Establishment’s interference must be resisted without fear: LHC CJ

Establishment’s interference must be resisted without fear: LHC CJ

Establishment’s interference must be resisted without fear: LHC CJ
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LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad expressed regret on Friday over the establishment’s interference in judicial matters, asserting that such interference “will come to its end very soon.”

“Establishment’s interference in the judiciary must be resisted with bravery, courage, and without fear, with the belief that this interference, God willing, will end soon,” Justice Ahmad stated during an event in Rawalpindi.

The LHC chief justice mentioned receiving complaints and letters about interference in judicial matters by “institutions” and expressed satisfaction that the judiciary was “fulfilling its responsibilities without any fear or greed.”

“We have received other similar complaints. Many are not in written form because they fear that evidence would be demanded, which would be difficult to provide,” he added.

Justice Ahmad’s remarks followed a letter from six Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges to the Supreme Court on March 25, accusing intelligence agencies of meddling in judicial affairs. The IHC judges requested Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa to convene a judicial convention to address the alleged interference by intelligence operatives.

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The six IHC judges — Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Babar Sattar, Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, Justice Tariq Mahmood Jehangiri, Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, and Justice Saman Rifat Imtiaz — wrote to the chief justice, who is also the chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

Justice Shahzad reaffirmed the judiciary’s commitment to making decisions based on law and the Constitution. He lamented the longstanding backlog of cases, some pending for 30 years, which affects the weak and marginalized segments of society.

He noted that case delays are often due to the unavailability of witnesses and mentioned consulting with high court judges to address these issues. He highlighted that overseas residents face difficulties appearing in court and often have their properties in Pakistan stolen.

The Chief Justice announced the launch of e-courts to facilitate speedy justice and reduce delays. He also emphasized the need for an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system, similar to those in other countries, to alleviate the courts’ burden and save time and money.

Justice Ahmad also mentioned the establishment of monitoring systems to track judges’ attendance and performance, and the installation of biometric systems to ensure punctuality.

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