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Cases of condemned prisoners, juveniles, women to be disposed of within 3 months

ISLAMABAD: The chief justices of the country approved on Friday the constitution of special benches for the disposal of cases related to condemned prisoners, juvenile offenders and female inmates within three months.

In a meeting presided over by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Abdul Hameed Dogar, the chief justices of the Lahore, Sindh, Peshawar, Balochistan, Islamabad and Azad Jammu and Kashmir high courts also demanded the establishment of cells within high courts for regular fixation of the aforesaid categories of cases pending in the high and lower courts.

Expressing full confidence in Justice Dogar and extending their full support and cooperation to him, the CJs also discussed various issues confronting the administration of justice in the country. They said that measures should be taken to fill vacancies in all the high courts on urgent basis.

New jails: The construction of new jails, separate jails for women, improvements in the existing jails, establishment of courts in jails for trial of certain categories of cases and establishment of judicial lock-ups near court complexes were also discussed. The establishment and activation of a fund to pay ‘Diyat’ – fines on behalf of prisoners who are unable to pay the same – was also discussed. The judges also approved measures to discourage unnecessary adjournments and to dispose of terrorism cases along the lines of the Anti-Terrorism Act and the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of Sheikh Liaquat Hussain. They also agreed on periodic inspections of the subordinate courts by the judges of the high courts concerned and member inspection teams.s.

AJP status: According to a press release, the chief justices were also briefed on the status of the Access to Justice Programme (AJP). They were informed that the AJP had completed 468 schemes, while 188 more were still ongoing. Under the AJP, schemes had been initiated in the Federal Judicial Academy, Ministry of Law, Law and Justice Commission, Ministry of Interior, Supreme Court and Federal Shariat Court.

The committee was also informed that the AJP had allocated funds for the construction and renovation of courts, residences, prisons, jails staff offices, staff residences and police stations in all four provinces. They were told that the AJP had a total allocation of Rs 10,500 million out of which 9,020 million had already been utilised.

The details of Access to Justice Programme were provided to the chief justices for their perusal and feedback in the next meeting to be held shortly. The chief justices of Supreme Court and high court of AJK desired that AJP should be extended to their courts as well.
Source: Daily Times

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