Number of cases pending with the judiciary reduced to 50,265 from 54,134: CJP Umar Ata Bandial
Terms SCBA’s role in the Punjab chief minister election case ‘biased’
Says he showed restraint despite reaction of political parties on verdict of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker’s ruling case
Urges all political parties, their leaders, all decision makers & privileged members of the society to put aside their differences
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday termed the Supreme Court Bar Association’s (SCBA) role in the Punjab chief minister election case “biased”.
Addressing a full court reference on the eve of the beginning of the new judicial year, CJP Justice Umar Ata Bandial recalled the Punjab CM election case, which drew criticism from political parties.
The CJP said that the federation requested a full court bench which was not in accordance with the law, while the role of the SBCA was also “biased”.
In July, the SC had termed the ruling of the former Punjab Assembly deputy speaker, Mir Dost Muhammad Mazari, “illegal” and announced Pervez Elahi as the new CM of the province.
The ruling coalition had demanded that a full bench hear the case and the government’s demands were also backed by the top court’s bar association.
“Patience was shown despite the political parties’ strong reaction to the annulment of the ruling of the then Punjab deputy speaker Mir Dost Muhammad Mazari,” the chief justice said.
CJP Bandial added: “We are aware that the country is facing a serious economic crisis, but the law is equal for all.”
Referring to the Judicial Commission of Pakistan’s (JCP) meeting in which the body had rejected Bandial’s nominated judges of high courts for their appointment to the Supreme Court, the CJP asked, did the federal government’s response respect the judiciary? He said that the federal government given reaction of the chief minister Punjab case in judicial commission meeting.
CJP Bandial said that when he assumed the office, there were challenges related to the provision of inexpensive and speedy justice, a backlog of cases and usage of suo motu power.
Highlighting the achievements, the CJP said that the number of cases pending with the judiciary reduced to 50,265 from 54,134. “The respected judges sacrificed their yearly vacations and decided 6,458 cases during a short period of June-September.”
Stressing the need for new appointments to the top judiciary, he urged the SCBA to assist the court.
Talking about speedy justice, the CJP said that he, after consultation with other judges, took notice of the then NA deputy speaker Qasim Khan Suri’s ruling and declared it illegal after a five-day hearing and issued the verdict within three days.
A large number of cases were lodged with the apex court following the political events in March 2022, he noted.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that he showed restraint despite reaction of political parties on verdict of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker’s ruling case.
The chief justice said that they do not interfere in policy matters but court has to hear such cases to protect fundamental rights of people. Political cases were filed after political events of March 2022, he added.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial further revealed that he took notice of National Assembly Deputy Speaker’s ruling after consulting other judges of the apex court and announced the verdict in five days.
The chief justice said that he is well aware of the economic issues the country is facing as well devastating floods. Judges donated salary of three days for flood affectees, he added.
Chief Justice pledged apex court’s commitment to defend the Constitution in its entirety. His lordship informed that during the period from 2nd February to 9th September this year, the court has decided 14,943 cases, minimizing the pending cases from 54,134 to 50,265.
“I have read that Bangladesh has a pendency of 3.93 million cases as of 31.12.2020 and India has a pendency of 47 million cases as of 02.08.2022 so in comparative terms we are much better off but I am so glad the Bar is not satisfied & nor are we”, CJP Bandial said.
The Chief Justice further said that dispensation of swift and economic justice is priority of the apex court and efforts are being made for alternative dispute resolution, which will reduce the pendency of cases in all tiers of courts by around 40 percent in next three years.
CJP Bandial has urged all political parties, their leaders, all decision makers and privileged members of the society to put aside their differences and grievances and to act in unity for the public interest and the national good.