Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan

                                                                 Supreme Court Building

                                        Islamabad

 

Press Release

 

 

Law & Justice Commission Publishes Annual Reports of the Courts

 

 

The Secretary, Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) and National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee (NJPMC), has launched the Annual Reports of the Courts of Pakistan. This work has been completed and published by the Commissionís Secretariat under the aegis of the Access to Justice Program of the Government of Pakistan.

 

In the countryís judicial history, for the first time, most comprehensive and detailed reports of the Supreme Court, Federal Shariat Court, four Provincial High Courts and District Courts of Pakistan have been published along with a consolidated Report on Judicial Statistics of Pakistan. Another Report on the work of Special Courts and Administrative Tribunals, which are under the administrative control of the Federal and provincial governments is also being published.

 

Under amendments made to the LJCP statute and the creation of the NJPMC under an Ordinance LXXI of 2002, the LJCP Secretariat has been entrusted with the responsibility to print the courtsí annual and periodic reports on regular basis along the same lines as the other official reports such as the Economic Survey of Pakistan, periodic reports of the State Bank and others.

 

The publication of the annual reports of the courts in Pakistan is an endeavour to ensure greater transparency and accountability in the judicial system. Judicial data/statistics indicating institution/disposal of cases and court/judge performance has been included in these reports along with organizational set up, finances and an evaluation of the performance of the institution of judiciary at the Federal/provincial levels. This is indeed a pioneering effort in the Asian-Pacific region, and even beyond.

 

The data included in the reports can be very effectively used to formulate effective policies for judicial and law and order administration in the country. The following sample statistics for the Supreme Court of Pakistan, provincial High Courts and the subordinate courts give us an idea of the increasing trend of litigation and huge workload of the courts. They also highlight the importance of strategic planning and continued efforts for delay reduction in the courts.

 

PENDING CASES IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PAKISTAN

 

Category

Pending cases on 1st Jan 2002

Institution during 2002

Total

Disposal during 2002

Pending cases on 1st Jan 2003

Petitions

8371

11472

19843

7878

11965

Appeals

4699

2375

7074

1669

5405

Total

13070

13847

26917

9547

17370

 

In the Supreme Court, the total number of pending cases increased by 4300 from 13070 cases to 17370 cases at the beginning of the year 2003. The major increase occurred due to institution of 11472 cases in the petitions category. The Supreme Court disposed more petitions than appeals during the year; however, the overall disposal was less than the fresh institution of cases in each of the two categories during 2002.

 

PENDING CASES IN HIGH COURTS/SUBORDINATE JUDICIARY OF PAKISTAN

 

Courts

Pending cases on 1st Jan 2002

Institution during 2002

Total

Disposal during 2002

Pending cases on 1st Jan 2003

BALUCHISTAN

High Court of Baluchistan

1893

7466

9359

6280

3079

Subordinate Judiciary

6029

21325

27354

22219

5135

NWFP

Peshawar High Court

16941

13569

30510

19631

10879

Subordinate Judiciary

135373

331101

466474

307400

159074

PUNJAB

Lahore High Court

67867

96959

164826

99141

65685

Subordinate Judiciary

822491

101562

1838112

927550

910562

SINDH

High Court of Sindh

89419

54476

143895

56384

87511

Subordinate Judiciary

125137

151778

276915

155358

121557

 

In the Balochistan High Court, the total pending cases increased from 1893 cases on 1st January, 2002 to 3079 cases on 1st January 2003; while the subordinate courts reduced the number of pending cases from 6029 cases on 1st January 2002 to 5135 cases on 1st January 2003.

 

In the Peshawar High Court, the total pending cases were substantially reduced from 16941 cases on 1st January, 2002 to 10879 cases on 1st January 2003. In the Sessions Courts of NWFP, the pending cases figure was reduced from 28384 cases on 1st January 2002 to 27078 cases on 1st January 2003. The figures for the Civil/Magistrates Courts increased from 106989 to 131996 despite an increase in disposal of cases from 125092 to 254432 (49 %) during the year. The total figure for pending cases rose from 135373 cases to 159074 cases at the end of the year.

 

In the Lahore High Court, the total pending cases were reduced from 67867 cases on 1st January 2001 to 65685 cases on 1st January 2003. In the subordinate courts of Punjab, the pendency figure was increased from 822491 cases to 910562.

 

In the Sindh High Court, the total pending cases were reduced from 89419 cases on 1st January, 2002 to 87511 cases on 1st January 2003. In the subordinate courts, the total of pending cases decreased from 125137 to 121557.  

 

The aforementioned data indicates that three of the four High Courts have reduced their pending cases at the end of the year; while two of the four subordinate provincial judiciaries have reduced their pending cases at the end of the year.

The NJPMC, which is headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan and includes all the other Chief Justice, namely, Chief Justice, Federal Shariat Court and Chief Justices of High Courts will use the statistics included in the reports to oversee the performance of the courts and for coordination/harmonization of judicial policy within the country. It will enable the Government and Judiciary to know the trend of litigation, accumulation of backlog and delays in disposal, so as to plan strategies for clearance of pendency and expeditious disposal of cases. This will facilitate improvement in the citizenís confidence in and access to justice.

 

It is to be noted that the current version of the Annual Reports of the Courts is for 2002. This delay was inevitable due to the pioneering nature of the effort, creating essential infrastructure and format of the reports and numerous initial problems encountered in the compilation of data/statistics. It is expected that the Annual Reports for 2003 will be published by July 2004 and the Reports for 2004 will be available in the first quarter of 2005, which will then become the regular deadline for the printing and distribution of these works.

 

The reports and judicial data/statistics is being shared with all stakeholders, in particular judges, lawyers, government functionaries, teaching/research institutions, representatives of NGOís and the civil society. Advance copies of these works have already been sent to the President and the Prime Minister. Copies have also been sent to the Chief Justices of Superior Courts of the SAARC, Asia-Pacific region, certain European and North American countries.  The reports will also be shortly available on the LJCP website www.ljcp.gov.pk for the benefit of the public as well as researchers; their hard copies can also be obtained from the Secretariat of the Law & Justice Commission in Islamabad. Citizens are encouraged and requested to send/email their suggestions for the improvement of the Annual Reports to LJCP Secretariat, situated in the Supreme Court Building, Constitution Avenue, Islamabad.

 

 

                                                                                     (Sh. Habib-ur-Rehman)

                                                                                          Deputy Secretary