ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Monday directed the food secretaries of all the provinces to submit deadline after that the poor people in their provinces would receive flour at affordable price.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and comprising Justice Athar Saeed and Justice Umar Atta Bandial was hearing a suo moto on the flour price throughout Pakistan.

Food Director Khyber Pakhtunkhwa informed that according to their study, around 5.1 million people in the province were very poor and need special assistance. He said though the provincial government is providing subsidy on the wheat but the targeted subsidy would be given to the deserving people through utility stores. They were planning to issue vouchers and people would be able to buy food items at lower prices from the utility stores. Justice Jawwad expressing dissatisfaction said, "I think the system of vouchers will not work."

Punjab Food Secretary Mohammad Aslam said that instead of food items they also wanted to facilitate people in health and education sectors. He said the Punjab government planned to set up Social Welfare Authority. "Presently the provincial government is giving Rs 25 billion as subsidy on the wheat."

The secretary said that in Punjab 19 million people are poor and the provincial government assisting them through BISP. He said that the provincial government though not providing target subsidy at present yet it would gradually shift to it. "Like other provinces we have not increased the price of flour in the Punjab and the 20-kg bag of flour is available at Rs 650 in the Ramazan bazaar at 11,352 delivery points across the province," he further told.

Sindh Secretary Sindh Saeed Ahmed Awan said that there was no issue of supply of food items and their prices in the whole province and the flour is being sold at Rs 36 per kg.

The court adjourning the case till today (Tuesday) directed the food secretaries of all provinces to submit the time after that every person living in their provinces would receive flour at affordable price.



Justice Umar Ata Bandial, judge of Supreme Court, has said that access to quick and quality justice was one of the aspects of rule of law and the application of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms was essential to alleviate courts' backlog and improve their effectiveness.

Justice Bandial expressed these views in the inaugural ceremony of a one-week training course on "Skilled-Based ADR Training" for civil judges-cum-judicial magistrates from all over Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, held here at the Federal Judicial Academy/ Centre of Excellence for Law and Judicial Education on Monday, in which he was the chief guest.

He said, "Our judicial system has been plagued by problems and those problems always hinder the speedy administration of justice. It appears that due to inadequate and delayed justice, we are not addressing the problem properly."

"Our justice system is tampered with Islamic principles of justice and there are several Quranic injunctions on speedy, easy and inexpensive dispensation of justice. In such a situation, when we have a slow dispensation of justice through our courts, then we must have to recognise the utility of ADR techniques because I think better quality of courts is associated with more frequent use of ADR justice delivery mechanisms. This suggests that ADR should be developed alongside improvements in the traditional litigation processes."

Advising the young judges of district judiciary he said, "For judges and judicial system, the most fundamental thing is to enjoy confidence of the people. Expeditious, easy and quality justice based on application of law and facts achieves confidence of the people and other institutions.

And I know quality justice requires application of mind, time and law. You must apply your mind, use your time and law, try to separate the grain from the chaff, to provide quality justice to the litigant public. Judiciary ranging from civil court to the Supreme Court is like one family and we have to strive to maintain and enhance that status of the judiciary which has risen in the aftermath of   lawyers' momentous movement for the restoration of judges of superior judiciary."