“Justice delayed is justice denied”

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Zahid Maral Advocate
Article 37 (d) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, clearly states that State Shall ensure inexpensive and expeditious justice to all its citizens, contrary, According to official statics published by Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan in February 2019, 1.8 million cases are pending in Supreme to Sub-ordinate courts of Pakistan, which reveals that Pakistan is promoting not the justice, but the quotation mentioned above. Words of Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of Supreme Court of Pakistan, which he delivered in a seminar held at Lahore are also an analysis of reality of our justice system that ““Litigation is a scenario in which you go in as a bull but leave as a sausage” . When we see the causes of such passive and delayed justice, Bar and Bench seems proportionate responsible, the list is long but we look to the prominent, those everyone can observe easily regardless of any philosophical approach. The major issue is people try to resolve even their petty matters through courts, those can be resolved by any rational person, and it lead to burden the courts, and hinder courts to look into the major disputes. Additionally, unwanted strikes and adjournments is another issue faced by the judicial system which prevent it from smooth administration of justice. Likewise, delay tactics by the honorable lawyers is also a problem lead to delay the speedy justice. Similarly, passive attitude and somehow incompetency of our judiciary, especially in our sub-ordinate  courts (which are the most important part of the justice system, because every legal matter needs to initiated from lower courts to the upper) become a major source of delayed justice. It seems appropriate to share a quotation that “Delayed justice was as bad as injustice” (Brent Weeks) Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is method to resolve the dispute out of the court proceedings/litigation. ADR method is consisting of : a) Negotiation: it is a method in which all te disputant parties try to resolve the dispute by negotiations instead of involving third party. b) Mediation: In this method a third party involves by the consent of all disputant parties and tried to set the terms of resolution in order to resolve the dispute. (Section 89A amended 2019 of CPC) c) Conciliation: This is also like mediation but this used adopted in family matters also called pre-trial proceedings provided in section 10 of West Pakistan Family Courts Act, 1964 d) Arbitration: It has its own statute called Arbitration Act 1940, in this method Court or parties themselves appoint an Arbitrator to hear both parties and decide the matter judiciously. The decision of arbitrator becomes binding on all parties. When we look at the benefits of ADR method it has multiple benefits to all relevant sections of society. It will reduce the Burdon of cases from shoulders of Honorable Courts; ADR will minimize the cost and maximize the benefit for all parties in the dispute either of financial or time consuming; It will hinder the way of alleged corruption by the court staff; ADR may provide an opportunity to the law fraternity by becoming a good Mediator or Arbitrator; It will become a source of cohesion instead of separation between the disputing parties; It will provide speedy and inexpensive justice which is the basic need of all walks of life; ADR method will be a resolution of the parties by the parties and for the parties, because the mediator would by chosen by the consent of all disputed parties and many more. Legal Aid Society (LAS), founded by Justice ( R ) Nasir Aslam Zahid in 2013, is working for the promotion and acceptance of ADR in the communities and stakeholders of Sindh, to enhance its supply and demand, in order to have speedy and inexpensive justice for all regardless of any discrimination. Lastly, it is well said by Relph Nader, an American lawyer that “A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity”

(-The writer is a practicing lawyer at City Courts and High court of Karachi.)

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