Crumbing Justice System of Pakistan

Letter to the Editor

I am happy to see genuine discussions and concern about the well being of Pakistan justice system. As Pakistani citizens we have witnessed the continued crumbling of the justice system in Pakistan. One reason the various insurgent forces were able to take over control of areas in FATA and Swat with such ease, was because the people were attracted to the quick justice system of the Taliban and were sick of the local FCA law, that gave them no justice or security.

Even now in KP, the people have happily resolved their age old disputes through a Government sponsored “Jirga” system, even disputes that were not resolved in court cases for many decades. Similarly there are thousands of other examples of ridiculous court judgements that reduced the trust of the people of Pakistan in the justice system.

This is because the Justice system of Pakistan, these days, is roosted by the lawyers community. The lawyers have become very powerful, getting billions of funds through bar councils grants and dictating the terms in court cases. The Judge has lost all power and is left there looking after his courts, his chambers and the many benefits the judges get from the government of Pakistan. The Judge is also victimized by the Government, and therefore Judges will never take negative action against government institutions and officers, in fear of repercussion to their job (and benefits).

Since the Pakistan justice system does not limit the number of cases a lawyer can contest, and since there is no reward for completing cases. Due to these reasons lawyers in Pakistan take on more cases than they can handle, and the Judge has to delay the case due to non-availability of powerful lawyers. Similarly, after getting the initial fee, the lawyer would stop showing interest and leave the case after a few months, forcing the client to hire a new lawyer and pay a new fee. These and many other ‘tricks’ used by the lawyers to keep cases pending in the courts for many decades have created a deadlock in the justice system of Pakistan.

My friend, a very successful barrister once told me that lawyers get benefit when two parties have a dispute, and the longer the dispute lingers on, the higher the lawyer benefits. Therefore, a lawyer will never want to end a court case and that is why lawyers love “Appeal”.

Considering these facts, I think to improve the Justice system in Pakistan we need to limit the number of cases a lawyer can handle at one time, while also limit the amount of grant money given to bar councils. Lawyers should ensure, by a new law, to be present in all their cases and should be charged a fine for every day lawyer is not present. Lawyers should also ensure to complete all their cases and should not be allowed to leave any case in between. With such rules, the lawyers will be forced to act professionally and Pakistan Justice system will greatly improve.

Engr. Shahryar Khan Baseer


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