LAHORE - Outgoing Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial has said that judiciary is responsible for dispensation of justice to the marginalized segments of society and killing of Farzana outside court premises badly hurt its sanctity.

The chief justice expressed these views while addressing a full court reference held in his honor at principal seat of the LHC on Wednesday.

He said had the state institutions performed well the situation would have been different. Talking about disposal of cases and quality of judgments, the CJ said that maximum cases were disposed of during the past couple of years while judgments delivered were also more qualitative and unreviewable.

Nominated Chief Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmad, other judges of LHC and a large number of eminent lawyers as well as Bar leaders graced the occasion. He said in the year 2013, the LHC decided 58,500 cases and out of them 2,500 were challenged before the apex court and only five percent judgments were set aside.  He further said that parties to the 56,000 cases were satisfied without rulings.  The CJ said that by the grace of Almighty Allah the present judiciary was deciding cases with greater pace and heading fast towards diminishing the backlog of cases.  The chief justice said that this remarkable performance was due to the categorization and information technology. This landmark disposal also owed the better cooperation and assistance extended by the Bar. He called upon the lawyers to pay their due role for alleviating the miseries of the masses.  Chief Justice said equal patronage and development work was carried out at the Benches of Lahore High Court at Bahawalpur, Rawalpindi and Multan as well as in the sub divisional courts of the remote areas.  He said name of Hafiz Nadeem Kahlun hailing from Bahawalpur was proposed for the elevation which was also recommended by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, however, he was not approved by the Parliamentary Committee and finally pending adjudication in the Court of Law.

Speaking at the Full Court Reference, Chief Justice designate, Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmad paid tributes to Justice Umar Ata Bandial and said that the honour and distinction achieved by him was not easy, it came after years long dedicated services to the cause of justice.

He said administration of justice in his times had become a highly complicated phenomenon and to be a good judge one had to be in touch with every growing body of law.

Justice Imtiaz said that no counsel ever returned from the court of Justice Umar Ata Bandial with the feeling of not having been accorded an adequate and patient hearing. He said Justice Bandial endeavored hard to modernise the courts and showed the shining face of judiciary by dint of innovation and progressive approach.

Justice Khawaja also highlighted the revolutionary steps taken by the Chief for Judiciary of the Province like laptop scheme, refresher & capacity building courses at the Punjab Judicial Academy, encouraged Judicial Officers with the mechanism of rapid promotions, construction of new Court buildings and Judicial Complexes and implementation of National Judicial Policy etc.

“Parting is never free from a ting of sorrow, particularly when the association has been intimate and pleasant one. However, it is a matter of consolation to see Justice Bandial for many years in the apex court, therefore, these feelings are mixed with grief for loss of his company and exhilaration of elevation,” Justice Khawaja concluded.

Registrar Mahboob Qadir Shah conducted the proceedings of the reference and the advocate community gave a standing ovation to Justice Umar Ata Bandial with a huge applause.

Attorney General of Pakistan Salman Aslam Butt, Acting Advocate General of Punjab Mustafa Ramday, Addl Prosecutor General Punjab Dr Muhammad Anwar Gondal, President Lahore High Court Bar Association Shafqat Mahmood Chohan, Presidents High Court Bar Associations Multan, Rawalpindi & Bahawalpur Benches Syed Ather Hussain Shah Bukhari, Shafqat Ali Bhatti and Ch Muhammad Riaz respectively also read the reference in honor of Justice Umar Ata Bandial.