Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan said, despite the complexity of missing persons cases, the government, through court orders, has ensured at least 1,270 of them reached their homes.
Another 1,086 have been identified at notified internment centres in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Some 3,033 people have been traced to various locations in the region.
Addressing judges and lawyers at a lunch organised by the Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA) on Saturday, Khan said that even in a war-like situation, the government does not violate the Constitution.
“In these critical times, the court cannot tolerate the violation of human rights, even though it resulted in the court facing a number of difficulties,” said Khan.
The chief justice shared that the Human Rights Directorate, set up by him for those who cannot afford to hire a lawyer, has received more than 9,000 cases so far. Of these 7,000 were decided instantly, with the aggrieved getting justice in less than 72 hours.
The first K-P Judicial Academy will soon get the status of a university, which will offer law degrees such as LLM and PhDs, in relevant subjects, making it the third such university after US and Canada. “The academy has been directed to train lawyers of tribal areas as they want to reform Fata’s judicial system,” shared the Supreme Court-designate.
The chief justice, who the Judicial Commission of Pakistan recently proposed elevating to the Supreme Court, said the public’s trust in the judiciary has increased, and the bar and bench are two important parts of the judiciary without which access to justice is not possible.
On the occasion, the designate PHC chief justice – the senior-most judge after Khan’s elevation – Mian Fasihul Mulk stated that he will continue efforts to maintain public trust in the institution and will further improve the delivery of justice.
“The PHC’s decisions on missing persons, drone strikes, power tariff, along with other important judgments restored the people’s trust and increased respect for the bench,” said PHCBA President Ishtiaq Ibrahim, lauding Khan.
Citing Khan’s major achievements, Ibrahim added that the chief justice initiated a new electronic citizens complaint system that will deliver justice quickly, while the judicial academy established under his watch has so far trained around 300 lawyers.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2014.
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