The Latin term ‘suo motu’ literally means ‘on its own motion’. The suo motu notice brings victims of impossibly horrific tragedies into attention. Today the country is witnessing injustice, police torture, humiliation of poor people by those influential, massive corruption, drone attacks, extra judicial killings and so on, but the suo motu action on an individual incident of Atiqa Odho did not set a good precedent.
The filing of a large number of petitions ranging from corruption scandals to perceived constitutional deviations by the government to violation of human rights every other day has overburdened the apex court so much that ordinary litigants sometimes feel ignored because of high-profile and important hearings that certainly need timely intervention by the court.
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) also expressed reservations over this issue. During her speech at the Supreme Court premises, SCBA President Asma Jehangir deplored the tendency to adjourn cases, often after several hours of waiting.
“Urgent applications are kept pending for days and weeks,” she complained, saying the case management by courts was regrettably far from satisfactory. This is particularly a cause of perpetual anguish for outstation legal counsel, she observed, adding that court timings were not often observed.
When cases are deferred without any headway, a visit to the Supreme Court from other cities for a large number of litigants is a bad news as it has a financial impact. For a few, however, it is also an outing.
People were expecting much more from the superior judiciary after its restoration, but the dilemma of missing person is still lingering, implementation on NRO case has become a joke, and swift disposal of cases is a dream.