ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar Saturday chaired a meeting of the chairmen and presiding officers of all the administrative tribunals and special courts (both federal and provincial) here at the Supreme Court building.
The meeting was attended by Federal Shariat Court Chief Justice Sheikh Najam-ul-Hassan, Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi, High Court of Balochistan Chief Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanazai, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Yahya Afridi, and Chief Justice High Court of Sindh Ahamed Ali M. Sheikh.
Justice Muhammad Yawar Ali, Senior Puisne Judge Lahore High Court and Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, former Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan / Member Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) also attended the meeting on special invitation. Secretary NJPMC/LJCP Dr Muhammad Raheem Awan convened the meeting, said a press release.
The high court chief justices informed the meeting about institution, disposal and pendency of cases, and status of vacant posts in the administrative tribunals / special courts in 2017.
The High Court of Balochistan chief justice informed the meeting that in 2017 the disposal rate of administrative tribunals / special courts was higher than the institution rate.
The LHC chief justice suggested that the location of all ex-cadre courts might be shifted to divisional headquarters, ex-cadre courts be entrusted with ordinary cases, the ex-cadre courts might be brought under the supervisory control of high courts and the infrastructure of ex-cadre courts be improved.
He said that the ex-cadre council had been formed for interaction with presiding officers of ex-cadre courts.
The PHC chief justice informed the meeting that the PHC had appointed an administrative judge to supervise the performance of administrative tribunals / special courts and to assess their needs. He further stated that the performance benchmark of one court could not be equated with that of another court as progress parameters of one court were different from the other.
He said in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa work of more than one special court had been assigned a single judge for effective utilization of human resource. Similarly, a special judge toured various areas for adjudication.
He suggested that the presiding officers of special courts should have administrative control of their staff and similarly, the administrative tribunals / special courts should be brought under administrative purview of the high court.
The High Court of Sindh chief justice stated that the vacant posts of presiding officers of administrative tribunals might be filled upon the advice of the chief justice as some times the special judges were appointed by the federal and provincial governments after long delays.
Similarly, he said, the power of appointments in administrative tribunals / special courts should be given to the high court. He also said the number of prosecutors in special courts might be increased.
Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, former Supreme Court judge / Member LJCP/Chairman National Industrial Relations Commission (NIRC), informed the meeting that vacant posts in NIRC had been filled. He suggested that the vacant post of Member NIRC should be filled within two months, while the appointment of staff in NIRC should be made through judiciary.
He thanked the Chief Justice of Pakistan for inviting and speaking to the special courts' presiding officers, which would give a message to the special judges that they were part of the judiciary.
The CJP said the chairmen and presiding officers of the administrative tribunals / special courts were part and parcel of adjudicature. He emphasized that the special courts should work with passion, devotion and in accordance with law in meeting targets and the staff shortage should not be an obstacle.
Furthermore, he emphasized that after hearing arguments, judgements should be passed in a month.
The CJP stated that the judiciary was an important pillar of the state and the state would be at loss if that pillar was not able to work. He sad he took up the issue of the disposal rate of administrative tribunals / special courts in NJPMC meeting on May 13, 2017 and consequently this meeting had been called.
The CJP asked Secretary LJCP Dr Muhammad Raheem Awan to present the institution, disposal and pendency status of the administrative tribunals / special courts for 2017 and the courts, which were under performing, were directed to improve their performance. He said he would monitor the performance of administrative tribunals / special courts.
He said the issue of vacant posts in administrative tribunals / special courts had been taken up on the judicial side in the Supreme Court and a number of slots had been filled. In case the presiding officers of administrative tribunals / special courts had any issues regarding their pay, perks and privileges then the same might be communicated through high courts, he added.
The CJP said the infrastructure of administrative tribunals / special courts required improvement. All the special courts should be located at one place, and moreover, their staff should be under the administrative control of the presiding officers. He directed the LJCP secretary for studying various federal and provincial laws for proposing law reforms for bringing administrative tribunals / special courts under administrative control of the high courts. APP