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Judiciary cannot be left unbridled: CJ Iftikhar

29 May, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said though the judiciary is independent in its judicial functions, but it cannot be left unbridled and without any accountability.

Addressing an international conference of jurists titled 'Accountability and Reforms' in London, he said that the judiciary had to win public confidence through its efficient performance and by giving quality judgements, according to a press release.

He said independence of judicial institution is essential for maintaining the confidence of the public in the judicial system and this independence can be best safeguarded by the judges themselves through adjudication of matters on merit and without fear and extraneous consideration.

Elaborating his view point, the chief justice said that accountability was a key feature of good governance and effective administration and was inbuilt within the system of democratic dispensation.

He said the judiciary was not an exception from the process of accountability; however, the concept of judicial accountability was different from the other organs of the state.

He said accountability was one of cornerstones and prime traits of democratic governance, which served as an important pillar of good governance. The reflection of accountability could be traced in all the three organs of the state.

"Executive controls the steering wheel. It decides which way the country will go. The legislature controls the fuel supply. It votes the money to fund the policies, which the executive proposes. The judiciary controls the brakes," he added.

The CJP said the judicial institution like other institutions of a state was accountable for its performance for safer administration of justice.

"An upright and efficient judiciary no doubt commands the respect of the people in society. I must say that judicial accountability is the bedrock of independence of judiciary," he added.

He said the judicial independence and impartiality must be properly constrained which was traditionally dealt with under the rubric of judicial accountability.

Such a check was exercised by the superior appellate forum, as provided by law and regulated by judicial procedure, he added.

He further said in Pakistan, provision of the inexpensive and expeditious dispensation of justice was the constitutional responsibility of the state, which could only be discharged by collective efforts of the three pillars of the state - legislature, executive and judiciary.

Referring to historic events in Pakistan, the CJP said the recent developments in the country, particularly the successful lawyers' movement for the restoration of independent judiciary and rule of law in the country with proactive support of media, had changed the perception of the people, who had now greater expectations from the courts.

End.

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