Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday termed the effective dispensation of justice the responsibility of the state, while adding that the government’s reforms in the civil and criminal procedure code would ensure speedy justice.
He was addressing an event on Criminal Law and Justice Reforms in Islamabad as a chief guest where Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem and Parliamentary Secretary Maleeka Bokahri were also present.
He said that amendments made by the government in the criminal judicial system would help revolutionise and simplify procedure for the common man's pursuit for justice.
"For the first time, the government has made changes in the law which was introduced in the British rule in order to bring improvement to dispensation of justice," the prime minister said, adding no government in the past ever thought about reforming the century-old laws as they wanted to maintain status quo and accommodate the elite.
For the prime minister, the civil law reforms were a step towards ensuring rule of law in line with Islam’s first socio-welfare State of Medina.
The premier referred to a saying of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) which emphasized that many earlier nations were destroyed where there was separate laws for the powerful and the weak.
"Ensuring rule of law in the country will encourage foreign investors and overseas Pakistanis to invest their money in their home country," he added.
Addressing the event, Barrister Naseem mentioned that over 700 amendments completely overhauled the existing legal system of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) that had needed a change as per requirements.
Among the significant reforms, the formation of a statute of an independent prosecution service, forensic laboratory and prison rules are important, he added.
"A law is made for mandatory dispensation of budget to police stations to meet expenses of investigation," he said, adding that deputing sub-inspectors at police stations with an undergraduate degree would be given preference.
As per the amendments, the trial judge would be answerable before a high court if he fails to finalize a case within a period of nine months. The changes in the system have empowered courts to freeze documents and assets of an absconder, including identity card and bank accounts, the federal minister said.
The law minister urged the legal fraternity to support the reform of electronic recording of witness, in any language, to ensure accuracy and expedition of cases.
Those who record incidents of murder or rape on video would not be asked to appear before the law as a mandatory requirement as a witness to prove the incident, he added.
Parliamentary Secretary Maleeka Bokahri also spoke at the event and termed the 700 amendments made in the criminal procedure code a milestone of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government as it would ensure prompt delivery of justice.
"Powerful people took advantage of the loopholes in law for decades. However, the reforms would provide support to the poor seeking justice," she added.