ISLAMABAD - While announcing the National Judicial Policy, Supreme Court Registrar Dr Faqir Hussain Monday said that all the judges deputed in various government departments had been called back. He said that according to the new policy, no judge would be appointed in his/her native district. A special cell is also being established to root out corruption from judiciary, Hussain told the reporters, adding that as per new policy, judges would never serve as governors and, likewise, would not take any other position in the executive. Hussain said that the people would experience a positive change after the implementation of new policy. He said that corrupt judicial officials would be made OSD and bailable cases would be heard on preferential basis, while murder and narcotics related cases would soon be settled. Under the new judicial policy, all under-process cases will be decided in six months. APP adds: Registrar Supreme Court Dr Faqir Hussain has stated that a total of 15,65,926 cases are pending before the superior and lower courts in the country and necessary strategy has been devised to clear this backlog. He said that it was the resolve of the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to address the issues and problems faced by the administration of justice in the country. Cognizant of the problems of backlog and delay in dispensation of justice, the Chief Justice, who is also the Chairman of the National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee, convened a meeting of the body on April 18-19 last, he said. He said that the nation would feel a positive change in getting quick relief and expeditious settlement of their disputes pending in courts. The issue of misconduct and corruption among judicial officers as well as court staff also came for consideration and decision taken thereon, he added. He said that copies of the draft National Judicial Policy had been forwarded to the judges of the Supreme Court, chief justices of the high courts, President Supreme Court Bar Association and presidents of all high courts and all district court bar associations for their input and suggestions. He said the committee deliberated upon various issues and approved the following National Judicial Policy for strict observance of code of conduct, eradication of corruption amongst judicial officers/court staff and quick disposal of cases: Pendency: On April 1, 2009, total pendency of cases at all level of judicial hierarchy in Pakistan is as follows: Supreme Court, 19055, Federal Shariat Court, 2,092, Lahore High Court, 84,704 High Court of Sindh, 18,571, Peshawar High Court, 10,363, High Court of Balochistan, 4,160. In subordinate judiciary the list is as follows: Punjab, 1,225,879, Sindh, 144,942, NWFP, 187,441 and Balochistan, 7,664. This all makes a total of 1,565,926 cases. The Committee discussed the issue of independence of judiciary and its separation from the Executive and resolved as under: In future no Chief Justice or a judge of the superior court shall accept appointment as acting Governor of the Province. No retired judge of the superior court shall accept an appointment which is lower to his status or dignity including 'appointment as presiding officers of Banking Court, Custom Court and Administrative Tribunals, etc. Letters should be written to such judges to relinquish charge of such posts in the interest of judicial independence/separation from executive. The Government should relieve such judges and may not make such appointments in future. Instead of appointing retired judges/judicial officers as Presiding Officers of the special courts/tribunal, qualified serving judges be appointed against these posts in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court. Posting of serving judges against executive posts in federal and provincial government departments on deputation be discontinued. All such judges should be repatriated to the respective high courts, where their services are needed most for expeditious disposal of pending cases. All special courts/tribunals under the administrative control of executive must be placed under the control and supervision of the judiciary, their appointments/postings should be made on the recommendations of the chief justice of high court. The judges of the superior courts should follow the code of conduct for judges. They should take all steps necessary to decide cases within the shortest possible time. As provided by Article X of the Code of Conduct: In his judicial work a Judge shall take all steps to decide cases within the shortest time, controlling effectively efforts made to prevent early disposal of cases and make every endeavour to minimise suffering of litigants by deciding cases expeditiously through proper written judgments. A judge who is unmindful or indifferent towards this aspect of his duty is not faithful to his work, which is a grave fault. Hence, the Chief Justice of concerned High Court may report cases of violation of Code of Conduct including incidents of unusual delays/inefficient performance to the Chairman Supreme Judicial Council for action. Eradication of Corruption: The Committee also took serious notice of the increasing complaints of corruption amongst judicial officers and court staff and resolved that corruption in all its forms and manifestation should be eradicated and there should be zero tolerance for corruption. Cell for eradication of corruption has been set up and Justice Javed Iqbal has been appointed head of the cell. The committee resolved as under: i. The Lower Judiciary Conduct Rules framed by the Peshawar High Court and adapted by the Lahore High Court should also be considered for adoption by the High Courts of Sindh and Balochistan. ii. Present mechanism for initiation of disciplinary action against corrupt and inefficient judicial officers/court staff be improved. In each High Court a Cell to be called Cell for Eradication of Corruption from Judiciary may be establish in the office of Registrar, under the supervision of Chie Justice of High Court to entertain complaints with credible evidence. Copies of such complaints may also be forwarded to the Registrar, Supreme Court of Pakistan. iii. Action should be initiated against those judicial officers/staff who carry persistent reputation of being corrupt or have their life style beyond ostensible means of income. iv. To eradicate intellectual corruption, the MITs in High Courts may be asked to examine the judgments of the judicial officers to detect incidents of corruption/improper conduct. All the judicial officers of the subordinate judiciary may be asked to send copies of the judgments including bail/stay orders for scrutiny to MITs. v. Surprise inspections be carried out by the Chief Justices/judges of the High Courts to evaluate and monitor the working of subordinate judiciary. In this regard, Judges of the High Courts be designated for each division/district on rotation basis. vi. The District and Sessions Judges should also report about the corruption/misconduct of their subordinate judges. vii. Each judge should himself write order sheets, interlocutory orders and register petitions. viii. Appropriate criminal cases under the relevant provisions of law may also be registered against the judicial officers/court staff involved in the corruption. ix. The corrupt judicial officers be made OSD and kept against their post for the purpose of drawing salary only and disciplinary proceedings should be quickly finalised. x. No judicial officer/official should be posted in home district and those remained posted in a particular district beyond 3 years should be transferred to other district. xi. Naib Courts having completed 3 months attachment with a court should be sent back to their parent department instead of transferring them to other court by rotation. xii. The complaints of corrupt practices and professional misconduct against lawyers addressed to the Chief Justice of High Court should be forwarded to the Bar Council for action. The Council should take immediate action on such complaints under intimation to Registrars of the concerned High Court. xiii. Incentives should be given to the judicial officers who are efficient and honest including advance increments and posting of choice, etc.