ISLAMABAD – Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that corruption has become cancer for the country, adding that time has come to weed out the menace from judiciary and other institutions.
Chief Justice hoped that the newly elected representatives of the people would fulfill the criteria of Articles 63 and 63.
Addressing the meeting of National Judicial Policy Making Committee CJP stated that the courts have disposed of millions of cases since implementation of the Policy in June 2009; however, millions of new cases have piled up but disposal rate is higher than the accumulation which is a great achievement of the Policy, he added.
He further said that the Supreme Court has also disposed of thousands of human right related appeals/petitions through its Human Right Cell by deciding 189,765 appeals / petitions along with other routine cases in the years from 2009 to 2013.
He also pointed out to the ground reality of shortage of judicial officers and inadequate infrastructure for which the Finance Ministry has made commitment to allocate the requisite funds.
He also informed that we have always shown zero tolerance for corruption and corrupt practices and issued directions for strict disciplinary action against the judicial officers and Court staff involved in corrupt practices.
The CJ said that in this regard besides establishment of cells for eradication of corruption in the High Courts, committees have also been constituted at district level under the chairmanships of District and Sessions Judge to entertain complaints against corrupt court staff, judicial officer and even against the munshees and touts etc.
During the last couple of years score of judicial officers and court staff involved in corrupt practices have been taken to task by way of removal from service. However, it is need of the day that the government should take drastic steps for eradication of corruption from the government institutions.
The Chief Justice Chaudhry cited a letter of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah written to Mirza Aboul Hassan Ispahani in 1945 wherein he stated, “Corruption is a curse in India and amongst Muslims, especially the so-called educated and intelligentsia.
Unfortunately, it is this class that is selfish and morally and intellectual corrupt. No doubt this disease is common, but amongst this particular class of Muslims it is rampant.” Quaid-e-Azam referred to corruption as a disease.
The institution of Election Commission of Pakistan also got strength after the decision of the Supreme Court (PLD 2011 SC 775) whereby 20th Constitution amendment was introduced aimed at validating the actions taken by the Election Commission till its proper constitution especially conducting by-elections in the interregnum, Chief Justice said.
He also referred to some judgments of the Supreme Court of Pakistan which blocked the access to parliament for those whose antecedents did not call for representing the people which resulted in paving way to strengthen democracy by smooth transition of power to the representatives of the people of Pakistan. He further state that due to vital role of the judiciary, the democratic system is stronger than ever, guaranteeing that no one can derail it in future.
Chief Justice referred judgment of apex court and said that court has held that both Federal and Provincial Tribunals perform vital judicial functions by adjudicating upon issues pertaining to the terms and conditions of Civil Servants, therefore, appropriate legislation may be made for appointment of Chairmen and members of the Tribunals in accordance with law and Constitution.
He further stated that the provincial Governments have made legislation in this regard. However, unavailability of such legislation on the part of the Federal Government has resulted in huge pendency of such cases due to which thousands of litigants are facing hardship.
The meeting was attended by Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan, Chief Justice, Federal Shariat Court, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Chief Justice High Court of Balochistan, Justice Maqbool Baqar, Chief Justice High Court of Sindh and Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Chief Justice Lahore High Court, Members of the Committee.
Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan/Chairman National Judicial Automation Committee (NJAC), Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi, Chief Justice Islamabad High Court, Justice Mohammad Azam Khan, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Justice Rana Muhammad Arshad Khan, Chief Judge, Supreme Appellate Court Gilgit Baltistan, Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mughal, Chief Justice, High Court of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Justice Sahib Khan, Chief Judge, Chief Court of Gilgit Baltistan also attended the meeting on special invitation.
The Committee also considered the recommendations of International Judicial Conference, 2013 and One-day workshop on Prisoners Vulnerability – Lacking Awareness, held on 2nd November 2013 and approved the same for implementation by the concerned quarters.