LAHORE - The Supreme Court Judge-designate and Lahore High Court Chief Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed has said that the district judiciary is backbone of judicial system and plays a pivotal role in the dispensation of justice.

Justice Saeed was addressing a farewell function arranged in his honour by the district judiciary of the province. Chief Justice-designate Umar Ata Bandial and LHC judges as well as all the district and session judges and senior civil judges also attended the ceremony.

The chief justice said that equal respect and honour should be extended to the judges of the district judiciary as well as that of the apex court because both the adjudicators were bestowed with the virtue of resolving disputes amongst the aggrieved persons. “Therefore, people and lawyers community should treat them alike,” he observed.

The chief justice said that about 80 percent litigant public approaches district courts for settling their grievances. He said the Punjab judiciary was best in the world because it was delivering in a pathetic environment, lacking proper infrastructure. It was burdened more because the case ratio here was more than 900 cases per judge as compared to their counterparts in other provinces having almost 250 cases, he added. He said efforts were afoot to bring this ratio upto 500 cases and the Punjab government had been moved for allocation of funds for creation of 1,013 posts of judges and enhancement of required infrastructure for setting up courts for them.

“We got independence in 1947 but we still have the colonial-age judicial system designed by the foreigners according to their needs and unfortunately this system has not been structured according to the values of Islam in which every citizen enjoys equal rights”, the chief justice observed. He added that name of the subordinate judiciary had been replaced with the district judiciary in order to enhance their respect and honour amongst the people who were the real stakeholders of the judicial system. 

Speaking on the occasion, Justice Umar Ata Bandial paid rich tributes to the outgoing chief justice and assured that his development projects would be carried out. He exhorted upon the judicial officers that cases should not be disposed of on technical grounds but should be decided entirely on merit under the Constitution.