Anti-corruption courts: Neither law nor courts being obeyed: SC -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Anti-corruption courts: Neither law nor courts being obeyed: SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the appointment of judges in the Karachi and Hyderabad anti-corruption courts and sought a notification of this by today (Tuesday).

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard the case of the shortage of judges in the special courts. The deputy attorney general informed the apex court that judges had not yet been appointed at the Karachi anti-corruption court but a summary in this regard had been forwarded to the concerned authorities.

During the hearing the chief justice observed that the orders of the court were not being implemented in letter and spirit. “People involved in crimes are freed due to non-availability of judges in the anti-corruption courts,” the chief justice remarked, directing the deputy attorney general to apprise the court of the exact numbers.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing till today (Tuesday), seeking notification of the appointment of judges of the anti-corruption courts in Karachi.At the last hearing last Tuesday, the Supreme Court had directed the government to appoint judges in the Karachi and Hyderabad anti-corruption courts within three days. The deputy attorney general informed the court that there was no judge in the Karachi anti-corruption court since May 25, 2011.

The chief justice remarked that the accused walked free because of the absence of judges and courts were then blamed for the lapse. “This court has failed to understand why the government is delaying the appointments,” he observed. The court directed the authorities concerned to fill the vacant posts as soon as possible and adjourned the hearing till July 2.

At the last hearing, the court also ordered the filling of vacancies of judges in all courts working under federal government.

Justice Jawad S Khawaja said there could be no due process in the absence of judges. The court thus issued instructions that judges should be appointed within three days in anti-corruption courts in Karachi and Hyderabad, while all vacant posts of judges in various courts must be filled at an early date.

The bench mentioned in its written order that the judges had not been posted to banking and accountability courts; therefore, culprits were languishing in jails without a trial and the courts would have to release them on this ground.

The News