ISLAMABAD, Aug 7: The Federal Judicial Complex, which was constructed to host 11 special courts of the federal capital under one roof, will become operational next month after lying abandoned for a year due to non-availability of basic facilities and furniture.

Currently, the specials courts, which include the accountability courts, the anti-terrorism court, the control of narcotics substances (CNS) court, special Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) court and banking court of Islamabad, are working in makeshift arrangements.

An official in the district judiciary told Dawn that the current courtrooms lack proper sitting arrangements for judges, court staff, lawyers and litigants.

Furthermore, no proper security arrangements have been made for these scattered courts, and cases against some hardened criminals are also pending.

Therefore, construction of the complex in Sector G-11 was decided. Former law minister Dr Babar Awan laid its foundation stone in September 2010, and construction was completed in August 2012.

Former law minister Farooq H. Naek inaugurated the judicial complex in January 2013.

An estimated Rs398 million were spent on its construction, which were provided to the construction company through the ‘Access to Justice’ programme However, the Pakistan Public Works Department (PWD) failed to provide basic utilities such as electricity, gas and water to the complex, and the district administration was unable to shift the special courts.

The court complex covers an area of 16,000 square metres and consists of 20 chambers for judges, bar rooms and judges’ lodges. The Islamabad High Court administration, in addition to the above mentioned special courts, has also planned to establish a custom court, labour court and environment tribunal in the judicial complex.

The official said that Rs50 millions were released last year from the ‘Access to Justice’ programme to equip the judicial complex with the necessary facilities and furniture, but a large sum was later converted to the extension of the Federal Judicial Academy.

A senior IHC official, when contacted, said a special team headed by a sitting IHC judge was monitoring the shifting of the special courts to the judicial complex.

He said the complex had been supplied electricity, gas and water, and very soon the court rooms would also be equipped with the necessary furniture.

The official added that the special courts would be shifted by September 30.

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