islamabad-The justice system of Pakistan is a multi-faceted system. To comprehend it, let’s shed some light on how it works. When a criminal case is filed, it is presented before the judge. The file is prepared beforehand. In a criminal case, the IO (investigating officer) collects the evidence and prepares the file whereas in a civil case, the clients provide the evidence and later the judge examines everything including the parties and the witnesses etc. If we look at the procedure of providing justice in a criminal case, the necessary element for the smooth flow of the process is the role of security forces involved i.e. the police, IO etc. Judges are limited to their seats and cannot go into the field and investigate. So the evidence provided by IO is the one according to which the judge has to form his decision. If the complainant has an ulterior motive, he could bribe the police in order to plant false evidence which could lead to an incorrect judgment.

Three versions are available to the judge, the complainant’s version, the police version and the version of the accused also adding the counsels of both the parties. So the number of versions presented in the case makes it similar to the game of “Chinese whisper” which disrupts the fair workflow. The judge with his limited powers has to reach a decision with all the evidence available to him. If any piece of evidence is faulty, false or arouses suspicion, the whole matter would be decided on a false base. This would ultimately result in a fallacious judgement.

There are multiple faults in our justice system but we should  not forget the fault of the masses. When people raise their voice against the faulty justice system, they forget the fact that they sometimes also do not come with clean hands.

When they want to hire the services of a lawyer they pretend that they cannot pay a single penny even to the very necessary expenses of the documentations. This results in the entire law chamber losing interest in the case because they cannot even earn a single penny to buy the necessary government tickets involved in documentations. Some clients narrate a fabricated story to the lawyer and the duty of the lawyer is to present and fight for a story he has been told. It’s the duty of the judge to decide whether the matter is true of false. Clients also conceal many facts which are against them to appear innocent. The image is often shattered later on by the versions of the opposite party. Sometimes, one of the sides is on leave on the day of the hearing, e.g. the judge, parties or lawyer which causes a further delay in the proceedings. As mentioned earlier, the complications caused by the police being bribed and planting false evidences and producing false medical reports are also a setback for our justice system. Another reason for our faulty justice system is the delaying tactics of the counsels and the clients.

A proper check and balance should be conducted regularly not only of the clients but also of the police, judges and the lawyers. Adequate scrutiny and verifications should be made of the evidence;a proper fee system should be set for the lawyers and clients, who fail to appear on important hearings,they should be penalized fortheir delaying  delaying tactics after confirmation that they intentionally avoided coming to court.

 If anyone comes up and blames the justice system of Pakistan, a reminder should be given to them that it’s not a one-way road; sometimes the judiciary also becomes the victim of corrupt police, lawyers, and clients. Sometimes the lawyers become the victims, sometimes the clients and rarely the police. The responsibility cannot rest on just one of the several components of the judicial  system.

                         –The writer is a lawyer.