforms would be launched from next week, but warned that “nobody should say then that [the judiciary] is interfering or encroaching.”
He made the remarks while hearing a suo motu case regarding cutting of trees on Margalla Hills.
“Who is responsible for making laws around the world?” the CJP enquired from state Minister for Capital Administration Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry while hearing a case on the failure of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to develop rules and regulations.
“What reforms did the parliament introduce? We will bring reform in the judicial system,” the CJP remarked, adding that the reform would begin from next week.
“But this is not our job. Nobody should say then that we are interfering or encroaching,” CJP Nisar stated.
During the previous hearing of the case, CJP had remarked that “we are not fond of judicial activism in any way. But we will take action on negligence of duty at every cost. We are aware of our powers and we will not go beyond them.”