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Time to abandon approach of running institutions individually: Justice Mansoor

Admits courts gave unpopular decisions in the past: Stresses need for developing robust judicial system: Says judges not performing should be thrown out

By News Desk

April 27, 2024 03:01 PM


Time to abandon approach of running institutions individually: Justice Mansoor

TV grab

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Supreme Court’s senior puisne judge and chief justice-in-waiting Justice Mansoor Ali Shah has declared that independence of judiciary is a constitutional requirement and “We cannot progress unless we obey a system”, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Addressing Asma Jahangir Conference in Lahore on Saturday, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked “We must abandon the approach to run the state institutions individually. “Judiciary should be submissive to a system rather than individuals,” he added.

In delving into the historical context of the judiciary, Justice Mansoor conceded that there exists shortcomings that demand rectification. He advocated for a comprehensive overhaul of the institution, recognizing the importance of addressing systemic deficiencies to ensure its efficacy.

Highlighting the staggering caseload burdening the judicial apparatus, with thousands of cases inundating the Supreme Court and lower courts daily, Justice Mansoor underscored the glaring inadequacy in judicial resources, particularly in comparison to global standards. He elucidated the glaring deficit in judicial personnel per capita, advocating for a substantial increase in the number of judges to meet the nation’s needs adequately.

The SC judge also supported the preservation of constitutional principles guaranteeing the judiciary’s absolute autonomy and the fundamental right of citizens to scrutinize judicial pronouncements.

He vehemently condemned corruption within the judiciary, advocating for its unequivocal eradication and advocating for stringent measures to hold delinquent judges accountable.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said he had not come here to support the courts’ decisions. “I admit that some decisions given in the past were not received well by the people,” he said, adding, “And you have every right to criticize such decisions.”

It was high time, the judge said, that the nation put its own house in order and develop a robust judicial system.

Justice Mansoor was of the view that unless the nation subordinated itself to a system, it could never progress.

He informed that efforts were being made to raise the criterion for the appointment of judges. “There are some judges who have been appointed recently and are referred to as ‘China Badge’,” he said, and made it clear that the priority was not to appoint judges on the basis of their lineage. “What we want is to throw out those who don’t perform,” he said.

Justice Mansoor further said that the Supreme Judicial Council was in no mood to tolerate corrupt and incompetent judges in the judiciary. “There is zero tolerance as far as corruption and incompetence is concerned,” he said emphatically.

He stressed the need for developing a transparent system for fixing cases for the hearing. “And for that, the Practice & Procedure Act has great significance.”

He said some judges in the apex court would fix the hearing of cases on their own. “But this practice has stopped now.”

The judge went on to say that he praised Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa for clipping his powers.

Justice Mansoor made a revelation that there were some mafias in the lower judiciary. “The real issue is with district courts where 80 per cent of cases are still pending,” he added.

He informed that just like in other parts of the world, centers of reconciliation would also be set up in Pakistan. “Such centers will be built in 138 districts of the country,” he elaborated.

Recalling that when the reconciliation system had been introduced in Punjab in the past, it proved to be quite productive.

The judge asked lawyers not to feel afraid of the system. “Get a decision in each case every day, and find a new one,” he advised.

Justice Mansoor informed that 70,000 cases were filed in district courts on a daily basis. “And in order to manage that load, we need 21,000 judges,” he said, adding, “A major chunk of the national budget in Brazil is reserved for the judiciary, while the army comes next.”

The judge regretted that while everywhere in the world, people filing fake cases were fined, same was not the case in Pakistan. 

He also regretted that lawyers go on strike whenever anything bad happens whether inside the country or outside the country. “There is a problem in Turkey and courts in Gujranwala remain shut in protest,” he said, adding, “Similarly, the national team loses a cricket match and the lawyers strike to vent their frustration.”

“This kind of attitude cannot be condoned,” Justice Mansoor said categorically.

“The Law and Justice Commission has enacted a law for arbitration,” he said, and expressed the hope that this could benefit the country in international cases.

Everywhere in the world, he said, there were commercial courts. “We will have a commercial corridor here in Pakistan,” he said, adding, “Who says these things are a recent development.”

The SC judge observed that there not many female judges in the country’s judiciary. “In my opinion, a woman looks at a case from a different angle. Their presence will enhance the courts’ ability to pronounce decisions on merit,” Justice Mansoor concluded.


News Desk


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