Courts: Rs1.5b allocated for Access to Justice

Development budget of Rs1.15b for new courts and facilities.

Our Correspondent June 10, 2012

LAHORE: The Punjab government has allocated Rs1.49 billion for the Access to Justice Programme for fiscal year 2012-13, after allocating nothing for the project the year before.

However, the budget documents provided by the Punjab government do not explain how the allocation will be broken up. The Access to Justice Programme was originally launched in Punjab under the PML-Quaid government with $350 million provided by the Asian Development Bank.

The Rs1.15 billion development budget for the courts will be spent on 37 ongoing schemes and 97 new schemes.

Most of the development schemes for the judiciary have been shown under the head ‘government buildings’. The projects include the completion of residences for judicial officers in judicial complexes at Jhelum and Sohawa; construction of residences for judicial officers at Kahuta, Rawalpindi; construction of judicial offices and a records block at the Lahore High Court; construction of family courts in Khanewal; construction of judicial complexes at Daska, Phalia and Chunian; construction of a judicial complex at Lahore; construction of a court and residence for an additional district and sessions judge at Pindi Gheb, Attock; construction of courts at Toba Tek Singh; for the preservation of old buildings at the LHC and Aiwan-i-Adl; construction of a double storey mosque in the Lahore High Court; construction of a bar room at the judicial complex in Dunyapur, Lodhran district; and provision of split air conditioners at the LHC’s Multan bench.

Under the head ‘judiciary’, Rs1.12 million has been allocated for the acquisition of five kanals and nine marlas to build a proper entrance to the judicial complex at Pattoki, Kasur. Under the head ‘new schemes’, Rs11.26 million has been allocated for the construction of four courtrooms for additional district and sessions judges in Kasur and Rs10 million for the construction of a record room in the new judicial complex at Multan.

The LHC administration spent Rs7.57 billion of its non-development allocation of Rs8.12 billion for 2011-12, saving around Rs544.8 million. The total non-development budget of Rs9.26 billion includes Rs7.70 billion for salaries and Rs1.56 billion for other expenses. The LHC budget includes spending for all the courts in the province except the Supreme Court benches.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2012.


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