All state organs should play role for supremacy of Constitution: CJP

Judicial Conference aims to raise funds for flood affectees
Judicial Conference aims to raise funds for flood affectees

ISLAMABAD, Sep 23 (APP):Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Friday urged the all state organs to play their role for upholding the rule of law and supremacy of Constitution in the country as the judiciary alone could not pursue the ideals.

Addressing the 9th international judicial conference, the chief justice said courts were the primary institution for establishing the rule of law. In Yusuf Raza Gilani case, it was clear that the courts could establish the rule of law through constitutional supremacy, he added.

The CJP said the court’s function was to strike a balance between the state and the citizens. The court played a supreme role in the establishment of democracy by burying the doctrine of necessity.

He said the Supreme Court ordered to introduce Urdu language as the fficial language. In 2019, the Supreme Court took a suo motu notice on the increasing population, but unfortunately there was no progress on it, he added.

He said the court would again work on a priority basis on the growing population in the country.

He said due to the efforts of Case Management Committee comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Muneeb Akhtar, the backlog of pending cases had been reduced. It would be further overcome by appointing of one-third of the judges against vacant posts, he added.

“I am sure that the present judges will not allow anyone to negate the Constitution,” he said.

The chief justice said the court had the authority to declare the rights guaranteed to the people by the Constitution and the law but it could not implement the same except in some circumstances. The bar should also expected to join hands in delivery of justice to the people, he added.

He said the Supreme Court had also delivered landmark judgments to reinforce other dimensions of rule of law.

The chief justice recalled that the court had to intervene after the President ordered dissolution of the National Assembly in April 2022 on the advice of the then Prime Minister. It found the dissolution as unconstitutional and ordered restoration of the National Assembly for the formation of a parliamentary government in accordance with the provisions of Constitution.

He said all political parties should sit together to follow the established democratic practices and perform their respective roles in the parliament under the Constitution. The political impasse could only be resolved through dialogue between political leaders and their parties, he added.

He said the political leadership should take necessary corrective steps and confidence building measures with national interest as their foremost consideration.

Chief Justice Bandial said the apex court had also been active in dispensing in social, economic and cultural justice to the people and concerted efforts were underway to reduce the backlog of cases to ensure that justice was delivered inexpensively and expeditiously to litigants. He said the litigants were encouraged to make use of alternate dispute resolution mechanisms to amicably resolve their legal disputes.

He said other measures included digitalization of the judiciary and hearing of cases through video links. “We are also prioritizing early release of cause lists.”

He said that it was responsibility of the judiciary to defend the Constitution.

He said the country was currently facing climate change as recent floods had damaged a one third of it. A bank account had been set up for the victims of the recent floods to which the conference participants, including himself, would contribute, he added.

Chairman of Oganizing Committee of the Conference Justice Amin-Ud-Din Khan said this conference would help bridge the gulf between the public and the judiciary. Judicial conferences had provided a platform to bring reforms in the judicial system, he added.

He said the judiciary had a significant role in maintaining rule of law and upholding the supremacy of Constitution.

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah urged for improving governance of the court system.

Balochistan High Court Chief ustice Naeem Akhtar Afghan highlighted the progress made by the judicial system in Balochistan. He said role of information technology could not be denied to improve and expedite the process of justice.

Acting Chief Justice Federal Shariat Court Dr Syed Muhammad Anwer said the Shariat Court had zero pendency of cases.

He said the Shariat Court was also taking steps to help legislative in incorporating Islamic injunctions in various laws.

Chief Justice of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Supreme Court Raja Saeed Akram Khan said rule of law could not be achieved without an independent judiciary.

Acting Chief Judge of Gilgit Baltistan Justice Wazir Shakeel Ahmed emphasized to bring GB judiciary at par with that of in Pakistan and other provinces.

Sindh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh said it was responsibility of the judiciary to ensure that there was no discrimination in the society.

Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan called for introspection and self-accountability. He said the Peshawar High Court was taking steps to establish district court in newly merged districts.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti said the LHC was making all-out efforts to reduce backlog of the cases. He said over 170,000 cases were disposed of and 2.9 million decided by the LHC.

Additional Attorney General Chaudhry Amir Rehman read a message on behalf of Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali. He called for reforming lower courts to improve the justice system.

A short documentary about the evolution and progress of judicial system in Pakistan was also screened.