Punjab Chief Minister’s orders of holding open courts in Bahawalpur have become a victim of negligence. A lack of advertisement and public awareness has failed in making the initiative a success.
On January 10, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar directed the Punjab Police inspector general, the Punjab Chief Secretary, all divisional commissioners, regional police officers, deputy commissioners and district police officers to conduct joint open courts in order to resolve the issues faced by the people. He also directed that officials from a divisional and district level should also be present at these open courts.
These open courts were supposed to be conducted every Friday at 3pm. However, these orders were not followed through and the open courts were not advertised properly. As a result, many residents remained unaware of their existence. While the Bahawalpur divisional commissioner and the regional police officer did conduct separate open courts in their offices, only 12 participated in the former and six participated in the latter. As a result, only 10 complaints were able to reach the deputy commissioner and the DPO’s court.
Citizens have declared these open courts a failure. They claimed that the number of complaints received at government offices on a daily basis far exceed the complaints that were heard during the open courts. They demanded that the open courts be conducted at a tehsil level rather than in offices. They urged officials to properly advertise the open courts so that more people are made aware of their existence.
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