ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Thursday directed the federal law ministry that in order to curb the rampant menace of erroneous law books ensure a regulatory framework along with enforcement mechanism by 31st March.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and comprising Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Justice Maqbool Baqar was hearing the suo moto case regarding errors in printing/publication of law books.

The court directed Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) experts shall be appointed by 13.03.2015 in the Federal and by 14.03.2015 in the Provincial Law Departments of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. Punjab has already nominated an expert in this regard. These experts shall submit M&E framework to the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) for monitoring the activities and deadlines committed and shall submit monthly progress report through LJCP to the Supreme Court.

The Federal Ministry of Law and the Provincial Law Departments were also directed to ensure accurate, verified and certified to be true and reliable publication and reproduction of laws as per directions already given in order dated 28.01.2015.

The Federal Ministry of Law by 10.03.2015 shall issue a general public notice warning the authors/printers/publishers that they may be proceeded against for the defects in publication and legal actions against the offenders shall also be initiated. Steps were also directed to be taken for the translation of federal and provincial laws into the national language. For this purpose, the teams of translators shall be arranged and the assistance and the staff of National and Provincial Assemblies shall also be engaged along with independent translators.

Furthermore, the Federal Ministry of Law shall notify the team of general editors to set translation standards, issue guidelines and quality assure the translation.

The court observed in any civilized system of government, the first and foremost obligation of the government is to make sure that all applicable laws are easily available to citizens in easily understandable language. It was, therefore, a matter of great concern that the laws, whether federal or provincial, had not even been translated into the national language as required under Article 251 of the Constitution.

Directing the federal and provincial law secretaries to submit a written undertaking setting out timelines, which shall be re-viewed along with progress made on the next date adjourned the case till 2nd April.