New Judicial Year commences with ceremony at SC

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APP43-11 ISLAMABAD: September 11 – Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Mian Saqib Nisar presiding over the ceremony of New Judicial Year 2017-2018 at Supreme Court of Pakistan. APP

ISLAMABAD, Sept 11 (APP): The New Judicial Year began on Monday as a Full Court meeting was held at Supreme Court to mark the start of the new Judicial Year.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf, Vice Chairman Pakistan Bar Council and President Supreme Court Bar Association Rasheed A Rizvi addressed the Full Court Reference.
Addressing the ceremony, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said “it is of the utmost importance that the bench and the bar come together. There is strength in unity.”
He said “We must realise that our first duty of care is to the litigants. To serve them we need to be strong. A house divided is weak and unable to give of its best.”
“The bench and the bar must unite for a common purpose.
The judicial system depends on the symbiotic relationship between bench and bar, ” he added.
He said: “A strong relationship, built on mutual trust and respect will serve us well. All the stakeholders of the system of administration of justice are required to work together to solve this backlog as well as other problems.”
The Chief Justice said that judiciary dispensed justice as per the Constitution and law and proposed that procedural laws and the Court management process should be made simpler.
He said that on 31st August 2016, 30871 cases were pending in this Court and during the period from 1st September, 2016 to 31th August, 2017, at the Principal Seat Islamabad, 11772 new cases were instituted whereas 8996 cases were decided;
at the Lahore Branch Registry 5611 new cases were instituted whereas 3193 cases were decided; at the Karachi Branch Registry
1292 new cases were instituted whereas 1097 cases were decided;
at the Peshawar Branch Registry, 595 new cases were instituted
whereas 255 cases were decided; and at the Quetta Branch Registry
218 new cases were instituted whereas 126 cases were decided:
thus against overall institution of 19488 fresh cases, 13667
cases were decided.
The decided cases include 1666 civil appeals, 4930 civil
petitions, 1374 criminal appeals, 2750 criminal petitions,
225 jail petitions, 1377 miscellaneous applications, 716
review petitions and 204 criminal original petitions and
this has left a net balance of 36692 cases as on 31st August,
2017 requiring determination by this Court, he added.
Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said that an advanced Case Flow
Management System has been developed and all cases are registered
in the system and pendency and disposal of cases from filing to
disposal stage are monitored through it. “The entire case data
is available not only at the Principal Seat but also at the
Branch Registries. The regular and supplementary cause lists
are uploaded on the Court’s website and Advocates as well as parties-in-person are
informed about fixation of cases through
SMS alerts.”
“On account of non-functioning of a Bench for any unavoidable
reason, SMS alerts about delisting of the fixed cases are also
instantly sent to all those Advocates who have provided enrollment
numbers and mobile phone numbers in the office. SMS alerts about
preparation of certified copies of judgments, orders and other
documents are also sent to the applicants who have applied for
the same.”
“To avail these facilities, the parties-in-person are also
required to provide their mobile phone numbers. Steps are
being taken to further upgrade the system and pave the way
for e-filing of cases. Initially, the Advocates and parties
will be required to provide soft copies of their cases,” he added.
The Chief Justice said that the National Judicial Automation
Committee (NJAC), which is mandated to formulate systemic roadmap
for the automation of the justice sector, has been re-constituted
and three meetings of NJAC were held wherein it was resolved to
integrate the Federal Shariat Court and all High Courts with the
Supreme Court through Handshake Software to avoid conflicting
cause lists.
It was also resolved that a centralized advocates data be
maintained etc. Frequent adjournments on behalf of learned
Advocates is also one of the main causes which hinders the
expeditious disposal of the cases fixed before the Court and
are otherwise ripe for the decision.
He said that to ensure the independence of judiciary, the
framers of our Constitution have highlighted in the Preamble
to the Constitution that “the independence of the judiciary
shall be fully secured.”
Under the Constitution, the Judiciary is vested with
the power to undertake judicial review whenever any authority
or functionary of the State acts ultra vires the Constitution
or the law, he added.
The CJP said that The Court also initiated suo motu
proceedings in matters of great public importance involving
violation of fundamental rights, such as, non-payment of
retirement benefits to pensioners by various departments;
blocking and non-issuance of CNICs by NADRA; the bomb blast
at Civil Hospital Quetta; non-functioning of Tribunals and
Administrative Courts on account of vacancies; non-provision
of clean drinking water; cutting of trees for extension of
Pishin-Yaro Road, poor system of investigation and prosecution;
etc.
Besides, 29262 complaints were received in the Human Rights
Cell, established in the Supreme Court under the public interest
litigation jurisdiction for redressal of grievances. On this
side, 29657 complaints were disposed of leaving behind 9701
complaints. This exercise, in some measure, brought relief to
the aggrieved persons.
The Attorney General for Pakistan while addressing the
ceremony said that Constitution had provided dichotomy of
powers between judiciary, executive and legislature. He
urged the superior judiciary to establish a mechanism of
institutional dialogue for betterment of the justice
delivery system.
“We must establish a mechanism of institutional dialogue
to bring about the sort exchange of ideas that can transform
our justice delivery system as we know it,” insisted the AGP.
He said “At the risk of redundancy, I again say that a
free exchange of ideas never compromises the independence
of separation of state institutions, rather it can only
develop a greater understanding of themselves and each
other.”
Judges of the Supreme Court Law Officers of the Federation
and provinces and a large number of lawyers attended the ceremony.
This ceremony is held annually on the opening of the New Judicial
Year of the Supreme Court.
In his speech, Supreme Court Bar Association President Rasheed
Rizvi said the responsibility of fighting corruption rests with
the judiciary.