LAHORE - The judicial crisis has marred the performance of the judiciary and created a massive backlog of cases in the courts of Punjab. During the crisis, over 219044 cases were added to the previous backlog, thereby increasing the pendency from 1116860 to 1335904 at the end of 2008, which were 1116860 on December 31, 2006. The alarming figures came to fore after the comparative study of three annuals reports issued by the LHC in 2004, 2006 and 2008. The reports said 275077 new cases have been added over the five years to the previous backlog, as at the end of 2003 total number of pending cases was 1060827. It again climbed up to 1116860 at the end of 2006 with the addition of 56033 new cases over the two years. But as the judicial crisis started in March 2007 the situation got worst as the lawyers went on strike regularly and brought the judicial system to almost at halt. Interestingly, the situation at the Lahore High Court and its different benches did not change much and only 9509 new cases were added to previous pendency during the movement taking the tally to 84704, as at the end of 2006, 75105 cases were pending before the Lahore High court including its three benches at Rawalpindi, Multan and Bahawalpur. This figure was 61362 at the end of 2003. Subordinate judiciary was the worst hit area of judicial crisis badly affecting its working and additional 209505 cases multiplied the previous pendency. The reports revealed on December 31, 2006, the backlog was 1041695 that by the end of 2008 increased to 1251200. A huge increase has been recorded in the cases lying in the courts of session judges and civil judges/magistrates. With 65111 cases were pending in the courts of session judges throughout Punjab, 34787 new ones took the figure up to 99798 at the end of 2008. Similarly, 959873 cases were lying in the all courts of civil judges and magistrates at the end of 2006 but the figure soared to 1121791 during the next two years with 161918 new cases. These figures suggest that lawyers movement virtually jammed the working of subordinate judiciary; particularly the civil and magisterial courts were on the receiving end. According to a senior lawyer Syed Sajjad Haider, the judicial crisis is over now and the judiciary stands restored as per the wishes of lawyers. Therefore, it is the paramount duty of the bench and the bar to work for dispensing speedy justice. The time demands to recover the damage done in the past and restore peoples confidence in the judiciary. He says no doubt the task ahead is daunting and the path is full of thorns, but hopefully Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry with the help of his team and bar would be able to overcome the problems and improve the image of the institution in the eyes of common people who wholeheartedly stood by him when required.