Supreme Court of Pakistan
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Dated: 16-January-2014

A Full Court meeting was held today (16.01.2014) in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad under the Chairmanship of the Hon'ble Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani and was attended by Hon'ble Mr. Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, Hon'ble  Mr. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, 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, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rahman and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Mushir Alam. Dr. Faqir Hussain, Registrar, Supreme Court of Pakistan also attended the meeting.
At the outset, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan welcomed the Hon’ble Judges participating in the Full Court meeting and said “In our last meeting, we discussed, inter alia, the issue of rising institution of fresh cases and bulging dockets in the Supreme Court, and agreed on constitution of benches at the Principal Seat and Branch Registries to deal with the backlog. We took certain decisions, and I am glad to inform that a proposed Monthly Cause List of pending cases at the Principal Seat was being issued. 3 dedicated benches for hearing civil and criminal petitions and appeals were formed and continued to function since 6th January 2014. The final Weekly Cause List is also regularly issued. This mechanism was agreed upon in our last meeting to minimize adjournments and fix cases as per their subject matter and categories.
I am happy to state that during the period from 12th December 2013 till 10th January 2014, as against total institution of 1641 cases, 1950 cases were disposed of. It means that the disposal figure is higher i.e. 309 cases as against institution.
I am mindful of the need for giving full hearing and exhaustive arguments in important cases involving interpretation of the Constitution and/or the law. As the apex Court of the land, and guardian of the Constitution, this is a vital task assigned to the Court and has to be performed, so that the Constitution may have a smooth/harmonious growth and operationalization, in keeping with the new developments and emerging realities in society; and since the Supreme Court formulates new principles of law, which are binding on all other courts, it is of utmost importance for the Court to develop new jurisprudence. But this ideal will remain illusory in so long as the Court is confronted with huge backlog and the daily cause list of benches exceeds 20-30 cases. Therefore, my stress is on reducing the backlog.
I am happy to say that the Court has pursued its policy of taking up issues of public importance under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, including suo moto cases. Furthermore, the Human Rights Cell of the Court continues to function with the same zeal and fervor, as before. The Cell is primarily for the benefit of poor, deprived and vulnerable individuals and sections of society, who suffer a violation of their fundamental right but lack access to justice. In most of the cases, the grievance is redressed at the initial stage and compliance report is received from the concerned agency. In rare cases though, issues are framed and the matter placed before a bench for resolution. Lately, I have directed for the establishment of Special Section in the Human Rights Cell to deal exclusively with the cases of overseas citizens.”
With a view to ensuring expeditious disposal of cases, the meeting reiterated the earlier decision of the Court that Advocates-on-Record shall be present on the day of hearing and will be required to argue the case if the counsel is not present. It was further resolved that unnecessary adjournments will not be allowed, so that delay in dispensation of justice is avoided. It was decided that a comprehensive policy will be prepared in this regard to clear the backlog of cases in the Supreme Court and grant expeditious relief to the litigant parties.
The Full Court meeting also discussed the holding of International Judicial Conference as a regular annual judicial activity. It was noted that so far six Conferences (4 National and 2 International) have been organized. It was decided that this year the event should be held as an International Judicial Conference to provide a forum to the stakeholders of justice sector to share experiences and evolve strategies for addressing the problems being faced by the judicial system. A Committee comprising five senior most Judges of the Supreme Court was constituted to take necessary decisions/steps for holding of the “International Judicial Conference 2014” in the month of April 2014 in a befitting manner.
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