Admitting that the judicial system of the country is riddled with delays, the Supreme Court (SC) has solicited replies from the national and provincial governments, high courts and superior bar associations about the proposed six steps to end delays in the civil justice system.
The court was hearing a case on a petition seeking reforms by amending the existing the high court rules. The case was heard by a three-judge bench of the court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.
The six areas in which replies were sought included framing of high court rules, reinterpretation of civil procedure code, publishing relevant judicial data/statistics, formulating a new judicial policy, enforcement of the law of costs, and enforcement of anti-perjury laws.
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” The CJP remarked during the hearing, admitting the lacunas that exist in the judicial system.
Earlier, the petitioner proposed that procedural rules needed to be framed for things like stage-wise time-lines for completion of different categories of suits, rules for judge-driven case Management, rules for enforcement of costs and anti-perjury laws, and rules for bench constitution and case fixation.
It further stated that the framing of procedural rules was the responsibility of high court under Article 202 of the Constitution while the Supreme Court can only monitor and supervise the functioning of the high courts under Article 184(3).
The petition requested for the directions of top court to high courts to frame all necessary rules. It also requested for direction to National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) to consider the rules framed by the various High Courts and promote unification.
Meanwhile, ministry of law and justice, under the supervision of Dr Muhammad Farogh Naseem, in accordance with the prime minister’s 100 days’ agenda, has finalised the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Bill and shared with the FIA, NAB and interior ministry for their review. A meeting for the review of MLA draft bill will be held early next week to ascertain the comments of aforesaid stakeholders, said a statement issued by law ministry.
Despite the passage of nine years the previous governments failed to enact legislation for a mutual legal system regime.