The subordinate courts in 2012 disposed of 7,557 of 23,334 cases pending since 2008 or before, leaving 15,777 to be decided in the next two months under the National Judicial Policy, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The National Judicial Policy issued last year stated that all such cases must be cleared from the backlog by December 31, 2012. That deadline has now been extended.
The Lahore High Court chief justice has instructed district and sessions judges in districts with a small remaining backlog of cases filed in or before 2008 to clear it by January 31, while the deadline has been extended till the end of February for Lahore, which still has a large backlog of cases, said District and Sessions Judge Nazir Ahmed Ganjana.The judge said that the rate at which cases dating back further than 2008 had been decided by the subordinate courts since the policy had been issued was a record. He said that the policy had pushed judges to speed up the disposal of cases.
Sixty of the roughly 300 murder cases pending since 2008 or before were disposed of in 2012. Of the rest, one dates back to as far as 1985, in which 16 police officials are accused of an extra-judicial murder.
In the columns under the heading “Reason for delay”, most judges cite non-cooperation by the police and lawyers.
Lawyers, meanwhile, have been critical of the judicial policy, saying that rushed judgments could lead to more appeals and thus cause a further pile-up of cases.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2013.
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