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We have ultimate jurisdiction: CJP Iftikhar

06 November, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has observed the Supreme Court has ultimate jurisdiction and as a guardian and protector of the constitution, a heavy responsibility lies upon the judges of the apex court to uphold the canons of constitutional predominance and its supremacy over all other institutions and authorities.

He was addressing officers of the 97th National Management Course, National School of Public Policy, National Management College, Lahore, on Monday.

"Gone are the days when stability and security of the country was defined in terms of number of missiles and tanks as a manifestation of hard power available at the disposal of the state. Today, the concept of national security has been redefined as a polity wherein a state is bound to provide its citizens with overwhelming, social security and welfare nets and to protect their natural and civil rights at all costs," the CJP observed.

He said the composition, powers and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court are set out by the constitution itself. The court exercises original, appellate, review and advisory jurisdictions and its decisions are binding on all other courts of Pakistan.

"This judiciary has been trying to rewrite the constitutional and political history of this country by not only atoning sins of the past but also setting up new precedents ensuring transparency, rule of law and fundamental rights are enforced as enshrined in the constitution. Many landmark judgements have been pronounced wherein institutions are directed to keep within their limits and let system grow. In some judgements the civil servants have been directly addressed and asked to stick to the rules and regulations come what may."

The chief justice said nowadays the courts are seized with many issues related to enforcement of constitutional provisions. "This institutional failure is directly linked to your ability to formulate national policies in the field of public policy. It also indicates the failure of implementation in cases where some forms of policy measures were recommended," he added.

"The present day Supreme Court is alive to the fact that it has been restored to its original position by unprecedented struggle carried out by a consort of such professional classes as lawyers, students, media persons and civil society at large."

The CJP also said, "It is my firm belief that strong institutions provide the bedrock for building everlasting mechanisms and sustaining socio-economic, political and cultural growth and development. To establish and run these national institutions, we need a well-trained and inspired bureaucracy, which has the capacity and necessary means to anticipate the mounting socio-economic challenges and come up with workable solutions both in the short and long run."

"For any developing country like Pakistan the basic requirements for enhancing national growth through competitiveness is pegged on the four pillars – strengthening of institutions, infrastructure, economic stability, health and education," he added.

The constitution envisages many fundamental rights to the citizens that have to be implemented in letter and spirit. Primarily it is the duty of the state, and to a large extent to the executive organ of the state, to ensure these fundamental rights are not only freely available to the people but any denial of these rights is swiftly responded to and relief is provided to the citizens at a minimum cost, the CJP added.


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