By: Prof. Abdul Shakoor Shah
The worst form of justice is pretended justice. Plato. The quote aptly and precisely portrays our judiciary system. According to the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, the entirety number of cases pending in anticipation of courts in the country is 2.15 million. 390,713 cases are pending with the superior judiciary. Justice delayed is justice denied but we are performing pretended justice it doesn’t matter whether innocent is hanged or the criminal is pardoned. Contrary to the gloomy state of judiciary in the country, the salaries of almost 134 Supreme and High court judges culminate to more than Rs159 million a month, besides allotted chauffeur driven cars, 500 liters of fuel and Rs65,000 or above as house rent and other benefits. Every judge of the Supreme Court obtains Rs799,699 or above per month as salary, Rs370,597 or above as superior judicial allowance and house rent. Each judge hence receives more than Rs1.17 million, without the inclusion of house rent. The total salaries and judicial allowance of the apex court judges exceeds to an astounding Rs17.5 million per month, which exceeds to Rs18.71 million if the chief justice’s salary is added up.
The chief justice of Pakistan extracts Rs846,549 or above as a month’s salary and is also endowed with Rs370,597 or above as superior judicial allowance. Moreover, he is also permitted to collect Rs68, 000 or above as house rent. Pakistan’s top judge exceeds Rs8.9 million annual salaries. Along with supercilious salaries, the judges enjoy a medical allowance of 15 %, two chauffeur driven cars, one present in Islamabad and the other in whatever province that the judge may be in. Judges also enjoy 600 litres or above fuel a month. Judges also receive Rs5,000 or above as daily allowance, while receiving concessions on tickets, medical, electricity, gas, water, phone calls, education, treatment, medication. Punjab’s top judge gets Rs1.05m per month. The High Court chief justices receives more than Rs784,608 per month as salary and an additional Rs 296,477 as their superior judicial allowance and Rs65,000 as house rent. The five chief justices, including the one for GB, equally draw Rs6.48 million per month. Correspondingly judges in the high court draw and they receive more than Rs754,432 per month as salary, Rs296,477 as superior judicial allowance and and they haughty house rent. There are about 128 high court judges across Pakistan, including those in the GB, and their collective monthly expenses come to Rs134 million. Each high court chief justice and judge is allowed one chauffeur driven car, 500 litres of petrol, free medical care and Rs4,400 or above as a daily allowance.
The prevailing system of governance in Pakistan undeniably is both exploitative and oppressive. The official and civil elite of the society are responsible for this judicial chaos. The need of the hour is urgent where economic exploitation and social oppression of the poor and the weak come to an end; more than 24.3% of Pakistan lived below the poverty line defined as income of less than Rs.3030 per month. The total maximum salary of an officer in BPS-22, the highest grade in the Pakistan government service, is seemingly around Rs.300,000 per month counting basic salary, allowances, and other perks and privileges. This is almost 18 times the monthly average income of Rs.16400 in Pakistan supercilious that its GDP per capita is $1640. The total monthly salary of a High Court or Supreme Court judge including basic salary, allowances, perks and privileges reportedly varies from 80 to 100 times the monthly average income in Pakistan. By way of comparison, the annual salary of a judge of the American Supreme Court is reported to be US$244,000, which is just four times the GDP per capita in the US amounting to US$60,000.
The elite in Pakistan are enriching themselves at the expense of the poor and the browbeaten. The allocation of uptown, commercial, and farming plots to senior civil, military and judicial officers out of the state land, which is the asset of the people of Pakistan, at off the cuff prices is an exemplar of the barefaced comportment in which they are involved in loot and plunder on nation echelon for their delicate reimbursement. In a welfare state, redeployment of assets is from the rich to the poor while over here it is contrary to the norms. Every allotment of a one-kanal plot of state land in a posh area in Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi to a senior civil, judicial or military officer means that approximately an amount of Rs.20 million has been Similarly, wangled out of the pockets of the poor people of the country for the advantage of the rich and the influential. Likewise, hundreds of billions of rupees have been burgled from the nation by the affluent. This legalized corruption covered under law is the mother of all ill breeding. The governments and parliaments in the country have utterly botched to formulate laws and espouse policy procedures to ascertain economic and social justice to the man in the street. VIP culture and prejudiced practices in the function of law have further goaded the injustice atmosphere from which the masses persistently undergo. It is an irony of the situation that the poor pay taxes to get paid injustice. Nothing can justify injustice. Over here justice seems to be associated with inaction. There is dire need of judicial reforms in the country so that one may not wait for his right on doomsday instead of courts.