30-03-2019

March   30,   2019

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

STATEMENT OF

Syed Amjad Shah, Vice-Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council

 

Since the Press Release dated 29-03-2019 issued by the Secretary, Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan in respect of meeting of Delegation of Representatives of the Bar Councils/Bar Associations held on 28-03-2019, does not reflect detail of matters deliberated upon and discussed by the Delegation with His Lordship the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Syed Amjad Shah, Vice-Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council, who was heading the delegation, has issued the following Statements:-

 

“The following delegation comprising of representatives of Bar Councils/Bar Associations headed by the Vice-Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council called on His Lordship the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan on Thursday, the 28th March, 2019 at 03:00 p.m. in Supreme Court Building, Islamabad when the Hon’be Mr. Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Judge, Supreme Court was also present:-

 

(1)        Syed Amjad Shah,

Vice-Chairman,

Pakistan Bar Council.

 

(2)        Chaudhry Azmatullah,

Secretary,

Supreme Court Bar Association.

 

(3)        Mr. Shah Nawaz Ismail Gujjar,

Vice-Chairman,

Punjab Bar Council.

 

(4)        Mr. Saeed Khan,

Vice-Chairman,

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council.

 

(5)        Haji Attaullah Langove,

Vice-Chairman,

Baluchistan Bar Council.

 

(6)        Mr. Haroon-ur-Rashid,

Vice-Chairman, Islamabad Bar Council.

 

(7)        Mr. Iftikhar Ibrahim Qureshi,

Chairman, Executive Committee,

Punjab Bar Council.

 

(8)        Mr. Muhammad Azam Khan,

Chairman, Executive Committee,

Sindh Bar Council.

 

(9)        Mr. Haq Nawaz Khan Shangla,

Chairman, Executive Committee,

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council.

 

 

 

 

(10)      Mr. Javed Saleem Shorish,

Chairman, Executive Committee,

Islamabad Bar Council.

 

(11)      Mr. Muhammad Aqil,

President,

High Court Bar Association, Karachi.

 

(12)      Raja Inam Ameen Minhas,

President,

High Court Bar Association, Islamabad.

 

(13)      Mr. Ahmed Farooq Khattak,

Member, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council.

 

(14)      Mr. Fayaz Ahmed Anjum Jandran,

Member, Islamabad Bar Council.

 

(15)      Mr. Munir Ahmed Bhatti,

Member, Punjab Bar Council.

 

2.         The Delegation discussed the following matters with His Lordship the Hon’ble Chief Justice/Chairman, National Judicial Policy Making Committee:-

 

(i)     Decisions of the National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) regarding establishment of Model Courts at District level for conducting trials on day to day basis and in respect of Section 22A and 22B of the Criminal Procedure Code as to entertainment of application for registration of RIR’s with reference to reservation being expressed by the Bar.

 

(ii)    Prescription of parameters by the Supreme Court for exercising its powers under Article 184(3) of the Constitution by way of amendments in the Supreme Court Rules, 1980 as earlier demanded by the Pakistan Bar Council;

 

(iii)    Effective enforcement of Article 209 of the Constitution for meaningful accountability of superior judiciary and expeditious disposal of References/ Complaints against Judges of superior Courts filed with the Supreme Judicial Council.

 

(iv)    Functioning of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan and amendments in the Judicial Commission of Pakistan Rules, 2010 as proposed by the Pakistan Bar Council;

 

3.         The Vice-Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council, being head of the Delegation, apprised the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan/Chairman, National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) about serious reservations and concerns of the legal fraternity upon the decision of the NJPMC in respect of Sections 22A and 22B Cr.PC., whereby the aggrieved persons have been required to approach the Superintendent of Police in case their applications for registration of FIR, is not entertained by the SHO which would amount to exploitation of the aggrieved persons at the hands of Police that generally is known for accesses towards general public. He also said that while taking the decision of such a vital importance, the NJPMC did not feel it appropriate to take on board the Bar Councils and Bar Associations which are important stake

 

 

holders. He, therefore, placed before the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan, the unanimous demand of the legal fraternity for reversal of decision taken by the NJPMC and restoration of the previous practice as to entertainment of applications under Section 22A and 22B of the Cr.PC. at the earliest. He also placed before the Hon’ble Chief Justice the grave concerns of the Bar regarding establishment of Model Courts for hearing the cases of Murder Trials in hasty manner which may frustrate the basic object of dispensing justice.

 

4.         In respect of other points of agenda he also emphasized for acceptance of long standing demand of the Bar as to prescription of parameters for exercising of powers by the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution as it is of the view that the Supreme Court should sparingly exercise said powers confining only to the cases pertaining to enforcement of fundamental rights to maintain the principle of trichotomy of powers and thus requested that the Supreme Court may kindly amend the Supreme Court Rules, 1980 for prescribing parameters for exercising such powers.

