Transfer of power complete despite all odds: CJP

Jun 10, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that the transfer of power through a democratic process has been completed peacefully in the country despite all odds.

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In his introductory remarks at a meeting of the National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC), held at Supreme Court building on Saturday, the CJP said that good governance was impossible without accountability, and that an independent judicial system ensures accountability and better public governance.

The CJP chaired the meeting and all the chief justices of high courts and the Federal Shariat Court, along with the NJPMC secretary, attended the meeting to review the performance of judicial officers deputed as DROs and ROs in the general election.

Despite several concerns shown by major political parties regarding the role of district returning officers and returning officers in the recent general election, the NJPMC expressed satisfaction on the performance of judicial officers as DROs and ROs by observing that most of applications received against them were baseless and without substance.

As per the statistics received from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), more than 800 judicial officers performed duties as DROs and ROs during the general election across the country. Total 376 applications were received against the DROs and ROs and out of them 292 were declared frivolous and baseless.

The committee was told that 248 applications were received against the DROs and ROs in Punjab, but 186 applications were rejected.

The committee showed its satisfaction that in Balochistan and the ICT, not even a single worth-considering application was received against the DROs and ROs. It is worth mentioning that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on May 24, urged the CJP to order a thorough investigation into the poll rigging allegations to save the democratic process in the country.

“Since the returning officers were working under your control, this is your responsibility to probe the allegations. This election is being termed as ROs’ election. This never happened in the history of Pakistan that ROs were blamed. If such ROs who were involved in rigging are not punished, who would take part in the next elections,” he had argued.

Meanwhile, the NJPMC in its meeting also reviewed the performance of district judiciary, particularly the old cases instituted before December 31, 2008. The committee observed that the results of the policy were magnificent, and after implementation of the policy, the district judiciary had decided 99 percent of old cases.

The committee noted that the pendency of new cases was primarily on account of continued shortage of judges and circumstances beyond control. It also reviewed the status of submission of challans and shown satisfaction that challans are being submitted timely. The committee expressed displeasure on the lukewarm response of the relevant governments on its recommendations for increasing the number of judicial officers to cope with the increasing workload on the judiciary. (Courtesy: Daily Times)