Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice (CJ) Dost Muhammad Khan on Saturday said both the federal and provincial governments need to set up state-of-the-art forensic laboratories so solid evidence can be produced in court and the real culprits convicted.
“Courts were used to conducting trials in traditional ways in the past. However, now, criminals have adopted more modern ways to carry out various anti-state activities which has become a big challenge for the judiciary,” Justice Khan told participants at the concluding ceremony of a training session titled Substantive and Procedural Law at Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Judicial Academy. A total 25 judicial officers, including district and sessions judges, participated in the training.
Justice Khan maintained weak prosecution was a major hindrance in the provision of justice. He further said the Human Rights Directorate of PHC has disposed of 3,500 cases this year and 70% applicants got relief within 72 hours after approaching the directorate, which is a good omen.
The chief justice added mobile courts have been initiated in Peshawar to provide swift justice to residents of the province, solving many issues that had been pending for years in mere hours. He said the system will be extended to all parts of the province to allow people to get justice without delay.
Justice Khan also informed the audience there were 400 plots of land for judges in Peshawar and that this facility will be provided to district level judicial officers so they could construct houses. Judicial officers will also be provided vehicles and the entire process will be completed in six months, he added.
“Radio Meezan is the first radio of the judiciary in the world which provides awareness regarding rights of common people and other legal facilities. Three sub stations will be set up so that radio transmissions can reach across the province,” he said.
In a separate event to distribute keys of official vehicles among district and sessions judges, Justice Khan said appointments against merit, especially in institutions responsible for curbing corruption including National Accountability Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency and Anti-Corruption Establishment, will not allow these establishments to attain their purpose. He lamented that despite clear directions from courts, federal and provincial governments have failed to make legislation to curb corruption.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2013.