LAHORE - Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani has said the dream of true democracy will never be realised if constitutional values are not protected and regarded.

These values included supremacy of the Constitution and protection of democracy, rule of law, independence of judiciary, provision of affordable justice and protection of minorities’ rights in the country, the chief justice pointed out this speaking at the inaugural ceremony of ‘smart identity cards’ for lawyers on Saturday.

The ceremony held at Punjab Bar Council was also attended by Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and other judges of the court. Chairman Nadra Imtiaz Tajwar was also present on the occasion.

Chief Justice Jillani maintained that if the constitutional values were not protected, the country will have to endure traditional democracy. He said the bar and the bench were part and parcel for the judicial system and dispensation of justice. He said the judiciary could not dispense justice without professional cooperation of the lawyers. Support of other state pillars was also critical to ensure provision of justice, he added.

Justice Bandial said the role of bar was imperative in the disposal of cases as judges could not deliver judgments without assistance of bar and quality of decisions also revolved on the quality of arguments advance by the lawyers.

He said the district judiciary had successfully achieved the target set by National Judicial Policy Making Committee for clearing the backlog of cases and it was a healthy sign that 35 districts of the province cleared backlog of old cases and only district of Lahore was lagging behind in this regard. He stressed that city of Lahore by virtue of its importance should be a role model for other districts.

Justice Bandial stated that about 50 percent of cases could see light of the day through administrative measures like categorization, distribution of cases etc. and bifurcation of Lahore courts into two Sessions Courts was a step with this end in view.

It was purely an administrative matter for better management of cases and not meant for the division of bar, he dispelled an impression taken by the legal fraternity. He hailed the gesture of bar by saying no to culture of strikes.

Chief Justice also lauded the efforts of Punjab Bar Council with the assistance of Nadra for issuance of smart cards to advocates which will help eliminate fake lawyers who were a stigma on the face of the bar.