PJC committed for transferring trial courts to erstwhile Fata

F.P. Report

PESHAWARL: The 9th Provincial Justice Committee Meeting (PJC) was held under the Chairmanship of Chief Justice Peshawar High Court (PHC) Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan in which transfer of trial courts to the merged districts of erstwhile Fata in Khyber Pakhunkhwa.

During meeting Inamullah Khan Registrar PHC, Shumail Ahmed Butt Advocate General, Muhammad Ali Jadoon, Ashfaque Taj, District & Sessions Judge, Shahab Ali Shah, Zakir Afridi, Dr. Ishtiaq Marwat Additional IG Police, Masood Ahmad, Secretary Law, Parliamentary Affairs & Human Rights Department, Akhtar Saeed Turk, Secretary Establishment Department, Ikramullah Khan, Shahid Sohail Khan, Atta-ur-Rehman, Saadat Hassan, IG Prisons, Adnan Rasool Larik, Deputy Secretary, Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan, Mukhtiar Ahmad, Amjad Ali, Director Anti-Corruption, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Atta-ur-Rehman, Chief Engineer, Peshawar Development Authority were participants in the meeting.

The issues faced by the Justice Sector stakeholders were discussed in the light of different agenda items. The respective members while referring to the decisions of previous meeting informed the Chairperson that most of the decisions have been implemented.

Additional Chief Secretary informed that PDA has been approached for the provision of 66 Kanal land for the establishment of an independent Forensic Science Laboratory. The Chair directed that the construction work shall start at the earliest.

The role of Justice Sector in NMDs was discussed in detail. Hon’ble the Chairman expressed that every possible effort be made by all the Stake Holders to ensure quality, substantive and expeditious Justice to the people of erstwhile FATA and to boost their confidence in the Justice System. The Additional IG Police informed that trainings to Police Officers/Officials have already been imparted and they have been posted at newly merged districts.

Shifting of courts to North Waziristan and South Waziristan was also discussed. The Secretary Home informed that due to Law & Order situation in the North Waziristan at present, shifting of Courts is not suggested however, no sooner the situation improves, then the District Administration as well as the Courts will be shifted within the district. The Addl. IGP assured adoption of security measures for the District Administration, Judicial Officers and Courts, the moment they are shifted. As far as shifting of courts to South Waziristan is concerned, the Committee was informed by the Addl. Chief Secretary that the Provincial Cabinet has approved bifurcation of district South Waziristan into two districts upper and lower.

The SMBR stated that notification in this regard is yet to be issued by the Government and the place of sitting of Judicial Officers will be notified after finalization of census and delimitation process. The infrastructure requirements for District Courts were also discussed.

Hon’ble Chairman was informed that vacant building of Higher Education Commission has already been allotted to District Judiciary Peshawar. It was decided that the offices vacated by Health Department, Mine & Minerals and Excise & Taxation shall be allotted to the District Judiciary Peshawar phase wise, so that necessary improvisation for the establishment of courts can be carried out and the required number of Judicial Officers can be posted in Peshawar to reduce delay in disposal of cases.

The issue of construction of Jail at District Malakand was also discussed thoroughly. It was informed by the IG Prisons that the scheme “Feasibility study, planning / designing and construction of District Jail Malakand” has been proposed for inclusion in the ADP 2022-23 and after its approval by the Competent Authority the land for construction of Malakand Jail will be identified. IG Prisons also informed the Committee that so far District Haripur and Bannu have been selected to be converted into Juvenile Rehabilitation Centers and observation homes. Regarding secure custody of case property and establishment of Maal Khanas, Secretary Home stated that the same has been notified at 26 districts and PC – I for up-gradation of Maal Khanas will be prepared and included in the ADP Scheme.

Low standard construction of Hangu Jail also came under discussion. IG Prisons stated that a Committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Deputy Secretary Development that has visited District Jail Hangu and timeframe has been fixed for the C&W Division Hangu to remove the deficiencies. He further added that C&W Department has been directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings against responsible field staff of C&W Hangu with respect to low standard construction.

The Chair considering the importance of the Offender Management System and data integration of Justice Sector Stakeholders, directed the concerned departments including Director I.T of the Peshawar High Court to expedite the preparation of PC–Is and other allied matters so the Courts and the other relevant departments could be connected for better administration of justice.
In the end Chief Justice stressed upon ensuring better and expeditious justice delivery to the masses by all the Justice Sector Stakeholders.