CJP says courts are performing independently

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LAHORE – Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed said Saturday that our courts are performing independently and would remain independent.

Addressing a seminar ‘Role of Judiciary & Legal Fraternity in the Improvement of Justice System’ organised by the Punjab Bar Council in Lahore, he said that every judge issues his verdict according to the law and facts. He said that the rule of law and protection of fundamental rights of the people is job of a judge and if he does not do this, his oath will be revoked.

He said that the lawyers and the judges must perform their responsibility with the cooperation of each other. The Chief Justice stressed upon the Bar Councils to play their due role to train the lawyers.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed said that the courts make choices based on facts and they we will encourage criticism of court rulings. The top judge also said that the court judgments shouldn’t be a source of resentment and disagreement,.

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Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that a lawyer is considered the custodian of the law and must know the proper decorum for when they appear in court. He said it appears lawyers have “stopped studying”.

The chief justice said it is the job of the lawyer to assist the judge and the lawyer must know how to conduct himself with the judge, the petitioner, and other lawyers.

 

Justice Ahmed said attorneys and judges cannot and should not be rivals. Lawyers have done the real work of protecting the legal environment; they should not be enraged with one another, he said.

“Tensions between judges and lawyers are baffling,” he remarked. 

 

The CJP also made it clear that protecting the fundamental rights of the citizens is the judiciary’s constitutional duty, and failing at it meant violating the oath. 

 

CJP Gulzar Ahmed disagreed with the claim of Advocate General Punjab Ahmed Awais who, during his speech, claimed that he did not see the people’s fundamental rights being protected in our society. Awais also claimed that the government had failed to protect the basic rights, and if things remain unchanged then ultimately the legal fraternity will come forward to ensure the protection of those rights.

 

Justice Gulzar said he did not agree with the opinion, but adding that if the time came to that then the judiciary will fight against the situation. The CJP urged lawyers to put a stop to the culture of adjournment. “[Adjournments] make sense if there is an extreme cause, otherwise there should be no need to request for an adjournment,” he added.

“There is no doubt that the number of pending cases has increased,” Justice Gulzar said, adding that there were several reasons behind it, Covid-19 being one of them; and some others which could not be discussed on this occasion.

 

The litigants suffer a lot if cases will continue to remain pending and adjournments given, the CJP said. He also pointed out the matter of frivolous litigations, a practice that he said  needed to end.

 

Justice Gulzar expressed displeasure at the condition of district courts province-wide, and directed Chief Justice Lahore High Court Muhammad Ameer Bhatti to seek a report from his inspection judge on it.

Speaking on the matter of judge’s appointment, the CJP observed that the judicial commission had now become independent and the times when judges gave dictation to it over appointments have gone. “Everything is being done through due process,” he added.

 

The seminar’s atmosphere turned defensive when the LHC CJ spoke about the conduct of lawyers. He was responding to the representative of Punjab Bar Council’s remarks, made during his address, about lawyers playing a pivotal role in the restoration of the judiciary. “Section 7 ATA should not be added up in FIRs registered against lawyers and the lawyers do not cooperate and their grievances are not addressed,” he said.

Justice Bhatti said that 99 percent of the representatives of district bar associations appear in judge’s chambers for their personal matters rather than resolving problems facing the lawyers’ community. “Was it for this purpose that the lawyers had restored the judiciary; to  attack its own house,” he added.



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