Sub-Committee of Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice in its meeting on Friday was given a detailed briefing by the Secretary Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan regarding composition, mandate, functions, working and overall performance of the Commission. Convener of the Committee Senator Mian Raza Rabbani and member Senator Musadik Masood Malik remarked that the ordinance covers only the review and recommendatory role for the Commission and all the work done on directives of supreme court or the judicial branch in general are not covered by the Ordinance.
The Committee was told by the ministry of law and justice that in theory most of the functions currently being undertaken by the Commission were under the ministry but slowly they went towards the judiciary and as of today the ministry is restricted to the functions of the federal government and the commission now is mainly independent and works under the judiciary.
President Supreme Court Bar Association observed that Law and Justice Commission should not be under the Judicial Branch of the State but under the Parliament or the Executive through the relevant ministry or some instrument of the Parliament. He said that the judicial branch should focus on its primary goal of undergoing judgements swiftly and not indulge in the executive or legislative functions and pass recommendations. Judiciary can fulfil its functions by staying away from the executive functions and not by merging into it. He said that the commission should continue working but judiciary should be separated from it.
Senator Musadik Malik observed that as far as the review and recommendation work is concerned there is no hurdle in carrying it out but if the judiciary is carrying out executive functions through the commission then that needs to be looked into.
The Sub-Committee was told that the commission has so far produced 138 reports out of which 69 have not been implemented at all. The Sub-Committee sought information on the nature of reports as to whether they were of a philosophical nature or having concrete proposals or solutions. The Commission was asked to provide tabulated information on how many reports or proposed legislation were presented by the Commission. The Committee noted that although the extensive work conducted by the commission is laudable, it overlaps the jurisdiction of the executive and the legislation and it is a question to ponder upon whether they could be directed by the judicial branch of the state or not.