Hanging in the balance: Functions of DRCs suspended by court

CJ Miankhel directs AG to provide documentary proof at next hearing


Our Correspondent May 27, 2015
The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday suspended the functioning of dispute resolution councils (DRCs). PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday suspended the functioning of dispute resolution councils (DRCs) until June 2 following concerns over their legal standing.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Muhammad Daud Khan issued the order during the hearing of a petition filed by Qaiser Khan, a resident of Hayatabad, through his counsel, Imtiaz Ali. The court has set June 2 as the next date of hearing.

During the proceedings, the chief justice raised questions over the law under which DRCs were established in various districts and the basis of their verdicts. CJ Miankhel also voiced reservations over the conduct of some DRC members who claimed to be lawyers but had no connection with the profession.

The counsel informed the court his client was asked in February to appear before a DRC at West Cantt police station over a complaint filed against him.

He said the DRC recently suspended the dispute, saying it is beyond its jurisdiction. According to Ali, one of the members who gave the verdict is a property dealer who claims to be an advocate.

The chief justice asked PHC Bar Association President Fida Gul and K-P Bar Council member Muhammad Ijaz Sabi to explain why some DRC members were staking a claim in being part of the legal fraternity when they were not. Gul and Sabi vowed to probe the matter and take action against them.

Documentary proof

K-P Advocate General Abdul Latif Yousafzai told the court the petition is non-maintainable as the petitioner had already achieved his purpose.

The chief justice directed him to produce documentary proof to justify the legal basis for setting up DRCs. Yousafzai said the committees were established under a standing order. The AG added he would produce a copy of the orders during the next hearing.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2015.

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