The outgoing Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice (retd) Saqib Nisar, has left behind 1.9 million pending cases, the largest in the country’s history.
This leaves upcoming JCP Justice Asif Saeed Khosa with the mammoth task of clearing the backlog of almost 2 million cases.
According to stats collected from the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, there are 1.9 million cases in more than 250 lower, special and superior courts of the county, waiting for a verdict.
Let us break it down for you.
There are at least 40,871 pending cases in the Supreme Court of Pakistan alone. The backlog was 18,000 in 2013, and then grew to 38,539 in 2018.
Similarly, a total of 1,458,845 court cases are awaiting a hearing in the district judiciary and 130,746 in special courts/tribunals.
Moreover, there are 1,095,542 pending in the districts of Punjab, 101,095 in Sindh, 209,984 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 13,969 in Balochistan and 38,291 in Islamabad.
In past, we have seen several examples where a defendant had either passed away years ago or was declared innocent after decades-long proceedings.
This should stop now.
The current obsolete judicial system does not meet the growing justice needs of the country.
According to the Census report of 2017, Pakistan’s population has grown to 207 million, and we have just over 4000 judges in the current system. This means there is one judge for every 48,838 people in the country.
4000 Judges Can’t Hear 1.9 Million Cases
In his previous observations, the Justice Asif Saeed Khosa has expressed his disappointment on such a massive backlog of cases.
“Even if the entire judiciary consisting of all judges of the Supreme Court, all high courts and subordinate judiciary work day and night, 4,000 judges aren’t enough to clear the backlog,” the judge observed while hearing a murder case in 2018.