LAHORE  -    Justice Qazi Faez Esa of Supreme Court on Friday said the Supreme Court, not the Chief Justice in individual capacity, is empowered to take suo motu notice as per the Constitution.

Delivering a lecture on ‘Rights and Responsibilities of Pakistan’s Public Institutions and the Role of Suo Motu’ in the provincial capital, he elaborated the legal point. He said the jurisdiction of Article 184(3) of the Constitution could only be excercised by the Supreme Court which constitutes when its judges sit as a bench. He said when judges sit as a bench they constitute the Supreme Court which is authorised to take suo motu notice for the enforcement of any fundamental rights.

He further said 184(3) of the Constitutions says “Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 199, the Supreme Court shall, if it considers that a question of public importance with reference to the enforcement of any of the Fundamental Rights conferred by Chapter I of Part II is involved, have the power to make an order of the nature mentioned in the said Article.”

During the lecture, he elaborated the responsibilities of the national institutions and the role of suo motu action. He stressed during the question-answer session for the use of public service order which is being excercised in the modern world so as to help criminals transform themselves into peace-loving citizens.

He said when a criminal is sentenced to life imprisonment or so, he becomes more dangerous after completing the term of punishment. He then questioned the audience, “Who did use the public service order for the first time in the human history.”

As nobody could be able to answer, he himself then told the participants that the public service order was excercised for the first time by the Holy Prophet (SAW) after the victory of Badar War.

He further explained that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) used the order by asking the literate prisoners of war to teach Muslim children.

To a question about the State’s failure to provide expeditious and cheap justice, he said, “We have to follow the law and the Constitution while making decisions in cases.” Sometime, he added, the killers are let off scot free due to lack of evidence.

He further said that only the Chief Justices of Pakistan and the provinces have administrative powers to bring reforms in the judiciary for the purpose.

He then talked about his tenure as Chief Justice of Balochistan. He said that during his tenure, he ensured each case is decided within one year.

Meanwhile, a civil society member quoted her personal experience stating that she had suffered multiple difficulties and mental embarrassment when she had to get confirmed her pre-arrest bail in criminal case in eight hearings in which the judge concerned was absent twice. After sharing her agony, she asked, “What is being done for the provision of justice?”

Justice Faez Isa said that remarkable work had been done and also being done for the betterment of the judicial system.