Chief Justice Saqib Nisar on Wednesday said the country’s justice system was the “best in the world”. Speaking at an event organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in Islamabad, Justice Nisar said the Constitution fully guarantees equal rights and freedom for all citizens, irrespective of creed, caste or religion.
However, he also acknowledged the need for legal reforms in Pakistan.
Records show there were more than 42,000 cases pending before the SC in November 2018, with an increase of 2,125 over a one-year period.
According to the fortnightly Summary Statement of Case Institution, Disposal & Pendency, the number of under-litigation cases in the apex court stood at 42,254 on November 30, 2018.
During Justice Nisar’s 20-month tenure as chief justice, almost 8,000 cases have been added to the litigations pending in the apex court.
Overall, there has been a 100 percent increase in the backlog of SC cases since 2013, when the number of pending cases was 20,480.
In 2001, the number of pending cases was 13,070 and the figure has steadily increased with each passing year.
In the 14 years from 2003 to 2016, the number of pending cases, respectively, was 20,031; 27,614; 14,984; 13,724; 15,186; 17,754; 18,359; 20,234; 20,228; 20,314; 20,480; 22,979; 27,639; and 32,744.
On the other hand, the SC decided 16,897 cases from September 6, 2017, until June 30, 2018.
While CJP Nisar remained particularly active in matters related to maladministration and public interest, he did previously admit failure in putting his house – the judiciary – in order.
Published in Daily Times, January 17th 2019.