Pakistani judges told to check corruption in judiciary


Islamabad : Taking serious note of reports of corruption in the subordinate judiciary, Pakistan’s top legal policy-making committee has asked the high court authorities to frequently conduct surprise visits to lower courts to check it.

Support TwoCircles

The National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC), at its meeting here Saturday presided over by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, called for “zero tolerance” towards corruption in the lower courts.

It said deviation from the law in court judgments was a result of corrupt practices, Dawn said Sunday.

The committee, which has been established to coordinate and harmonise judicial policy within the court system and to ensure its implementation, expressed concern over the delay in disposing cases and observed that the bar and the bench were equally responsible for this.

The delay in implementing the automation plan of the Supreme Court, the Federal Shariat Court and the high courts was also discussed, with the committee urging early completion of the project.

It also discussed the trial of minors under the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance of 2000, and decided that the high courts should direct the lower courts to prepare a checklist of every case before taking cognisance of an offence to find out whether the accused was minor or not.

In case it was determined that the accused was a minor or juvenile, the trial should be conducted in accordance with the ordinance.

In the context of rising prices, the committee observed that provincial governments were appointing price control magistrates under the Consumer Protection Act without consulting the high courts.

Thus, these magistrates had not been effective in controlling prices, the committee maintained.

Federal Shariat Court Chief Justice Haziqul Khairi, Sindh High Court Chief Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed, Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Tariq Pervez and Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Amanullah Khan attended the meeting.