 

5.         While placing the concerns of the legal fraternity before the Hon’ble Chief Justice regarding delay in disposal of References/Complaints against Judges of the superior Courts, filed with the Supreme Judicial Council, he emphasized, in line with demand of the Bar Council, for the effecting and meaningful accountability of Members of the Judiciary and expeditious disposal of References/Complaints against them filed with the Supreme Judicial Council and also making public the information regarding number of References/Complaints pending and decided and further that if once a Reference/Complaint is filed against a Judge, the Judge concerned should not be allowed to perform his judicial functions until and unless the Reference/Complaint against him is decided in his favour. He also placed before the Hon’ble Chief Justice the reservations of the Bar in respect of functioning of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan which as per its present composition, the majority of its Members belongs to Judiciary and thus generally it takes decisions on majority basis which often do not reflect the views and aspiration of its minority Members from the Bar. He, therefore, requested the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan for acceptance of proposal of the Pakistan Bar Council in respect of amendments in the “Judicial Commission of Pakistan Rules, 2010”.

 

6.         Some other Members of the Delegation also expressed their views on the above issues which the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan heard very patiently.

 

7.         In response, His Lordship the Hon’ble Chief Justice apprised the Members of the delegation about the background and the circumstances which necessitated the decision of the NJPMC in respect of entertainment of applications under 22A and
 

22B of the Cr.P.C. and establishment of Model Courts which perhaps has not been properly understood. His Lordship informed that the NJPMC after considering different statistics placed before it and pondering upon the relevant aspects of the matter and keeping in view the “YOUNAS ABBAS CASE”, which now is law of the land and is binding upon all concerned, the NJPMC resolved to evolve the complaint redressal mechanism which in no way has altered or amended Sections 22A and 22B of Cr.PC. which still hold the field and Justices of Peace still enjoy their statutory powers. In fact, another forum of SP (Complaints) has been created while keeping intact the powers of Justices of Peace. He further informed that the mechanism so evolved will be monitored by AIG’s and even the IG’s of Police. He further said that if the SP (Complaints) does not take any decision on a complaint the aggrieved person will be at liberty to approach the Justice of Peace.

 

8.         Regarding establishment of Model Courts for hearing and deciding Murder Trials, the Hon’ble Chief Justice apprised that members of the Bar may be aware that previously the murder trials were used to be decided within three days but somehow the said practice, with the passage of time, has been discontinued with the result of piling up of the cases. He further emphasized that the continuous trial system is necessary for early disposal of murder trials. The initial experience of establishment of Model Courts in Punjab proved to be highly satisfactory and commendable for timely deciding of murder trials and so it is expected that expansion of said Courts in other parts of the Country would give good results of expeditious disposal of cases.

 

9.         The Hon’ble Chief Justice was of the view that since both the matters regarding entertainment of applications for registration of FIR and that of the Model Courts would be new experience that may create some temporary problems but we should give some reasonable time to see their positive results.

10.       Regarding the matter of prescription of parameters for exercising powers by the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, the Hon’ble Chief Justice apprised that after assuming the charge as Chief Justice of Pakistan, he had a Full Court meeting where the matter was discussed at length. He assured that we are already in the process of structuring the same and will do something finally at the earliest possible keeping in view the proposals and aspirations of Members of the Bar.

 

11.       In respect of Article 175A of the Constitution regarding appointment of Judges to superior Courts, the Hon’ble Chief Justice said that since the system has been prescribed under the Constitution any change therein could be brought about only by the Legislation. He also traced history of the system of appointment of Judges right from the pre-independence days which culminated to present constitutional

 

position which has broaden the spectrum of the forum responsible for appointment of Judges. This is an evolution process and with the passage of time it will be more progressive. Regarding amendments in the Judicial Commission of Pakistan Rules, 2010, he himself has proposed some proposals besides that of the Pakistan Bar Council for which the Judicial Commission of Pakistan earlier constituted a Committee in its full meeting which since needs re-constitution will be re-constituted by full Judicial Commission in its next meeting, which would be convened at the earliest possible.

 

12.       Apprising the participants about the enforcement of Article 209 of the Constitution, the Hon’ble Chief Justice informed that there is no pendency of References/Complaints against Judges of the superior Judiciary with the Supreme Judicial Council except for 2/3 cases whereas all other pending cases have already been disposed of. He assured that in future as soon as some Complaint/Reference with substance, is received that will be attended to and taken up for hearing and decision by the Supreme Judicial Council without delay.

 

13.       The Vice-Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council thanked the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan for giving patient hearing to Member of the Delegation and giving them a detail appraisal about the matters under discussion, as detailed above. He however, added that since the matter regarding decision of NJPMC in respect of Sections 22A and 22B of Cr.PC. is of serious concern for the Bar, it will be appreciated if the NJPMC decides to reverse the same for ameliorating the hardships of aggrieved persons.

 

14.       However, after discussion a proposal was given by Members of the Bar that the requirement of going to the SP (Complaints) should be made optional-either the aggrieved person may go to the SP (Complaints) or the Justice of Peace.

 

15.       The Hon’ble Chief Justice assured that since he is not in a position to take any decision singly, the proposal would be placed before the NJPMC in its next meeting to be held as early as possible. The Vice-Chairman, PBC, however, requested the Hon’ble Chief Justice that it will be appreciated if the meeting of NJPMC is convened possibly within a weeks time. The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan agreed with the proposal of the Vice-Chairman, PBC that decision of the NJPMC regarding entertainment of applications under Section 22A and 22B of Cr.PC. shall not take effect retrospectively.

 

16.       It was also agreed that for better co-ordination between bench and the Bar monthly meetings of representatives of the Bar with the Hon’ble Chief Justice would be arranged”.

 

 

SECRETARY