KARACHI: The International Council of Jurists (ICJ) has conferred the prestigious and world-renowned “International Jurists Award - 2012” on Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, in recognition of his contribution in the field of administration of justice.
The ceremony will be held in London on May 28 in which the award will be presented by Rt. Hon. Lord Phillips, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in the presence of chief justices, law ministers, members of parliament, bar leaders, law teachers and journalists from different countries who have been invited for the prestigious occasion.
The award is a regular feature of the International Council of Jurists and some of the earlier recipients include Mrs. Justice Rosalyn Higgins, President of the International Court of Justice; The Rt. Lord Phillips, Chief Justice of United Kingdom, Ms. Justice Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada; Justice Awn S. Al-Khasawneh, Vice President of International Court of Justice, etc.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan had put up a great resistance against the former military dictator and also became the inspiring icon for the historical movement of restoration of judiciary and in the year 2007, he was also awarded 'The Medal of Freedom', by the Harvard Law School Association.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that provision of expeditious and inexpensive justice to all segments of the society is the first and foremost priority of the judiciary as provided in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
He was addressing a two-day meeting of the National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee held on 27-28th April 2012 in the Committee Room of the Sindh High Court Karachi.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan who is also Chairman National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee (NJPMC) presided over the meeting.
In his introductory remarks in the meeting, the Chief Justice stated that undoubtedly, the Judges are making extra efforts to meet this constitutional requirement and after implementation of the National Judicial Policy visible improvements have been noticed in the disposal of cases.
Besides Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the meeting was attended by Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan, Chief Justice Federal Shariat Court, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Chief Justice High Court of Balochistan, Justice Mushir Alam, Chief Justice High Court of Sindh, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Chief Justice Lahore High Court and Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, Chief Justice Peshawar High Court.
Justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman, Chief Justice Islamabad High Court, Justice Muhammad Azam Khan, Chief Justice Supreme Court of AJ&K, Justice Rana Muhammad Arshad Khan, Chief Judge Supreme Appellate Court Gilgit-Baltistan, Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mughal, Chief Justice High Court of AJ&K, and Justice Raja Jalal-ud-Din, Chief Justice Chief Court Gilgit-Baltistan attended the meeting as observers on special invitation of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
Earlier the performance of the District Judiciary was reviewed in the NJPMC meeting. The statistics presented by the District & Sessions Judges showed that the District Judiciary of all the four provinces performed very well and more than 90% old cases have been decided after enforcement of Policy.
The District Judiciary Balochistan in particular did very well. It is currently poised to decide any civil or criminal case within a period of four to six months from the date of filing of a suit or complaint, which is a remarkable achievement.
In the same way, the District Judiciary of other provinces and Islamabad has also decided a large number of cases and there are number of Sessions Divisions where no old case is pending adjudication. The committee was informed that at the time of launching National Judicial Policy the judge case ratio was 1:1860 and now after implementation of Policy and strict monitoring the judge case ratio has been decreased considerably.
In Balochistan the judge case ratio is 1:32 and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 1:293, in Sindh 1:309 which is reasonable. In Punjab 1:1020 and Islamabad Capital Territory is 1:1392, though this figure is higher as compare to other provinces; however, considerably less than the pendency when the Policy was launched i.e. 1:1860.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan and members of the National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee highly appreciated the hard work performed by the District Judiciary and praised the District and Sessions Judges of Peshawar, Karachi West, and Islamabad for showing good results.
The committee decided that the number of the judges of the district judiciary be immediately increased in order to allay the concerns of an ordinary litigant and to meet the challenges of growing population and economy. It is further decided that federal and provincial governments shall make financial allocations for the increase in the strength of judges including allied staff and related infrastructure in the forthcoming budget.
The committee observed that another factor for delayed disposal of cases is the scattered courts of special federal and provincial Tribunals/Courts. Therefore it is decided that such courts/tribunals be conveniently located in single judicial complex in every city. This will provide justice under one-roof for the convenience of the litigant, as well as, the bar and will go a long way in reducing unnecessary delays caused due to lawyers attending to various courts located at different places in a city.
The committee observed that cases related to public revenues are not properly pursued which occasioned in losses of public money. It was decided that efforts should be made by courts to decide such cases within a period of six months in order to meet the constitutional requirements. The Chief Justice of Pakistan directed that in next fifteen days all High Courts and District Courts should identify all public revenue cases and fix them for urgent hearing.
The committee also considered the jail inspection reports furnished by the District & Sessions Judges and asked the concerned authorities to improve the living condition in jails and address all the problems highlighted by the District & Sessions Judges during their fortnightly visits.

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