ISLAMABAD   -   Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khan Khosa on Saturday regretted that legal reforms are not among the priorities of Parliament and observed that the dispensation of justice is a shared responsibility.

He said that judges of no other country are doing as much work as that of Pakistan and hence they cannot be further asked for ‘doing more’.

Chief Justice Khosa was addressing, as the chief guest, to the participants of the conference Expeditious Justice Initiative held at Federal Judicial Academy.

He said that besides the judiciary, the Parliament and Executive have to act more responsibly for bringing improvement in the justice system of the country.

It is pertinent to mention here that several reports and recommendations of Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan have been sent to Ministry of Law and Justice.

The chief justice lamented that these recommendations and amendments have not been presented in the parliament to improve the judicial system.

He said a total of 3,000 judges are appointed in the country and they announced 3.4 million judgments last year. “What more can the judges do?" he observed.

He said that the Supreme Court of US wraps up 80 to 90 cases in a year and similarly Supreme Court in UK wraps up 100 cases in a year while the Supreme Court of Pakistan wrapped up 26,000 cases last year.

He said that the initiative of model courts has been taken in order to ensure delivery of expeditious justice to the people and it is the responsibility of every organ of the state to work towards the dispensation of justice expeditiously.

Appreciating the performance of judges of model courts, he said the model trial courts will not grant adjournments in order to ensure timely conclusion of cases.

“If the lawyer cannot be present, his junior will be appointed and if the plaintiff is not present an alternative way will be found.”

Justice Khosa added there are certain laws which need to be revisited including anti-terrorism act.

He said that the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) can be applied to anything under the sun. From theft to rape, this law can be applied to any crime in the country, he added.

“The Supreme Court created a seven-judge bench to review the ATA and a judgment has been reserved on the matter, so I will not say more — but clarifying the ATA should have been the parliament's job."

"It is the state's responsibility to provide cheap and swift justice to the people. Various experiments have been done in the past to lessen the span of time taken to rule on cases.”

The chief justice at one point remarked that since the day he became a judge, his mission has been to wrap cases up swiftly.

"People at the bar council used to call me and my friends the 'junoon group' [the impassioned]," he recalled.

The parliament should look over laws to see how judicial review can be made better than before.

"Why are inheritance claim made on the basis of police reports?" he asked. "If NADRA was to compile family trees, people would be able to get claim certificates on the push of a button, eliminating millions of man-hours of court work,” he remarked.

"I salute the judges that provide swift justice to the people," the chief justice said in conclusion to his address.

The conference was attended by chief justices of high courts, judges of model courts, police officials and others.

Director General (DG) Model Courts Sohail Nasir briefed that a total of 116 model courts are established in the country. These courts decided 1464 criminal cases in ten days. He said 24 model courts in Balochistan decided 287 cases, 27 model courts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa decided 387 cases.

He further briefed that 36 model courts in Punjab decided 545 cases, 27 model courts in Sindh decided 191 cases and 2 model courts in Islamabad decided 54 cases. He also acknowledged the role of all stakeholders in the performance of model courts.