Chief Justice of Azad Jammu & Kashmir M Azam Khan on Monday said that improved relations between the bench and the bar were imperative for the dispensation of speedy and inexpensive justice.

He was addressing a ceremony after laying the foundation stone of complex for AJK High Court and Shariat Court, Mirpur Circuit Bench at the district courts area.

Chief Justice of AJK High Court Ghulam Mustafa Mughal presided over the ceremony which was also addressed among others by Minister for Works Ch Pervez Ashraf, AJK Supreme Court Bar Association President Raja Inam Ullah, AJK High Court Bar Association President Sardar Muhammad Raaziq Khan, Mirpur District Bar Association President Muzaffar Ali Zaffar and PWD Building Division Executive Engineer Ch Inamul Haq..

The ceremony was attended by serving and retired judges of the superior and subordinate judiciary, legal fraternity from Mirpur and various other parts of AJK.

Highlighting the salient features of the Rs122.77 million project, Executive Eng Inam said that the project over a total covered area of 31,770 Sft will comprise six court rooms with chamber, a library, bar room, conference room, office for judicial staff and advocate general, waiting areas and the public toilets. The project will complete within the next two years, he announced.

Chief Justice Azam continued that the respect and honour of both the bar and the bench was linked to each other for the delivery of the speedy justice. He further said that he believed in the fact that conducive atmosphere is always imperative for the smooth performance of the professional duties by both the bench and the bar.

Referring to the appointment of judges to superior judiciary in AJK, he said that the appointments would be made purely on merit according to the law and the constitution. "We will not ignore the principal of merit during the course of appointments of the judges to the superior judiciary," he added.

The chief justice said that the components of the state including executive, legislature and the judiciary should perform keeping themselves in their respective constitutional jurisdictions by remaining on one page to ensure the good working relationship. They should ensure the supremacy of law and justice in letter and spirit, he added.

"It is the paramount duty of all the departments concerned to ensure the supremacy of law," he said, adding that only the judiciary should not be held responsible to perform the obligation.

Justice Azam assured the bar that the judiciary would continue maintaining the good precedents in the judicial history of AJK. He said that the foundation stone of a grand judicial complex will also be laid in Mirpur in December soon for houses and the offices of the judicial officers.

Addressing the ceremony, Justice Ghulam Mustafa underlined that high traditions of the historic verdicts by AJK's top judiciary in various cases would be maintained in the future.

He said that the construction work of Judicial Complex in Bhimber and the district and tehsil courts buildings in Kotli, Bhimbher, Charhoi Samani, Leepa and Hattiyaan had also started for ensuring a required comfortable infrastructure for the judicial staff, lawyers and the litigants.