Speedy justice and good governance
THE Constitution of Pakistan has guaranteed certain fundamental rights and has ensured as well the speedy justice through describing principles of policy in Constitution for the well-being of citizens of Pakistan.
However, Pakistan is among the lowest rated countries in the world in areas of judicial and governance delivery.
Every year, Pakistan’s rating has been downgraded by the international institutions not as whole among the world states but in countries of South Asia as well.
Only one country is behind us in South Asia, which is alarming and requires serious action by the legislatures and policy makers for improving the judicial and governance system on priority and for the sake of public interest.
Perception in areas of government accountability, transparency, bribery, victimization, criminal justice, and access to legal justice are also not reasonably good in standing among public in Pakistan and also in world communities.
The colonial judicial and governance system in addition to many others had the objective to engage locals in multiple proceedings so the inhabitants could not demand for their genuine rights and independence, and unfortunately, this system is continuing in one or another shape.
Since independence of Pakistan, no concrete effort has been made to completely overhaul the colonial and outdated colonial justice and governance system.
Hundreds and thousands of cases and government matters are pending before different courts, tribunals, forums and government authorities throughout Pakistan and in most cases, proceedings are adjourned in one or another way with no conclusive verdict, resultantly undermining the government image and credibility.
This present state of affairs has created a strong perception on one side that the present judicial and governance system is not only so complexed, overlapped but as well inefficient and outdated and resultantly has almost lost the citizens trust and confidence in state institutions.
The existing judicial and governance system should not be rectified through a patchwork but is to be completely overhauled in areas of discretion, procedure, technology, transparency and in substantive laws.
Forensic audit regarding working and performance through independent experts of our judicial and governance system should be carried out at the earliest for rectification of present working and to make the system more vibrant.
The principle of conclusive proceedings of court cases and governance matters be introduced, resolved and implemented through usage of modern technology.
The new judicial and governance system should be based upon the legal principles of simplicity, less procedural, time limit and to have the capacity to curb all delays in provision of judicial and administrative justice sides.
Special measures should also be taken for strengthening the Internal Complaint Resolution/Dispute Resolution Mechanism of government departments.
It is simultaneously important for better and credible working within the government and departments, that the existing rules of business relating to functions and working of Federal and Provincial governments should be redrafted by considering the ground reality and for more efficiency in government affairs.
These rules should be made for ensuring structured discretion and time limit for efficiency in government affairs for addressing larger public interest.
Action against delinquent officials of government departments at all levels should be taken through public oversight bodies who are continuously involved in maladministration and responsible for obstructing citizens matters and not performing their duties as per law and are responsible for increasing the courts litigation.
Speedy, inexpensive justice and good governance are important for our citizen’s welfare but equally vital for our national integrity and security and for the bright future of Pakistan.
Reforms with priority should be taken immediately for curbing delay in justice and governance sectors.
It is the constitutional and legal obligations of all the state organs to take lead immediately for overhauling/improving the present judicial system for the bright and confident future of the citizens and country.
—The writer is practising Lawyer Supreme Court of Pakistan.