CHIEF INSTRUCTOR OF NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT;
MEMBERS OF THE FACULTY;
UNDER TRAINING OFFICERS;
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;
ASSALAM O ALAIAKUM!
It gives me immense pleasure to have you in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. It is my firm belief that young professionals like you are the future of Pakistan. You come from different regions of the country and represent different section of society. As a nation, we are lucky to have inherited and built many national institutions which are necessary for growth and development of the country.
Your initial selection after a most competitive examination of the country and subsequent allocation to various service groups, might have placed you to serve different roles as public servants. Some of you are serving as tax administrators and others are assigned the job of law enforcement and yet some of you look after commercial and diplomatic interests of our country.
But the common objective which binds you all together is to serve the people of Pakistan in a most honest and forthright manner. You are all bound to establish an enabling environment where a truly level playing field is provided to the people in order to achieve their cherished objectives in life.
The Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 envisages in detail many fundamental rights to the citizen of the country. These rights, inter alia, include right of individual to be dealt with in accordance with law; security of person; safeguard as to arrest and detention; right to fair trial; inviolability of dignity of man; freedom of movement; assembly, association; trade; business or profession; speech, information; freedom to profess the religion; protection of property rights; equality of citizens; right of education; safeguard against discrimination in service and last but not the least the promotion of social and economic well being of the people.
These fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution have to be implemented in letter and spirit. Primarily it is the duty of the State, and to a large extent to the executive organ of the State, to ensure that these fundamental rights are not only freely available to the people but any denial of these rights is swiftly responded to and relief is provided to the citizens at a minimum cost.
This is sine qua non of a truly independent and welfare State. Gone are the days when stability and security of the country was defined in terms of number of missiles and tanks as a manifestation of hard power available at the disposal of the State.
Today, the concept of national security has been redefined as a polity wherein a State is bound to provide their citizens with overwhelming, social security and welfare nets and to protect their natural and civil rights at all costs. Thus, the executive branch of the country ably assisted by professionally trained civil service is bound to provide a conducive environment where the vast majority of people are able to make progress in various disciplines of their choices.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN; the founding fathers of the Constitution envisaged trichotomy of powers where the State of Pakistan is comprised of legislative, executive and judicial organs. The Supreme Court is the apex Court of the country which has ultimate jurisdiction and all the subordinate courts are bound by its decisions. The Court has jurisdiction to decide matters in its Original, Appellate, Review and Advisory jurisdictions. The Constitution provides that all the executive and legislative authorities shall act in aid of the Supreme Court.
The apex Court having the unique jurisdiction under Article 184(3) of the Constitution is also sensitive to the need to respond all cases of violation of fundamental rights of all sections of society and especially the poor, downturned and vulnerable sections. The regular petitions are being filed and letters and complaints received are also being entertained. Furthermore, in appropriate cases suo moto actions are also taken and cases registered.
In doing so, no distinction or discrimination is made and every petition or complaint is entertained on its merits. All that the Court has to see is to ensure that the violation of fundamental rights has occurred and the issue involve is of public importance. The citizens are approaching the Court in ever-increasing number and the Court strives to grant relief quickly and effectively.
The present day Supreme Court is alive to the fact that it has been restored to its original position by unprecedented struggle carried out by a consort of such professional classes as lawyers, students, media persons and civil society at large. Now, they expect that judicial hierarchy of the country from the court of a civil judge to that of the court of highest appeal should deliver justice to all without fear or favour in a most expeditious manner.
To achieve this object, after restoration, I utilized the forum provided by the National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) by initiating a consultation process to assess the challenges of delay and backlog of cases and how to overcome it. I take much satisfaction to say that after lengthy consultation we formulated National Judicial Policy (NJP) 2009.
The main crux of the Policy is to tackle conjoined menace of backlog and delay in disposal of cases. So far, the Policy has been revised a number of times and by the grace of Allah Almighty, it has delivered maximum dividends in terms of reduction of pendency and clearance of huge backlog of cases.
This is not the end of the story, as the challenge is still on and I hope with cooperation of Bench and the Bar, the Policy will continue achieving its objectives. However, it is also important to point out that additional resources are required to establish new courts at district level to cater for ever increasing number of newly instituted cases in the face of ever increasing population.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN; as a young officer I would like you to instil some fundamental values right at this initial stage of your career. You are working for the State of Pakistan and not for any individual whether your bosses or the political leaders. You have to follow rules and regulations at all cost without fear or favour.
Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his famous address to the Gazetted Officers of Chittagong said and I quote,
“you have to do your duty as servants; you are not connected with this political or that political party; that is not your business.”
In the same address our Quaid further said that:
“Make the people feel that you are their servants and friends, maintain the highest standard of honour, integrity, justice and fair-play. If you do that, people will have confidence and trust in you and will look upon you as friends and well wishers.”
This Court has also observed many times this fact especially in F-9 Park case reported as PLD 2010 SC 759 wherein it was held that the Public functionaries are supposed to adhere to the principle of transparency in the performance of their duties and were not bound to carry out/implement any order which was not in accordance with law.
They were only obliged to carry out lawful orders of their superiors. Again in the case of Tariq Aziz-ud-din, the Supreme Court struck down the notification of promotion to BPS-22 of some 51 bureaucrats, as the promotion was effected on arbitrary consideration without any concrete policy or firm principles.
The Court asked the Government to frame rules and policy for the purpose of promotion so that deserving civil servants climb the ladder of promotion by dint of their qualification, performance evaluation and experience.
It is your prime responsibility to work with integrity, honesty, well within prescribed rule and regulations. If you carry out your responsibility as per rules and regulations you will be vindicated in the eyes of the public. You must take principle stand on the decisions based upon merit and do not entertain any extraneous pressure or influence which may result in faulty decision making.
I assure you that you will find the superior courts of the country behind your back in cases where you are forced to make decision which are not covered under the rules and are not in public interest. Here I would like to quote late justice Dorab Patel who in his book “TESTAMENT OF A LIBERAL” said:-
“It is not the function of court to please the public, but to uphold the laws. An independent judiciary means not only a judiciary which can resist the pressures of the governments but also the pressures of the public opinion”.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN these words are true not only for judicial organ of the country but also for you who are interacting with people at grass roots level. You are selected and trained by the State of Pakistan to look after the interest of the people in a most objective and dispassionate manner by strictly following rules of business. Nothing should deter you from following these essential and crucial elements of your public life.
I expect you to fully involve yourself in the training opportunity afforded to you right now. Try to learn new skills and develop special capability to respond to various challenges being faced by our country today. I hope and expect that our young officers should rise to the occasion and play their part in national salvation and development.
For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001