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For Internal Peace Judicial Reforms in Pakistan Are Urgent!
(May 2003) We are neglecting the most crucial segment of Pakistan’s statehood and polity which is, viz., emergent need for reforming our judicial dispensation. While diagnosing social malaise in our country, we ignore that unless the functioning of our courts is improved, overhauled and expedited, the law and order problems would persist leading to bloody murders, corruption, myriad disputes and car-thefts. The bane of breakdown of the courts-management is the tardiness of dispensation of justice to culprits. The core issue of crime and punishment is the expeditious and deterrent awarding of penal measures to the criminals so as to rid the civil society from the festering sores of lawlessness and increasing terrorism.
The significant flaws of judicial system in Pakistan can be enumerated below: -
1. There is pressure of work on the judges because of the facts that the Courts are under-staffed and many vacancies have not been filled up.
2. The legal processes are tardy and due to generous adjournments accorded at the High Court and sub-ordinate Courts’ stages, the disposal of the cases is regrettably minimal.
3. The Government in order to pressurize the judiciary does to not allocate adequate budgetary allocations for day to day administration of the Court and meeting their immediate and dire financial needs; notwithstanding the huge income that arises from the Court fees received from the litigants.
4. The case management is archaic inspite of the modern technical advances in Computerization, E-Government and quick case citation through Internet and CDs. Lot of time is wasted in superior courts by the lawyers in reading out texts of case law whereas in the developing countries such citations are supplied on floppies or CDs to the honorable judges.
5. The system of Bailiff is fraught with corrupt practices and the notices / Summon are not served in order which procrastinate the cases’ progress. Most of the precious time of the Courts is consumed in repeat services which are at once time and money-consuming and warrants immediate reforms in the modern days of courier services. (It is unfortunate that our Postal communication has miserably collapsed and courier services in the private sector are fast and reliable.)
6. If Suits or Decrees are passed, they are not executed as the execution machinery is antiquated and not in synch with latest judicial developments. Only paper decrees ( as in several Banking cases) are passed which take several years for implementation which is discouraging for the Banking sector in terms of monetary waste and financial blockade.
7. Criminal cases are not disposed off in time because of lack of vigilance by the Courts in connivance with the Police Officials. The offenders of law are sure to dodge and evade due process of law because of the complicity of police officials, lethargy of courts and manipulation of lawyers.
8. The detenues languish in prisons due to lack of timely legal aid and gross corruption in Police department and also in criminal courts at lower rungs.
9. Neither police reforms (mere eye wash) nor the superintendence of the Courts can accelerate the dispensation of justice unless the Judges are appointed on merit and through fair selection. The regulation of judges through Annual Confidential Reports or High Courts’ inspection teams is deplorably disappointing and cosmetic for public consumption. Only widely notorious judges are nabbed for corrupt practices. The judges are a sacred cow for Accountability Bureaus.
10. The Pay and allowances and fringe benefits available to the Judges of the subordinate courts are awfully low which create un-salutary working conditions and stunning disincentives for the Judges to discharge their responsibility efficiently, expeditiously and justly . There is gaping difference between the perquisites and privileges of a judge of the district court and High Court or any Multi National Company. This is the cause for mis-carriage of justice and rampant corruption with the courts.
collapse of law and order and rising lawlessness is due to the fact that the
defaulters and criminals know very well that the cases would be decided
after a protracted delay and the highly paid lawyers owing to their face
value would win the cases. The judges of the High Court and Supreme Court
are also influenced by these heavy weight lawyers. It is often observed the
theses senior counsels are given patient and lengthy hearing by the superior
courts and they get away with the untenable judgments, compared to other
senior Counsels who are shut up by these judges despite the merits of the
cases. The espousal of the Doctrine of Necessity by the Superior courts
which annihilated democracy in Pakistan is an internationally known juristic
aberration. In Banking, Customs, Sales Tax and other Financial cases the
judgments delivered by the courts are sometimes lop sided which are not
over-ruled by higher courts due the sacrosanct criterion of not disturbing
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