The findings of the National Corruption Perception Survey (NCPS) 2021 conducted by Transparency International Pakistan that has declared judiciary as one of the most corrupt institutions in the country, is a cause for concern. The three most important causes of corruption, according to the NCPS 2021, are weak accountability (51.9%), the greed of powerful people (29.3%) and low salaries (18.8%). A non-corrupt judiciary is a fundamental condition for the endorsement of rule of law and the ability to guarantee basic human rights in society. The judiciary must therefore be an independent and fair body that fights corruption, not the other way around. The figures portray a dismal picture of justice system in Pakistan. Actions need to be taken to root out the corruption malaise in the judicial system. ‘A judge should not speak but his judgments should speak’ need to be given a practical shape.
There is a need to establish a permanent body for regular and systematic reform of the legal system in the country as no society in the world can remain static. Thus it is necessary, that the legal system should keep pace with the changing times and emerging realities. The judiciary needs to take the criticism positively as the institution itself requires reforms due to inherent flaws in the dissemination of justice and implementation of country’s laws. The judicial system in Pakistan is already notorious for delay in dissemination of justice. There are numerous examples where a large number of years are wasted during litigation of cases. Moreover, there is a huge backlog of pending cases that has not been cleared yet. In order to erase loopholes in the justice system, an overall reform process is needed. It is no secret that Pakistan’s criminal justice system is broken. The litany of problems that plague the pursuit of justice from top to bottom is virtually endless. A revamp in the justice system is necessary to ensure fair trial and bring the country’s justice system on right track. The judiciary needs to take stock of its working and correct itself before any other institution points fingers at its performance.