- Says e-courts have addressed problems faced by litigants to a great deal
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed has said that the Supreme Court (SC) and the superior judiciary are open to talks with lawyers to devise effective criteria for the elevation of judges to the top court, it was reported on Monday.
Addressing a ceremony to mark the start of the new judicial year on Monday, Justice Gulzar said that the protest organised by the lawyers' community on September 9 against the appointment of junior judges to the SC was "uncalled for".
The top judge pointed out that the reason for holding the protest by lawyers on SC premises last week is unknown.
He maintained no one from the legal fraternity approached him regarding the issue of the appointment of judges despite the fact that he is always ready to meet them for an amicable solution to their problems.
E-courts beneficial in addressing problems
The CJP said that e-courts have addressed problems faced by litigants to a great deal. Justice Gulzar added that the video-link facility also played a key part in ensuring smooth operation of judicial functions during the Covid pandemic.
He mentioned that last year, the main reason for the backlog of cases was adjournments given to advocates who were unable to reach Islamabad due to various reasons. In addition, he said the coronavirus outbreak also affected the rate of disposal of cases.
The chief justice said that during the outgoing judicial year, the SC decided 12,968 cases, including 6,797 civil petitions, 1,916 civil appeals, 459 civil review petitions, 2,625 criminal petitions, and 681 criminal appeals.
He said that a total of 45,644 cases were pending, while 20,910 fresh cases were instituted, the CJP said.
On September 10, lawyers went on strike and boycotted court proceedings against the appointment of junior judges to the SC.
Lawyers boycotted the court proceedings on the call of various lawyers’ bodies including the Supreme Court Bar Association, Pakistan Bar Council, Sindh High Court Bar Association, and Sindh Bar Council.
The bench and the bar have been drifting away from each other following differences over the appointment of judges to the apex court that also led to protests by the legal fraternity at various levels.
Due to the strike, counsels did not represent the petitioners, and litigants faced difficulties. Due to the strike, hearings of cases were adjourned.