- LHC lacking 20 judges
Although our beloved country is facing a multitude of crises, predominantly price hike, political instability, law and order, financial setbacks, food deficiency, corruption. last but not least injustice, which is a hub of crises. Surprisingly, our leaders underestimate the demand of essential justice and try to find out the solution of national crises in other nonproductive ways, resulting in heavy frustration spreading all around and leading to the abuse of democracy and its leaders. There is no institution which carries out research and makes analyses to point out that a country can’t run smoothly without having an efficient judicial system.
Once a person having a severe pain in the stomach went to a hakeem for instant relief. The hakeem asked him what he taken for dinner the night before; he told many tasty dishes. Then the hakeem again asked if the bread he had taken was blackish, and he replied that it was a little blackish. The Hakeem gave him Surma (kohl) to apply in his eyes, he cried more loudly at the hakeem, saying, “I am dying with pain in the stomach and you are giving me medicine for the eyes”…The hakeem said, “Actually your eyesight is weak, so that first I will treat your eyes so that you may be able to see correctly, then will start other treatment.” This is the position of Pakistan, where we and our leaders are searching for the solution of heavy crises the other way around, whereas the real solution has been overlooked since many decades, and we will continue blindly if we do not realize the significance of justice.
One thing is very important to be kept in mind by the government, that justice is for living persons only and not for the dead, as a dead person cannot cry out for justice. It is a duty of the government to do justice for them before they die as in Pakistan the majority of citizens either die for justice, or justice itself dies in the hands of our judges and our judicial system
There are three basic ingredients or pillars of government which run the country. The first is a legislature or Parliament to make or amend the laws to meet the needs of the citizens; then the second is the Executive or Cabinet to make and execute policies and laws, and last but most important is the Judiciary to punish those who are not obeying the laws or policies or are creating problems in the smooth running of the country. There is no need to laugh, as the first and last pillars are shaking and not functioning properly, and the country has been halted and disturbed from Day One, and the leaders are busy in te blame game and in making money in sugar and flour, among other things, for their family and not for the poor public.
This society of injustice is very much supportive to the elite and the influential persons, who are enjoying life by living above the law and have power to turn the law into their personal slaves when they are in need, whereas it is killing for a common man and an abuse for the whole nation. Injustice is a main root of corruption, nepotism and the system of looting money by some or a group of people in the government, and its favorites. Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade it, neither persons nor property will be safe.
There is a need emerging of having a most powerful judicial system to treat all citizen equally and punish those who break the law or misuse power, and make an example for others. The first pillar of government, Parliament, is a bone of contention, as the ruling party is not in a position to make laws to reform our judicial system rather they are fighting and blaming each other like children and promoting instability and turmoil. The last pillar, the judiciary, particularly the superior judiciary, is more powerful and sometimes is doing good, and is mostly silent and ignores the challenges. Time is passing away speedily without any solution as to whether here in Pakistan all citizens are equal, or that there is no law indeed.
Apart from so many crucial lacunae in our judicial system, one big and prime issue is that of capacity building of the judiciary, although judges’ strength is drastically very low and not able to meet the demand of litigants. There is an urgent need to triple the strength of judges and equi them with state-of-the-art courtrooms, as well as digitization of the entire judicial system. This may be just a dream, as one may be shocked to know that the Lahore High Court, a prime institution of justice, is lacking 20 judges for the last two years. No new appointment have been made even though many times the Chief Justices have made lists of new judges, but every time these have been sent back by the Supreme Court judges to review it by adding more good names, or for some other reason.
Situation seems to be alarming and seeking the indulgence of hon’ble Chief justice of Pakistan and Prime Minister Imran Khan to look into the matter to expedite the process of new appointments rather make the law of enhancing the strength of Lahore High Court judges from sixty to 120 similarly to all other High Courts as population and litigation index of province of Punjab is going high day by day. One main reason of lawlessness and miss-using of law, is poor strength of judges in subordinate judiciary and in High Court as number of cases per judge is multiply three to five times high. If government is not willing to reform the judicial system then enhancing the strength of judges may create harmony and facilitate the process of getting justice speedily and inexpensively.
Unfortunately our judicial system does not fall under the ambit of CPEC like motorways and Orange Line Trains, ML One or other physical infrastructure projects, therefore, there is no chance of any improvement in the judicial system, as one can simply analyse that there is no development project in Pakistan for last ten year except CPEC, so we should strive to add development of our judicial system into CPEC so that it can be upgraded.
Justice is, in fact, the glue that holds societies together. Justice includes the notion of upholding the law, as in the work of police, judges and the courts. Behind the concept of justice lies the notion of balance that people get what is right, fair and appropriate. One thing is very important to be kept in mind by the government, that justice is for living persons only and not for the dead, as a dead person cannot cry out for justice. It is a duty of the government to do justice for them before they die as in Pakistan the majority of citizens either die for justice, or justice itself dies in the hands of our judges and our judicial system.