DASKA - Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that judiciary is playing an instrumental role in ensuring supremacy of the constitution and rule of law in the country.

The chief justice addressed members of Daska Bar Association and a divisional convention of the lawyers at a local hotel under the auspices of Sialkot District Bar Association (DBA) on Saturday. He lauded efforts of the lawyers for the revival of judiciary as a result of which the judiciary was working freely and according to the constitution.

The chief justice said few years back on same day (October 12) judiciary and democracy were trampled by a dictator but nobody would dare sabotage the judicial and democratic system in future as the lawyers and the civil society will not allow any effort to abrogate the constitution or derail democratic system in Pakistan to succeed in the future.

He said the lawyer community, besides members of civil society across the country, had rendered great scarifies for the revival of judiciary and democracy and judiciary would continue to fulfil its responsibility towards supremacy of the constitution and rule of law in the country. Justice Chaudhry said he was glad to see the lawyers’ passion for democratic and judicial values. “The dignity of the judiciary will be protected no matter how great sacrifice we are required to render”. He said that with the struggle and sacrifices of the members of the Bench and Bar, the nation was able to have an independent judiciary in the country.

The chief justice said Article 9 provides protection of basic rights of the common man and the courts were working for ensuring these rights to the citizens and hearing cases about the law and order situation in Karachi and Balochistan for the same purpose.

“We may have certain shortcomings in our performance but with the support and cooperation of the legal community, we would certainly be able to overcome the same. The public aspirations and expectations are very high from the institution of administration of justice.

The people acknowledge your unprecedented role in the maintenance of rule of law and restoration democratic dispensation in the country”, he told the lawyers.

“It is the fearless support of the judicial independence by the Bar that gives hope in the future for the supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law”, the chief said. “The successful Lawyers’ Movement has now imposed a great responsibility on the Bench and Bar to respond to the aspirations of the people in dispensation of inexpensive and expeditious justice. The courts at all tiers are working hard to achieve the targets set out by the National Judicial Policy. The wholehearted support and cooperation are required from the bars to achieve these targets. However, since the implementation of the policy, the output of the district courts is very encouraging.”

The number of cases pending before the district judiciary is much higher than the Supreme Court and High Courts. The ratio of the new cases is increasing with growing rate of population. As much as 90 percent of cases are pending with the district courts and the remaining 10 percent are pending with the Supreme Court and High Courts,“ he informed the attendants.

Justice Jawad A Khawaja and Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial also spoke on the occasion. Daska Bar President Chaudary Faqir Saan presented the address of welcome and highlighted some problems confronted by the lawyer community in Daska. Earlier, the chief justice along with LHC CJ Bandial and Justice Jawad S Khawaja inaugurated a Judicial Complex in Daska. CJ Chaudhry also met with several delegations of the lawyers in Sialkot.