ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice, on Tuesday, directed the Ministry of Law and Justice to submit two-page proposals regarding judicial reforms, and asked the procedure to appoint judges in superior judiciary could be improved within two days.
The parliamentary panel, which met with Riaz Fatyana in the chair here on Tuesday, discussed various agenda items including discussion on judicial reforms, post legislative scrutiny, police reforms, and prison reforms.
The committee meeting was attended among others by Lal Chand, Muhammad Farooq Azam Malik, KishwerZehra, Muhammad Sana Ullah Khan Masti Khel, Junaid Akbar, Shunila Ruth, Chaudhry Mehmood Bashir Virk, Usman Ibrahim, Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha, Qadir Khan Mandokhail, Syed Naveed Qamar, and Aliya Kamran.
A representative of the Law Ministry briefed the committee regarding judicial reforms, relating to the recruitment of judges at high courts, prescribing the procedure and pre-qualification for their appointment.
He briefed about the existing procedure for appointment of judges in the superior judiciary. After detailed deliberations, the committee observed that there was a dire need to strengthen the parliamentary committee for recruitment of judges.
The committee also observed that the pre-qualification for appointment of judges must include the considerations regarding number of reported cases of the candidates must be mentioned and assets declaration form should also be placed before the committee.
The committee stated that the judges' appointment committee should also consider how much tax the candidate had paid during the last 10 years of his/her practice and requirement against vacant post should also be made within specific period of time. Sana Ullah Masti Khel said judicial reforms were necessary as stereotype policies were useless.
He said the whole committee agreed for judicial reforms, adding that new laws were introduced but concerned authorities were reluctant to implement old laws. Bashir Virk said the parliamentary committee to appointment judges was given only 15 days to decide the proposals referred by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, and if the committee failed to make a decision in the stipulated time, the decision of the JCP would be considered as accepted.
He said if the committee rejected the JCP proposals then the matter again would be referred back to the judicial commission and the JCP's decision would be considered as final. He said once, renowned lawyer SM Zafar had stated that prior to the 18th constitutional amendment, the procedure to appoint judges was appropriate.
The Committee considered the agenda regarding "Discussion on Judicial Reforms, Post Legislative Scrutiny, Police Reforms and Prisons Reforms" and decided that the same may be deferred till 15th July 2021. The committee considered and approved the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill 2021. The bill moved by Syed Javed Hasnain sought to bound the court to decide the civil suit filed under Section 9 and 54 of the Code within one year.
In terms of section 33 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act V of 1908), the court after the case has been heard, should pronounce judgment within one year of the final hearing. Mover Javed Hasnain said the recent judgment of the Supreme Court regarding the decision in civil/inheritance case was an eye opening.
Most of the women and weak persons hesitate to knock at the door of justice for their due right because of slow process, he added. He said the amendment was the need of the hour, so that women and weak persons and their legal heir could get their right of inheritance and property. The committee considered the bill, "The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2021" and after detailed deliberations, the committee recommended that the bill as amended may be passed by the Assembly.
The committee deferred, "The Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill, 2021 Moved by Riaz Fatyana, MNA" for consideration on 15th July 2021. The committee considered the bill, "The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Article 185) moved by Syed Javed Husnain, MNA"; and after detailed deliberations, the committee recommended that the bill may be deferred till next meeting.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021