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Full Court meeting of Supreme Court of Pakistan

Islamabad, November 15, 2012 (PPI-OT): A Full Court meeting was held today (15.11.2012) in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad under the Chairmanship of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and was attended by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Tariq Parvez, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed. Dr. Faqir Hussain, Registrar Supreme Court of Pakistan and Mr. Sajid Mehmood Qazi, Additional Registrar, Supreme Court also attended the meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan formally welcomed the all Hon’ble Judges and said “Let me welcome all my brother colleagues to the Full Court Meeting. The Meeting is now a regular event and useful forum.

It furnishes us an opportunity to take stock of the prevalent situation and deliberate on issues and matters pertaining to the functioning of the Court. The object is to improve the Court functioning and deliver to the beneficiaries of the justice system meaning the litigants and those who have approached the Court for seeking relief for violation of their rights and restoration of rights and entitlements.

Usually, on the top of the agenda of the Meeting is the important item of institution and disposal of cases and the pendency. The office have laid bare the judicial statistic of the current year which is indicative of our success to decide almost as many cases as were filed. Having said so, however, we have inherited some pendency.

Therefore we have to review the judicial statistics of the Court to ponder over the matter and plan coherent and practical strategy for addressing the pendency figure. Notwithstanding the disposal of significant number of cases due to the hard work of my brother Judges, there is discernable trend of rising institution, both under the regular jurisdiction and public interest litigation under article 184 (3) of the Constitution.

The rising institution is primarily on account of disposal of cases in large number by the High Courts but also invocation of article 184 (3) in cases of violation of fundamental rights involving issue of public importance as well as petitions and applications received from the deprived, under-privileged and vulnerable sections of society. And whereas the rising institution poses the problem to strategise for expeditious disposal of cases, it is also indicative of public trust in the ability and capacity of this Court to grant relief and redress grievances.

The Supreme Court is a constitutional body which has constitutionally guaranteed jurisdictions like appellate, review, original and advisory. As per the prescribed principles enshrined in the Constitution, every organ of the State has to perform its duties and functions within the mandated sphere.

Institutions also strive to excel others and perform better, which is a welcome sign, as it is for better delivery and service to the people. However, superior judiciary enjoys the cross cutting jurisdiction empowering it to carry out the role of oversight and ensure that no institution or department or authority may interfere in the domain of the other and further to check the unlawful or unauthorized or malafide act or exercise of authority.

This power of the apex Court known as power of judicial review is a sacred trust which must be exercised in an independent and effective manner. It is a duty cast on the judiciary and the courts have to discharge it without fear or favour.

The present day judiciary is looked upon as one institution which is delivering the services to the people in an active manner. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the judiciary to come up to the peoples’ expectations and become a role model for all other institutions to follow. Although no one institution has capacity to provide good governance single handedly yet the institution of the judiciary due to its credibility and institutional mandate can inspire all others to do their duties in a transparent manner keeping in view the interest of people of Pakistan.

Efforts have also been made to fill the vacancies in the courts and enhance the capacity of judiciary. In this regard, the Hon’ble Prime Minister has been approached through its Principal Secretary with request to issue directions to all concerned for allocation of required funds to recruit additional judicial officers to meet increased work load and deficient infrastructure across the country”.

Deliberating over the issue of institution, disposal and pendency of cases in Supreme Court, the full court meeting noted that as against institution figure of 13,653 from 01.01.2012 to 10.11.2012 in the Supreme Court, the Court decided 12,377 cases during the said period. The Court noted with satisfaction that almost as many cases were decided as were filed.

This success was due to the untiring efforts of the Hon’ble Judges who worked hard and worked beyond the working hours and even during the summer vacations. However, there remains the pendence of cases for which the Court resolved to formulate appropriate strategies for quick disposal. Thus, it was resolved that two-membered 03-benches, two at Lahore and one at Peshawar be constituted to reduce the backlog for the period of three months. Further, two and three member benches will be constituted at Principal seat, Islamabad.

Regarding the grant of status of senior Advocate Supreme Court (ASC), it was decided that Syed Sami Ahmad, Mr. Mushtaq Ali Tahir Kheli, Mr. Akhter Hussain and Mr. Yaseen Azad be granted status of senior advocate of Supreme Court.

The issue of enrolment of new AORs was also discussed. It was decided that the stations where adequate number of AORs were not available may be considered for such enrolments. For the other stations the cases of enrolment may be deferred for the time being.

The names of Mr. Said Tahar (Swat), Mr. Saadullah Mian (Peshawar), Mr. Muhammad Ayaz Khan Swati (Quetta) Syed Rifaqat Hussain Shah (Rawalpindi), Qari Abdul Rasheed (Rawalpindi), Mr. Ahmad Nawaz Chaudhry (Jhelum) and Mr. Tariq Aziz (Islamabad) were approved for enrollment as AORs.

The meeting was informed that Mr. Akhter Hussain, Vice Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council has requested that the 50th Anniversary song, “Justice for all” authored by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani which was first played at the Inaugural function of the Supreme Court held on 14.08.2006 at Islamabad may also be allowed to be played by the Pakistan Bar Council during its official functions.

The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan asked the author Judge about his consent/permission in this regard which he readily accorded and said that he considered this as a great hounour. The Full Court Meeting deliberated the issue and decided that the said song may be adopted as Anthem by the institution of Judiciary in Pakistan. The meeting also accorded approval to the request by the Pakistan Bar Council to play the Anthem at its functions.

The text of the Anthem is reproduced as below:-

“The toil, the sweat, the tears and the blood,
Make up the labour for the land begot.
The freedom is won, but the chains are clung,
There are miles to cover,
The voyage is tough and the weather is rough,
The odyssey begins; The Founder declares his vision
Of Democracy, Faith, Tolerance and Compassion.
Discriminate the State shall not
Thou may belong to any religion, creed or caste.
Oh! The vision is distorted, the march is thwarted,
Castles in the sand, babes in the woods,
Recipes of fall abound in the books.
The nation is cut, the land is bled
When the message is lost, a die is cast,
The wages are loud, Beware of the clouds.
Long live the message, the Lamp and the rays
That glow The Temple, which holds the scales,
Pinning the dreams, the hopes and the oath Of Justice for All”.

The meeting also decided to hold an International Judicial Conference in the 3rd week of April, 2013 as per tradition established by the apex Court. The meeting further decided that a Committee comprising of four senior most Hon’ble Judges of Supreme Court is authorized to take all necessary decisions fro successful holding of the said conference.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001
Email: pro_scp@yahoo.com

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