ISLAMABAD -  Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has said the judicial system needed fundamental reforms to cope with the increasing litigation and dispel the public perception about the delay in justice delivery.

The chief justice, who is also Chairman of Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP), said this after the LJCP meeting held at the Supreme Court here on Thursday.

The meeting was also attended by Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali and chief justices of high courts and the Federal Shariat Court and Chairperson, National Commission on Status of Women Khawar Mumtaz, Justice (retd) Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice (retd) Jamshed Ali Shah, Justice (retd) Arif Hussain Khilji and senior advocate Riaz Ahmed.

The chief justice said that despite working hard and beyond office hours, the size of litigation was not decreasing. According to him, one of the reasons for the increasing litigation was non-availability of sufficient judges at all levels and the absence of stringent provisions to discourage frivolous litigation.

Justice Saqib emphasized the importance of alternate dispute resolution (ADR) in resolving disputes without burdening the already overburdened formal justice system. He appreciated the efforts of the Lahore High Court for establishing ADR centers to assist the litigants to resolve their disputes out of court. He also lauded the role of the bar for supporting the initiative.

The commission reviewed the implementation status of its law reform reports. The meeting was informed that out of 138 reports, 74 were yet to be implemented by the government. The representative of the Ministry of Law informed the meeting that out of 74, work on 60 reports was in progress.

The commission also considered the proposal of uniform recruitment rules for appointment of judicial officers across the country. After deliberations, the chief justice asked the high courts to consider the proposal for framing uniform recruitment rules.

Riaz Ahmed suggested amendment in the Oath Act. After deliberations, the chairman directed the secretary LJCP to prepare a proposal for placing before the commission at its next meeting.

The meeting also discussed various proposals for delay reduction and expeditious dispensation of justice. The meeting also considered proposals for delay reduction, clearance of backlog and simplification of procedure and laws to ensure speedy justice. After deliberations, the chairman requested the members for their feedback on the shared proposals for consideration at the next meeting of the commission.

 

TERENCE J SIGAMONY