ISLAMABAD, Jan 20: It is for the first time since the lower judiciary of the federal capital was divided into two “sessions divisions” – Islamabad East and Islamabad West – that the former has got six judges.
Litigants of Islamabad East – residents of 12 union councils of Rawat, Sihala, Koral, Tarlai, Bhara Kahu, Kirpa, Chirah, Sohan, Kurri, Tumair and Phulgran (villages of Ojri and Malpur) were relieved by the news hoping a speedy disposal of their cases.
Ironically, however, the relief might be dampened as there was not enough space for the new judges because the district courts working under makeshift arrangements were already short of space for the existing 14 judges of Islamabad West, it has been learnt.
Officials of Islamabad High Court (IHC) after issuing notification for the new judges on Friday directed the district courts’ administration to create space for them. Mr Abdul Ghafoor acting senior civil judge, and civil judges Nasir Minallah, Mohammad Shabbir, Amir Aziz (inducted from Balochistan judicial service), Mohammad Shakeel and Rasool Bakhsh (inducted from Sindh judicial service) include the six judges notified for Islamabad East. While, the 14 judges of Islamabad West included one district and session judge, three additional session judges, one senior civil judge and nine civil judges.
“Due to limited space in district courts some shops had been converted into court rooms and judges chambers. After the shifting of the offices of district administration to sector G-11, some vacant offices were also handed over to the administration but it was not enough to provide reasonable space for the newly notified judges of Islamabad East”, an official of district courts told Dawn on condition of anonymity.
“In addition to limited space, there is no furniture for the new comers and we have been directed by our high ups to facilitate them at any cost. Therefore, we are collecting surplus chairs and tables from the existing offices”, he added.
A senior judicial officer, however, commented on the situation saying: “Neither a grand and luxurious office is the requirement of a judge nor the space for his office is an issue. What bothers us really is the fact that there are over 30,000 cases pending in the district courts with a few judges for their disposal.
“We are ready to work with a single table and chair under the open sky because we want to end the miseries of thousands of litigants who come to court early in the morning but at the end of the day instead of getting justice gets another date of hearing on his petition”.
Sources said for the increased size of its lower judiciary the IHC had demanded Rs658 million for 101 judges and 584 ministerial staff for fiscal year 2011-12.
The finance ministry agreed to provide gradual funding with the step-wise increase in the number of judges in lower judiciary.
The reduced size of the lower judiciary was then decreased to 12 existing and 36 new.