CJ PHC chairs 11th PJC meeting

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Chief Justice Peshawar High Court Justice Musarrat Hilali chaired the 11th Provincial Justice Committee meeting at the PJC Secretariat, which was also attended by the Registrar, Peshawar High Court, Advocate General Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Inspector General of Police, IG Prisons, SMBR, Additional Chief Secretary, Secretary Law, Secretary Home, Joint Secretary Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan and others.

The implementation status of the decisions taken in the previous meeting was reviewed. The Chair expressed satisfaction on implementation of the decisions. Directions were issued to Departments regarding decisions partially implemented. Discussion ensued on agenda items.

The Committee was informed that land at Hayatabad Peshawar has been earmarked and possessed by the Home Department where after release of funds by the concerned department, state of the art Forensic Science Laboratory will be established in a phase wise manner.

The Offenders Management System and data integration of Justice Sector Stakeholders was also on the agenda. The Committee was appraised that a Technical Working Group (TWG) is constituted in this regard where after deliberations and meetings, certain recommendations were made regarding data entry of all the documents in the public domain by the Police Department and the IT Wing of the Peshawar High Court will ensure introducing the feature of accessibility of data to the Presiding Officers of the Courts and it will work on introducing modules of Police, Prosecution and Prisons with a Case Flow Management and Information System while the Prisons Department will give regular updates on the deployment of the new Software.

Regarding simplification of inter-provincial transfer of accused persons, Advocate General and Secretary Home informed the Committee that the requisite data has been shared with the Ministry of Interior for further process. The representative of the P&D, Peshawar High Court, though stated that the acquisition of land for construction of Judicial Complexes at Newly Merged Districts is smooth, however the allocation of funds is the need of the day. The establishment of Shelter Homes and Dar-ul-Aman also came under discussion.

The Secretary Social Welfare informed that the Shelter Homes have been established and working on regular basis in 8 districts while for capacity enhancement of Dar-ul-Aman, one each in Peshawar, Mardan, Haripur, Abbottabad, Mansehra and Swat are reflected in ADP 2022-23. Regarding establishment of facility at district D.I Khan, it was directed that the bottlenecks shall be removed and in this respect, the Advocate General will coordinate with the concerned department.

IG Police informed the Committee that the security measures have been boosted at almost all the court premises in KP and similarly fool proof security has been provided to the Judicial Officer working at North Waziristan. He further appraised that though the Law & Order situation in South Waziristan is volatile, however, security will be provided not only to the Judicial Officers transferred there but to the court premises as well. Jail issues were thoroughly discussed.

The Committee was informed that the Home Department will coordinate with the Public Health Engineering Department for provision of clean drinking water in District Jail Karak. Similarly, the matter regarding shifting of Internment Center from Lakki Marwat Jail is in process and soon after its completion, the inmates will be shifted to the said jail. The Secretary Home also informed that to cater with the provision of drinking water facility in the newly constructed Hangu Jail, funds have been released.

The directives issued by the NJPMC in the last meeting also came under discussion including expeditious disposal of cases of Under Trial Prisoners. Member Inspection Team, Peshawar High Court apprised that a dedicated cell has been maintained at the Secretariat of District Judiciary, a team of officers is regularly monitoring the progress regarding expeditious disposal of cases of Under Trial Prisoners.

The Chair directed that Prosecution shall produce the Police witnesses before the courts immediately without unnecessary delay. Vice Chairman KP Bar Council was asked to take on board the Bar Members to prioritize the cases of Under Trial Prisoners. Regular meetings in this respect will be held by the AIG Investigation and DG Prosecution to review the progress of disposal of cases. The bottlenecks if any shall be brought before the concerned District & Sessions Judge who shall take immediate remedial measures. It was decided that the ratio of disposal of cases of Under Trial Prisoners (UTP) shall be reviewed in the next meeting hoping for significant decline in such cases.