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October 7, 2019

Shortage of judges constantly increasing burden on judges: AG


October 7, 2019

KARACHI: Emphasising amendments in procedural laws, Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan on Sunday said that it is impossible for a judge to examine 50 to 60 cases daily. The issue is not with the working of judges, lawyers or litigants but it is of shortage of judges and it is constantly increasing the burden on judges.

He was speaking at the fourth National Judicial Conference organised by Justice Helpline, a non-government organization, here at a local hotel on Saturday night. Khan suggested that there should be fine on people filing frivolous cases as were in practice in the United States of America to discourage this practice.

He also said that such conferences are very helpful in spreading knowledge about legal issues and making the bond stronger between bench and bar. Nadeem Shaikh, Advocate, President of Justice Helpline, said that such conferences are aimed at building capacity of young lawyers by creating awareness of law not only in general public but also among them.

Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, Senior Puisne Judge of Sindh High Court, who was the chief guest at the event, said that the conference is not only unique but would also provide food for thought for the law framers with regard to various radical changes and amendments which are need of the time and have to be introduced in the law in connection with different walks of life. “The law nowadays is not confined to some basic structures of law only but has now enlarged itself to a number of facets which are quite technical and cumbersome as apart from having sound knowledge on various other laws also,” he said. “Gone are the days when only two or three major laws were in vogue and being practiced but nowadays one can see more than 300 laws prevailing in the country and let me be quite fair in confessing that one cannot claim oneself to be an expert in one law, what to say about the variety of laws being promulgated in the country at this moment,” he said.

He said that the total number of pending cases in the Sindh High Court on September 25, 2019 was 78,284, which include both civil and criminal cases. In 2017, the number of pending cases was 83,884 which substantially reduced to 80,335 and now it had been reduced to 78,284 on the above-mentioned date, which shows substantial disposal of cases by judges of the high court both on civil and criminal matters, he said.

Though the number of pending cases at the principal seat i.e Karachi and Larkana has slightly increased but in the year 2019 so far as the figures of Hyderabad and Sukkur are concerned, the total number of cases has considerably reduced, the Senior Puisne Judge noted.

Dr. Muhammad Raheem Awan, Federal Secretary Law & Justice Commission, said that his commission, has been introducing artificial intelligence and automation technology in legal institutions. “We will interlink all institutions of criminal justice system, including police, prisons, prosecution and courts,” he added.

Justice (retd) Shahab Sarki in his talk advised fellow lawyers to first examine case evidences and documents and not to accept frivolous cases. “They should inform litigants clearly about their case worth. We should discourage frivolous cases which will also improve the image of legal fraternity,” he said. Justice Sarki, appreciating video link technology use by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, suggested introducing this in high courts as well.

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