Dialogue: Justice Delayed is Justice Decayed

Posted on October 25, 2006
Filed Under >Naveed E., Law & Justice
Total Views: 32731

Guest Post by Naveed E.

A Dialogue between ‘The Wise’ and ‘The Fledgling.’

“You know, only God can afford to mete out belated justice and get away with it.� sermonized the Wise.

“What about the courts. If they provide justice though a bit late, doesn’t it work? Atleast it is better than not doing justice at all.� I asked smartly.

“Slackness , an innocuous bad habit which can be conveniently overlooked otherwise becomes an unpardonable act when the courts resort to it.. When courts succumb to slackness , the sufferers undergo further agony . Their faith in the courts and system begins to erode. After endlessly cooling their heels outside the court-rooms , a strong desire to settle scores outside the court finds a foot-hold in their heart. They avoid courts. On the other hand tort-feasers are encouraged. Courts’ slackness keeps them away and free from the claws of justice. Crime flourishes.â€Â? the Wise explained.

“At times pre-occupations with other court-related activities , like clearing -up the back-log can cause genuine delay in doing timely justice.� I put forth another point.

“Can a mother dilly dally in feeding her hungry baby. For a mother no other pre-occupation ought to be so engaging that keeps her away from her whining sibling.�

“Why do you over-look the fact that denying justice is a willful act and getting bogged down by inevitable bottle-necks is a limitation.�

“It is a matter of feelings and attitude. Courts cannot be devoid of these two ingredients. They need to feel and react accordingly. And mind you, bottle-necks and pre-occupations can be overcome when one genuinely feels and believes in the significance and urgency of a matter. Nonchalance shackles the pace and performance. It is willful stupor in giving justice which is condemnable.�

“But judges are not kids or clerks who can be easily blamed for being negligent and apathetic. They are most mature and reasonable persons who have very important job to perform. What reasons do you think propel or compel them to adopt laid-back attitude in performing their duties?�

“A job can be performed with perfection only when it is given the status of a mission. And a mission requires zeal and dedication to accomplish it. Slackness comes in when job is not being taken seriously. And what are the repercussions. Suppose, you are walking in the open, rain comes down heavily but you take time in opening up the umbrella. Ultimately the umbrella is open and right on your head but you are soaked. Umbrella could not do to the fullest what it was made for. Justice is like an umbrella which must be stretched open before it becomes too late to do what it is meant for.�

“Justice delayed is justice decayed. This is what your point of view is. And I have no reason valid enough to contest it,� I wound up the discussion in sincere submission.

“Hmmm……⠢‚¬Â? the wise moaned in satisfaction as if he had overcome the slackness of courts.

Naveed E. is a former civil servant, with a passion for poetry and writing.

4 responses to “Dialogue: Justice Delayed is Justice Decayed”

  1. Arfa Sarfaraz says:

    Imparting of Justice is indeed a crucial task but looking through this different view is interesting.For me justice dealyed adds more to the suffering of aggrieved party but he /she will always look forward for the verdict till the end of their lives.

  2. Roshan Malik says:

    I agree that justic delayed is same as justice denied and our judicial system works very slow.

    But lets see the other side of the picture. Nawaz Sharif established, Anti Terrorism Courts, for speedy trials which gave birth to another notion ‘Justice hurried is justice burried’. As a matter of fact, most of the verdicts in Anti Terrorism Courts were annuled or sent back for retrial by the higher courts.

    In either case our judicial system is on square one. The system needs structural changes as well as political commitment i.e independence and supremacy of judiciary supported with required infrastructure.

  3. Zak says:

    I understand the criticism, it’s an old story, judicial backlog in Pakistan according to old reports is on average 4 years.

    Still even that is not the whole story: contrary to what people assume it’s not a simple case of administrative efficiency.

    To understand why i say that; one only has to look at India, with its judicial system which is equally overloaded, in fact the average case backlog in India exceeds Pakistan (7 years on average in India)..yet the India judicial system isn’t as discredited as the Pakistani one.

    The reality is the real reason is moral and institutional failure and not administratove (not that i discount the need for quick justice).

    If i were to fight a case (for a good or bad reason) in Pakistan both myself and my opponent would have to make two presumptions to be even marginally successful. One is whoever is in an advantageous position will stall the case date, hoping to turn de facto positions into de jure ones by simply waiting the other person out..secondly if the case is won or lost, you go for an appeal ..the reason being if the first judge is impervious to your offers or inducements the second one may not..now this goes against basic conventions that judges only in exceptional circumstances overrule another judge.

    Again this does not apply in Pakistans case, simply because the judicial system has no credibility..it has routinely flip flopped on verdicts of major constitutional importance and rarely challenges the government except when it knows it can get away with it ..this perception has filtered down to the grass roots and is a consequence of a long history of nazaria zaroorat or nazaria pakistaniat decisions being the excuse for morally indefensible verdicts.

    This stems from the obsession with false legitimacy that Pakistans military and often civilian have..its ok to commit treason or high crimes but its wrong when its called that..

  4. Samdani says:

    Interesting approach , a little different from most other posts here. But the issue is a very critical one. The story about a father starting a case and his son still waiting for the result is not just a joke it is a reality.

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