Tariq Ullah Wardak
ISLAMABAD: New Judicial Year (2018-19) commenced on Monday with a ceremony held in the Supreme Court with high hopes, commitments and being fearless for dispensation of justice.
The ceremony was organised by the apex court under the chairmanship of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar. Anwar Mansoor Khan, Attorney General for Pakistan, Kamran Murtaza, Vice Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council, Pir Syed Kalim Ahmad Khurshid, President, Supreme Court Bar Association, Members of the Bar and judges of the superior courts were also present on the occasion.
The Chief Justice in his address, said it is the time for reflection on the year that has passed, for starting a new and building up on what we have achieved so far.
“It is also, I believe, a time to be hopeful, optimistic, idealistic and to set high aims for our legal community as a whole”, he added.
Unfortunately, Pakistan has deviated from Quaid’s vision. Bad governance and injustices have plagued the society, the Chief Justice maintained.
He said this can be reversed and the vision of Quaid achieved by ensuring that rule of law, transparency and accountability prevails in the country.
While addressing a full court reference on the occasion, the Chief Justice appreciated the enthusiasm showed by the public over donating funds for the dams.
He said the Supreme Court’s main task is to draw the government’s attention to the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said there was a need for the judiciary to aim higher in order to achieve bigger in the new judicial year. In order for justice to be served to the people, supremacy of law and transparency is key, Justice Nisar further said.
Talking about the number of cases in the Supreme Court, he said at the start of previous judicial year, a total of approximately 37000 cases were pending adjudication in this Court out of which near to 19000 cases were decided.
While this year, the rate of disposal was higher than the last five years, the number of pending cases nevertheless increased slightly, he added.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said, we tried, as the guardians of the Constitution, to play our part by involving ourselves in various constitutional and human rights matters either through the Court or the Human Rights Cell.
To name a few, these matters of public importance included undisclosed foreign accounts of Pakistani nationals, dual nationality of government officials and judges, non-payment of salaries to media employees, killing of members of the minority Hazara community in Quetta, inadequate medical services at various hospitals, depletion of the water table at the Katas Raj Temple and the extraction of ground water for commercial usage without payment of charges, revamping of medical, dental and law colleges, and practical implementation of Overseas Pakistanis’ right to vote via Internet-Voting.
Chief Justice said the primary concern of all these initiatives was to ensure enforcement of the various fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
We have spent enough time being complacent, now it is the time to proactively search inwards and rectify the wrongs within the legal system, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar concluded.