Chief Justice Iftikhar says No extra-constitutional order acceptable

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry

PESHAWAR: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Friday said no extra-constitutional order was acceptable to the judiciary.

At the inaugural session of the two-day meeting of National Judicial Policy Making Committee here, the chief justice said the judiciary had taken upon it the responsibility that except the Constitution, no other order was acceptable to them and that was the reason that they were getting strength from their own actions.“You are delivering the judgments boldly as you know that your conscious is clear and whatever you are doing you are doing in accordance with the law,” he said.

The chief justice said the judiciary was committed to the principle that the society must be ruled by the law.“We believe in equality before the law and will strive to uphold the rule of the law in the country,” he said, adding that an independent and vibrant judiciary played vital role in development of nation.He said the role could only be played if all stakeholders demonstrated absolute commitment and professionalism in the administration of justice.

The chief justice said NJPMC, which had been created under a law, was so important and effective as on basis of the decision which they took here in shape of policy they were ensuring to reach out to general public, resolve their problems, especially litigants facing difficulty in far-flung areas like Zhob, Shangla, Rajanpur, etc.“This platform actually provides us an opportunity to discus and formulate the policy,” he said, adding that justice must be dispensed to all.He said the judiciary had restored its confidence among the people, who trusted civil, high court and Supreme Court judges and therefore, the judiciary was bound to deliver.

Appreciating the performance of the judges, the chief justice said: “Members of superior judiciary as you are delivering this is in fact strengthening constitutionalism and democratic order in our beloved country.”He said people had trust in the judiciary and the courts had been flooded with cases, while people had expectations from the judiciary because they knew it was an institution, which restored their rights.About the National Judicial Policy, the chief justice said it was first introduced in 2009 when the judiciary was restored. He added that the policy was aimed to reduce and ultimately eliminate the backlog of cases in all level of courts by implying various methods like prioritizing cases and introducing timelines for different categories.

The chief justice said the disposal rate on all level had improved, but still there was room for improvement and that he was mindful of the fact that not only justice should be done but it should also be seen to be done.Regarding elimination of corruption from the judiciary, the chief justice said the judiciary had zero tolerance towards corruption and corrupt practices and that strict action against judicial officers and staff involved in it was taken. He added that committees were constituted at district level under chairmanship of district and sessions judges and the performance of these committees of last six months would also be evaluated in the meeting.

On arrival, the chief justice was received by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan before being given a guard of honour by a squad of police.Earlier, he inaugurated the newly-constructed judicial lodges for Supreme Court judges. He thanked the provincial government for providing a spacious plot for construction of lodges.The most senior judge of the apex court, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, who is the chairman of the construction committee of the lodges, explained the salient features of the lodges and said the total cost of the project was Rs95 million and that it was spread over 10 kanals of land. – Dawn