Following the Supreme Court’s initiative to hear environment related cases, all high courts and the Supreme Court of Azad Jammu and Kashmir have constituted ‘green’ benches.
The move comes in light of recommendations of the Bhurban Declaration 2012 titled ‘A Common Vision on Environment for the South Asian Judiciaries’ during South Asian Conference on Environmental Justice held on March 24-25 under the aegis of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Various courts all over Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Islamabad have been dubbed as green courts while green benches have also been constituted to hear cases pertaining to the environment and the factors affecting it.
The chief justice of Lahore High Court has established a green single bench and green division bench. Similarly, all courts of senior civil judges-cum-judicial magistrates and of civil judges-cum-judicial magistrates at sub divisions have been declared as green courts. All courts of district and session judges in Punjab have also been declared the same.
The chief justice of the Sindh High Court has also established a green single bench and a green division bench for the purpose and has even nominated judges to grace the benches.
The provincial chief justice has established green courts in all districts of Sindh and has directed all senior civil judges, civil judges and judicial magistrates of the respective districts to handle cases related to the Sindh Building Control Authority and the Sindh Local Government Ordinance in these green courts.
The chief justice of Peshawar High Court has constituted a green division bench headed by the chief justice and comprising another judge, also to be nominated by him.
The chief justice of Balochistan High Court has also constituted multiple green division benches.
Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa will head the green bench in Quetta, while Justice Noor Meskanzai and Justice Muhammad Hashim Khan Kakar will be members of the bench at Sibi.
The chief justice of the Islamabad High Court has constituted a green single bench and a green division bench at Islamabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2012.