LAHORE: The Lahore High Court judges have been directed to mention next hearing date on all cases unlike the previous system when the administrative officers used to fix the dates.
This was disclosed by LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in an informal talk with the media persons on Tuesday.
In order to ensure speedy dispensation of justice, all cases would be fixed by the judges for hearing except for those related to bail pleas, he said. A judge can put off hearing for the time appropriate for the court and now it is no longer a prerogative of the LHC administrative office.
The CJ said the judges of the LHC have been given a docket mentioning details of cases fix for hearing or pending before them. With the newly introduced Criminal Justice Project, trial courts have decided criminal cases in record short time with the joint efforts of all quarters concerned.
He said courts of four districts decided 214 criminal cases within 13 days. He said the pilot project launched in four districts of the province including Attock, Narowal, Chiniot and Vehari, was running successfully and would help reduce pendency in the lower courts.
Acting upon the suggestions of Supreme Court’s Senior Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, the CJ said prosecution, police and forensic agency are on board in this pilot project.
The chief justice said all the departments concerned have been informed about the initiation of trial in criminal cases and they are bound to assist the court accordingly. Police would ensure presence of witnesses while lawyers have been asked to ensure their presence before the courts in criminal cases without fail. He said lawyers would be facilitated by ensuring that they do not get busy before the Lahore High Court on the dates of their appearance before lower courts for criminal trials.
Speaking on the pilot project which was started on February 1, the CJ said 214 cases have been disposed of in four districts. He said 35 cases have been decided in Chiniot, 22 in Narowal, 25 in Vehari and 104 in Attock. It has been made possible only with the cooperation of lawyers, police, prosecutors, forensic experts and other stakeholders.
CJ Mansoor said after the success of this project, similar projects would be launched in all the districts of the province within three months. The CJ said he himself was monitoring the project and would send its report to the Supreme Court. Member inspection team Muhammad Akmal Khan is assisting the project.
Meanwhile, lawyers have termed the developments a positive step towards speedy dispensation of justice and keeping a check on corruption. They were of the view the decision of the CJ would end burden of courts in the form of early hearing of cases. They said monopoly of the administrative staff of the LHC in fixing the cases for hearing would also end.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2017.
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