LAHORE  - Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry stated on Saturday the judiciary, executive and legislature – the three main organs of the state – were all powerful within their domain, but cannot go beyond their constitutional ambit.

In his address to a roll signing ceremony at Supreme Court’s Lahore registry here, Justice Chaudhry stressed that every institution had to respect and recognise the constitutional norms.

The success and efficacy of a democratic system depended on independence of the judiciary that could not be ensured until all the state institutions cooperated and worked within their constitutional framework, he noted.

The chief justice was of the opinion that the judiciary being custodian of the constitution had been specifically equipped with the power of judicial review to check the arbitrary exercise of power by any authority or institution. He added that the Supreme Court being at the apex of the judicial hierarchy in the country and as final arbiter of constitutional and legal controversies had endeavored to bring legal and judicial reforms through prudent interpretation of laws and various landmark judgments and formulation of judicial policies.

Justice Chaudhry also observed, “A strong and independent judicial system plays an assertive and decisive role for the promotion of rule of law which was a basic substance of democracy. It is the statutory and constitutional responsibility of the judiciary to safeguard the fundamental rights and restore entitlements to their owners and grant relief to the aggrieved.”

He said the judiciary had a definite role to play for effective administration of justice for the establishment of a just society, based on the respect for law.

He said the National Judicial Policy revised from time to time, in consultation with all the stakeholders at the national and international levels set out guidelines for the judges and lawyers for prompt and fair dispensation of justice. “It is now the duty of the lawyers to follow them and facilitate the courts in securing justice at the grass-root level.”

The chief justice said the country’s judicial system enjoyed full confidence and faith of the legal fraternity, other institutions, media as well as the public at large.

He said the hard work and efficient performance of the courts had strengthened public trust in the justice system of the country and more and more people were approaching the courts for resolution of their disputes and redress of their grievances.

Justice Chaudhry meanwhile awarded licences for practice in the Supreme Court to 15 advocates. Welcoming the newly-enrolled lawyers to the apex court, the chief justice hoped that they would continue to practice law with passion and earn respect for them as well as the judiciary.

He said there was a responsibility on the lawyers to uphold the law and the people’s faith in the courts would increase with better performance.