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SC does not go beyond its jurisdiction and works well within its limits: CJP

14 January, 2018

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KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday stressed the need for reforms to cure what he called an ailing judicial system in the country.

“Supreme Court does not go beyond its jurisdiction and works well within its limits. But, whose duty is to introduce reforms,” he asked while talking to reporters here. “Judiciary can’t bring reforms in the judicial system … law-making is not our responsibility,” he said, regretting that no one had ever paid heed to bringing reforms to cure the ailing judicial system in the country. He said that the laws that were enacted by the British rulers of the subcontinent cannot be applied anymore.

The CJP said it is crucial for the judiciary not to intervene in the legislative matters and focus on serving justice faster. “We are not here to run the legislative system … it is parliament’s job to form laws,” he said, adding that the judiciary is often blamed for delay in cases but there is much more to the issue.

While highlighting the need for reforms in the judicial system, the CJP also urged the chief justices of the five high courts to ensure that they strictly abide by the law when passing verdicts. He said that since the judges do not have the power to pass legislation, they should focus on passing fair verdicts to ensure that justice is served within the limits prescribed by the law.

Acknowledging criticism that the progress of cases in Pakistan’s judicial system is extremely slow, the CJP also stressed the need for courts to hold speedy trials instead of adjourning cases indefinitely.

The CJP regretted that innocent people are sentenced to jail for long periods because of delays in the criminal litigation system, due to which the appellants have to wait for months or years in order to prove their innocence just because their appeals remain in pending for so long before being heard. “When people fail to get justice, they blame the judiciary,” he said. “We have to ensure that justice is not delayed,” he added.

One way to deter people from dragging other people in courts, he said, is to impose heavy fines if they are proven wrong in the court of law. He said it was an unhealthy practice that people did not fear being taken to court because they are sure that it will take years for a case to resolve and even once a court passes a verdict, the party takes advantage of the options of filing appeals in the higher courts.

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