Who will ensure justice?

ADDRESSING the convocation of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences in Hyderabad on Saturday, Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali regretted that the people are deprived of speedy and inexpensive justice as guaranteed in the country’s constitution. The point made by the Chief Justice clearly draws our attention towards the flaws existing at different tiers of our system, which prevent early disposal of cases and add to the miseries of justice-seekers.
Article 37 (d) of the constitution stipulates that the state institutions are required to ensure provision of speedy justice to masses but it is unfortunate that apart from the executive, the judiciary, which is an important pillar of state, have failed to facilitate and address the grievances of litigants. Lower courts in different major cities are faced with the dilemma of paucity of judges, which is resulting in the piling up of cases with each passing day. Also the number of pending cases at the high courts and Supreme Court indicate that the judiciary has a mountain to climb to deliver justice. Those pursuing their cases in the courts have to bear high expenditures and delays in disposal of cases not only add to their mental agony but also their expenditures. In order to mitigate the sufferings of the litigants, all the state institutions should join hands and adopt latest scientific methods to ensure early disposal of cases. Revamping of police prosecution services is critically important for criminal cases, as it will help the courts to decide cases at the earliest. There is also a need to set up a permanent mechanism at each district headquarter to monitor registration of FIRs, police harassment and hearing of citizens complaints. Legal fraternity, the second organ of justice system, should also play their role by avoiding seeking unnecessary adjournments in cases. On the government part, it should bring reforms in the informal justice system for dispute resolution. In nutshell, there is a need to bring a total change of culture and posture in police, lawyers and judiciary to achieve the objective of ensuring quick justice to masses.

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