The fundamental problem that has made our judicial system both licentious and obstinate is monetary corruption. This is plaguing the justice system and has swallowed it up from the ground up, or so the public thinks. Since joining the legal profession, I have not seen a single serious will to reduce the threat of corruption, and the result is a pernicious justice system that has made it redundant in the eyes of the general public and stubborn to the law and the constitution that they are. required to join. This despite the fact that many are those who strive to dispense justice with a sense of duty.
The question is why corruption on such a large scale is rampant and the simple answer is that those responsible for it have never been held accountable for their actions. Inaction on the part of the judiciary or those who administer it has rendered the notion of accountability both chimerical and iniquitous. The senior management of the judiciary must take strong measures against corruption and must set examples of corrupt judicial officers.
The need of the hour is to look at the justice system from the perspective of the plebeians, and then take action accordingly, so that an exemplary justice system can emerge. Inaction raises questions even at the highest levels of the judiciary. Although there are many issues other than corruption that require attention, I submit that it remains the greatest challenge facing the justice system today.
The second major problem regarding the dispensation of justice is the lack of training and knowledge required for the justice system to resolve cases in a careful and fair manner. There is no proper system that reviews the backlog of cases. Even judges and their staff do not care or lack the will on their part to deliver justice quickly. There is no system in place that regularly questions judges about insufficient and unnecessary delay in deciding cases. And there is no criterion that recognizes the effectiveness of a particular judge in promoting the rapid availability of justice.
In a sense, judges do not see it as their job to free the public from a rotten and ineffective justice system. Although in the past, a few orders against arrears and delays were made, they turned out to be merely momentary and without long-term goals or milestones. We often hear about the scarcity and unavailability of adequate facilities and resources. Arguably, much can be done even with the resources currently available – but it will take sincerity on the part of those in charge of affairs and a general ambition on the part of every member to make the justice system work for ordinary people. .
The manner and quality of training and discipline are essential for an organization or institution to work to its maximum potential. And this is especially true for institutions that care for ordinary citizens, and whose existence plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the state and the public order system. A glance at the operation of our justice system tells us that unprofessional attitudes are widespread. Although there are exceptions, most of the time the quality of work has been ruined and ordinary people have lost faith in the justice system.
The depoliticization of judges is seen as a benchmark and emblem of neutrality and is one of the key factors by which a decision is judged or tested. If a judge pursues his political ideas, he may cause an injustice and his judgment may be contaminated by bias or a soft corner. There are many times when you can find people who criticize the justice system under this pretext where they faced injustice only because political inclination tempted the judge to decide in a particular way. Another aspect of the problem is that judges have political affiliations with different leaders or institutions – even when in office. This can lead to massive injustices or sometimes decisions that even upset constitutional principles. Hence the need to depoliticize the judiciary.
To begin to fix Pakistan’s justice system and restore the principles of fairness, law and justice, how it is failing ordinary people must be brought back into focus.