Lahore - Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa said that fighting the false testimonies was the first step towards reforming the judicial system, as provision of justice was only possible on basis of true testimonies.

He said this while addressing the concluding ceremony of a three-day workshop on gender-based violence on Saturday, held at Punjab Judicial Academy. The CJP said that the constitution gives equal rights to all the citizens. “For the protection of the citizens’ rights, we have taken various steps including the establishment of gender-based violence courts,” he added.

He maintained that to decide the cases of gender-based violence, the judges have to complete the proceedings with an open mind in light of the facts and the laws.

He said a number of measures have been adopted to reform the whole judicial system to ensure easy and timely delivery of justice.

The first step taken by the judiciary in this regard was curbing the menace of false testimony through legal action against fake witnesses.

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Justice Khosa said that false testimonies affect the whole judicial system, and provision of justice was impossible without true testimonies and evidence.

The second step in ensuring provision of justice, he said, was to increase the capacity of judges. In this respect, he lauded the role of Punjab Judicial Academy.

The third step was bringing reforms in the police department for which affective measures were being taken, the CJP said.

Thanks to the measures being taken in police department, the number of new cases has decreased by 11 percent in the lower courts and 20 percent in the higher judiciary, Justice Khosa shared with the audience.

The forth step, according to him, was enhancing the capacity of the courts and making them more resourceful. For this purpose, he added, the courts were being linked to research centres. Judges, by taking benefit from the research centres, will utilise artificial intelligence while deciding the cases.

The CJP said that artificial intelligence would bring revolution in the judicial system of the country and the cases of days would be decided in hours and those of hours will be disposed of in minutes. Regarding the model courts, he said during the last 96 days these courts had completed 10,600 trials relating to murder and narcotics. He gave the credit of this success to the judges, lawyers, police and prosecutors. Justice Khosa said that model courts were playing important role in provision of speedy justice.

Earlier, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan termed the violence against women a grave violation of human rights.

He said, “Occurring in public and private places, it [violence against women] has many forms, ranging from domestic violence to harassment at work place, assault, sexual violence and gender-related killing. Its impact spans from immediate to long-term [and it has] multiple physical, sexual and mental consequences for women and girls, including death.”

He added that violence against women negatively affects their general well-being and prevents them from fully participating in society. Violence not only has negative consequences for women but also for their families, the community and country, he maintained.

He said the social protection of women is enshrined in Article 25 and 34 of the Constitution and affirmed in the country’s status as a signatory of different regional and international treaties seeking to protect women’s rights.

In addition, he added, the State has taken progressive measures to legislate on different issues regarding women and their rights like reviving family laws like a woman’s right to divorce, marry, vote, and work. We have several laws and policies against various forms of violence.”

He said that gender-based violence is an extremely complex phenomenon, deeply rooted in gender-based power relations, sexuality, self-identity, and social institutions. He was of the view that any plan to eradicate gender violence must confront the underlying cultural beliefs and social structures.  He said that a strategy to prevent violence must also promote nonviolent means to resolve conflict. Passing laws to criminalise violence within family relationships was an important way to redefine the frontiers of acceptable behaviours.

He also said that Islamic teachings also effectively answer the issue as the religion improves the status of women in the shape of mother, daughter etc. He said any form of emotional, physical, or psychological abuse is prohibited in Islam and the improper treatment of women is no Exception to this rule.