Judges’ rotation only after improving district courts: IHC CJ

Deputy commissioner told to submit detailed report on shifting district courts to new location

Saqib Bashir March 13, 2019
Islamabad High Court. PHOTO: IHC WEBSITE

ISLAMABAD: The demand of rotation of judges of the federal capital can be only be fulfilled once the situation in the East and West sections of the district courts of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) are further improved and are turned into model courts.

This was observed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Ather Minallah on Tuesday while hearing a case regarding shifting the district courts from Sector F-8 Kutchery and other problems in lower courts.

During the hearing, Justice Minallah added that family courts should exist in buildings separate from other courts while criminal courts should be established within jail premises to reduce difficulties [surrounding presentation of under-trial prisoners].

He added there should a model judicial system for citizens of the federal capital.

Akram Advocate, the counsel for the petitioner, disclosed that no new plots have been allocated for the construction of the district and high courts of the federal capital in the revised Master Plan prepared by the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

At this, CJ Minallah remarked that winning the public’s trust was their ultimate task and added that it was useless to run courts without having the public’s trust or confidence.

He added the public should be served justice at their doorstep.

The court asked the Deputy Commissioner to submit a detailed report on shifting the district courts to their new location and adjourned the hearing until April 4.

On the other hand, the issue of judges’ rotation in the district courts has been resolved after lawyers there decided to call off their strike.

This was announced in a notification issued by the Islamabad District Bar Association (IDBA) General Secretary Raja Yasir Shakeel. Sources have disclosed that the strike was called off after they received assurance from the law minister and pressure from the IBC.

Notices were issued

The high court has issued notices to the suspect, Sibtain Kazmi and the federal government over the acquittal of the suspect in the Azam Tariq murder case.

The notices were issued by a two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani.

During Tuesday’s hearing, petitioner’s counsel Hafiz Mazhar Javed argued that the trial court did not record the statements of the applicant or of the witnesses and that a sentence was pronounced in haste.

Javed further argued that the suspect, Kazmir, remained a fugitive from 2003 to 2017 while he was also nominated in a First Information Reports (FIRs) for the murder of five people.

After listening to the arguments, the court issued notices to the respondents and adjourned the case indefinitely.

Kazmi had been acquitted by an anti-terror court in March last year for the assassination of Maulana Azam Tariq in 2003. He had been arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) in Islamabad on May 11, 2017, while trying to travel to the UK.

Construction barred

A high court bench in Rawalpindi on Tuesday stopped commercial construction on the 108 Kanals of land in Dhoke Sayedan which had originally been allocated for amenities such as schools, colleges, and a park.

The stay order was issued by the Lahore High Court (LHC)-Rawalpindi Bench, comprising Justice Amir Mehmood and Justice Shahid Mobeen.

The court further warned the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board of strict action if they did not stop the constructions despite the stay orders.

During the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel Inamur Raheem told the court that the land belonged to the Punjab government whereas the cantonment board was forcibly carrying out commercial constructions on it.

He added that a single bench of the court has only granted permission for the construction of schools, colleges, and parks on the instant land.

At this, the court halted further activities and issued the summons for RCB’s executive officer along with a report on the matter on March 25.


Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2019.