LAHORE - After considering the request of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights for the posting of judicial officers, National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) has approved an amendment in the policy allowing posting of judicial officers in the executive on deputation.

The committee meeting was chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani at the SC Lahore Registry on Saturday. In his introductory remarks, Chief Justice Jillani said the country was passing through a crucial stage of its history and facing various problems, including extremism and intolerance, in the society.

The committee considered the request of Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights for posting of judicial officers in the ministry on deputation in relaxation of National Judicial Policy.

The committee reiterated that the posting of judicial officers against executive posts was against the principle of independence of judiciary. However, keeping in view the difficulties of the Law Ministry/law departments, the high courts could allow judicial officers to join law department/ministry but in such cases, the judicial officers would separate themselves from the judiciary.

The chief justice said that by promoting tolerance and enforcing rights of the citizens, a harmonious society could be established. He said the judiciary, being an important organ of the state, could play a vital role in promoting tolerance by ensuring expeditious dispensation of justice.

He said the year 2014 be declared as a year of Promoting Religious and Cultural Tolerance in the Society as approved by the National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee.

The committee also considered the rules framed by Sindh High Court to regulate Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) proceedings. The chief justice took exception of the situation and observed that Section 89-A was introduced in the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) 10 years ago for early resolution of disputes by resorting to ADR techniques, but the rules had not been framed to trickle down benefits of said provision.

The CJ said the recent advancement had enhanced the role of information technology in every walk of life. He averred the judiciary introduced information technology in its system to regulate case-flow management and court administration, but it was still lagging behind to achieve the optimum benefits of the technology.

He underlined the importance of information system, saying it would foster access to information and improve the court efficiency by reducing time consuming paper-based process.

The CJ constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali of the Supreme Court and comprising a judge from each high court to propose uniform rules to give effect to Section 89-A of the CPC.

The chief justice of Pakistan took serious note of delay in construction of district courts and model jail in Islamabad and observed that the recent suicide attack on the district courts, Islamabad, hadprompted the early completion of the said projects to provide safe and peaceful environment to litigants to pursue their cases before the courts.

He constituted a committee comprising a judge of the Supreme Court and another of the Islamabad High Court to oversee the projects for their early completion.

The committee observed that the recommendations made by the working groups were worth considering and, if implemented, would improve the administration of justice and pave way for promoting tolerance and rule of law in the society.

Federal Shariat Court Chief Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan, Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Sindh High Court Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar and Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel were also present at the meeting.