ISLAMABAD: The opening of New Judicial Year held here on Monday in Court Room No. 1 of Supreme Court with an aim to take stock of performance of the past year and to formulate future policies to advance the cause of justice and protect the rights of people.
The opening ceremony was presided over by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk and was attended by all Judges, the Attorney General for Pakistan, the Vice Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council, the President, Supreme Court Bar Association and members of the Bar.
Addressing the full Court Reference on the eve of the start of a new judicial year Chief Justice Nasir-Ul-Mulk said that this is an event where “we renew our pledge and determination to uphold the constitution, the responsibilities of the judiciary under it and our unwavering resolve to protect, preserve and promote the fundamental rights of the people.
Each year presents us with issues both old and new, which require collective efforts for their resolution”.
He said that “this judicial year has been started with a carryover case balance of 19,932 cases, a total of 17, 491 new cases were instituted in the Supreme Court, out of which 13,872 have been disposed.
However, due to the carry over backlog of cases from the previous years, the balance of pending cases before us is a colossal 22,089. Although, we have had a very high disposal rate, our efforts still require further vigor”, he added.
“An effort to eliminate the backlog of cases is already underway in this Court and such efforts would be pursued in future with greater energy and dynamism. In the last six months we have already decided more than half of the criminal cases pending before this Court and we hope that by summer of 2015 the backlog of criminal cases would be completely wiped out”, the Chief Justice said and added that a similar effort is being planned for tackling the backlog of Constitutional, Civil, Service, Revenue and other cases, the results of which would soon become apparent in the coming months.
He said that the backlog of cases in Peshawar and Quetta registries of the apex court have piled up because no regular benches have been constituted there for quite some time and at Peshawar a carryover balance of 2171 cases and the net pendency at the end of the year is 2, 801.
While at Quetta, the carry over balance was 641 and at the end of year 1,027 cases remain pending.
Justice Nasir-Ul-Mulk said that the court was planning to constitute benches in both Peshawar and Quetta registries shortly. He said that the primary obligation of every judge is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution which should be undertaken without fear or favor, affection or ill-will. No consideration or obligation can rise above the loyalty of the Judges to both the text and spirit of the Constitution, he added.
Judges do not merely interpret the words of the constitution but also have the duty to preserve and protect it against any moves designed to defeat the scheme of the Constitution.
It has been repeatedly emphasized by this Court that no person or institution can elevate themselves above the Constitution.
Let me reemphasize, that Judiciary will not only retain its fidelity to the Constitution but will ensure that such fidelity is observed by all other functionaries of the state, the Chief Justice remarked.