CJP’s right focus

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Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial is doing a commendable work to reduce backlog of cases.

Despite five vacant posts of judges, the Supreme Court disposed of 2724 cases during the last seven months.

The backlog which stood at 53,964 on January 31, 2022, has been now reduced to 51240.

For rule of law in the society, dispensation of speedy justice is of immense importance and it is a matter of great satisfaction that incumbent CJP is focusing on this important aspect.

As part of his efforts to clear the backlog, the CJP also notably refused to avail his summer vacation this year.

In addition, he has also earned distinction for maintaining discipline in the benches to hear ordinary cases.

Over the years, a significant increase has been witnessed in the backlog in top court.

From December 31, 2013, onwards, the backlog increased from 20,517 to 53,560 on December 31 2021.

The annual increase in pendency ranged between 1087 in the year 2014 to 7,203 in the year 2021.

While we appreciate what CJP Bandial is doing to address the situation, in our view, there is a need of a fresh plan of action to reduce the pendency.

As the new judicial year is commencing soon, we expect that the CJP will use the occasion to outline his plan of action in this regard.

The situation in the lower courts is far more serious which also needs to be addressed to provide timely relief to the litigants.

Access to justice should mean not only approaching the courts but also early conclusion of cases.

Given the workload, it is important to enhance the number of judges both at the top and lower courts.

Then a fully automated system needs to be adopted for better management of cases and curtail delays.

The legal community also needs to play their part and adopt the technology to transform the justice system.

An effective alternative dispute resolution system should also be embedded in our justice system as it will reduce workload on our courts.

 

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