6th PJC meeting held at PHC: Issues faced by justice sector discussed

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: The 6th Provincial Justice Committee Meeting (PJC) was held on Friday in the Peshawar High Court, under the Chairmanship of his lordship Hon’ble the Chief Justice, Peshawar High Court, Peshawar Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan.

During the meeting Khwaja Wajih-ud-Din, Registrar, Peshawar High Court, Dr. Muhammad Raheem Awan, Secretary Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan, Shumail Ahmed Butt, Advocate General, KP, Ikramullah, Secretary Home & Tribal Affairs Department, Muhammad Asim Imam, Most senior District & Sessions Judge, Sanaullah, IG Police, Masood Ahmad, Secretary Law & Parliamentary Affairs Department, Taj Sultan, Additional IG Prisons, Mukhtiar Ahmad, Director General Prosecution, Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah, Secretary Health Department, Usman Zaman, Director Anti-Corruption, Qaiser Khan, Additional Secretary Law and Hon’ble the Chief Justice, Peshawar High Court Mr. Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan underlined the significance of the forum for collaboration between the departments in order to improve service delivery by the justice sector.

The agenda items of meeting included, establishment of well equipped Forensic Science Laboratories at regional level, Establishment & Working of Crime Scene Investigation Unit throughout the province, the offender Management System, Simplification of Inter and intra provincial transfer of accused, rule making for Forensic Science agency & recruitment of staff, Data Integration of Justice Sector Stakeholders, Medical facilities in Prison, Standard and availability of quality medicines at prison, effective Complaint redressal system for prisoners, Infrastructure requirements of Peshawar High Court, appointment of law officers, Trainings of probation and parole officer and enactment of the draft Judicial Service Act. Preliminary meeting of the Focal Person of PJC was held on 19.03.2021.

The issues faced by the justice sector were discussed in detail. The Chair directed the members to ensure data integration of justice sector and submit regular progress reports, the committee also approved the inclusion of Probation and Parole department in data integration programme with PHC, Police, Prosecution and Prison Department. It was decided that Police department will extend their E-FIR system throughout the province till October 2021.

It was informed that in pursuance to the decision of PJC, visits of the specialist’s doctors to Jails of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa have been ensured and monthly reports in this regard are also submitted regularly. Hon’ble Chief Justice emphasized on the reforms for the inmates within the Prisons, it includes cultural events, restoration of the prison industry and inculcating reading habits in the prisoners by establishing libraries. In Compliance of decisions of PJC the departments have formulated performance benchmark for the year in order to improve service delivery, which shall be monitored on quarterly basis.

The Chairperson also directed to expedite the Justice Sector stake holder legislation, including enactment of Draft Judicial Services Act. Six months time was granted by the PJC to Home Department for rule making under the Forensic Science Agency Act 2020.The Committee was informed that for the safe custody of case properties and to ensure quick production before the court, few Districts have shown availability of space within the district court premises for establishment of Maal Khana. It was decided that in the remaining districts availability of space will be inquired from the Deputy Commissioners by the Home department.

For the scientific investigation of cases and to meet international standards need for independent forensic labs was stressed. Keeping in view the urgency and the requirement it was decided that forensic Labs Swat be properly equipped and fully operationalized within six. It was agreed that Police Department will start working on the establishment of Crime scene investigation unit throughout the Province. PJC approved that Prison Department will submit a proposal within three months on devising an “Effective complaint redresses system” for fair impartial and expeditious resolution of the complaints.

In concluding remarks, the Chairperson thanked the participants for their constructive input and emphasized that implementation of the decisions taken in PJC’s meetings shall be ensured.