• Sun. May 21st, 2023

384,000 cases pending in SC, 1.8m in district courts, says BHC CJ

LAHORE: Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan has revealed said that 384,000 cases are pending in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and more than 18 lakh are yet to be decided by the district courts of the country.

He was speaking at the two-day judicial conference on arbitration settlement of international disputes, which started here on Saturday.

The BHC CJ said: “We need to understand that settlement of disputes is very important, because it is not appropriate to deal with commercial matters in the traditional way”.

He said: “If our judges work day and night, even then it is not possible to deal with such a large number of cases.” He admitted “we are also reluctant to fully adopt ADR. Time demands that now we have to adapt ourselves according to the times.”

On the first day of the conference, Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti, Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan, former chief justice of Supreme Court Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, former Supreme Court judge Mushir Alam, Justice Shahid Jamil Khan of LHC, Justice Jawad Hassan, Justice Asim Hafeez, Justice Abid Hussain Chatha, Islamabad High Court’s Justice Babar Sattar, Peshawar High Court’s Justice Syed Muhammad Atiq Shah and Sindh High Court’s Justice Yousaf Ali Saeed and LHC Registrar Irfan Ahmad Saeed participated.

LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti said in his address that the importance of ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) could not be denied in any way, because the number of cases in our courts was increasing day by day. “Yes, our judges are doing their best despite limited resources, but it is not humanly possible to decide such a large number of cases,” the chief justice said and added that there were more pending cases in the district judiciary than capacity.

He said that judges in district judiciary were trying day and night to make the best decisions.

He said it was responsibility of the state to ensure provision of favourable environment for delivery of speedy justice.

He said the LHC had introduced the admin courts in the district judiciary, thanks to which the burden of the courts had been reduced.

He said the first commercial court of Pakistan had been established in Lahore, saying that the amendments made to the Commercial Court Act in Punjab were in the final stages of approval.

About implementation of modern technology in the Punjab judiciary, the LHC CJ said that the use of digitalization had been emphasised in the LHC and the district judiciary of Punjab.

Cases were automated, thanks to the case flow management system in the Lahore High Court.

He said the LHC website and mobile application was also meeting the modern need.

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