PESHAWAR: The District Judicial Secretariat was inaugurated here on the premises of the Peshawar High Court with an aim to reform the district judiciary in the province.
The inaugural ceremony and first-ever judicial conference in the history of the province of all the serving judges was held here at the Nishtar Hall, where high court, district and sessions judges, additional district and sessions judges, senior civil judges and civil judges were in attendance.
The project of the District Judiciary Secretariat is funded by the Multi Donor Trust Fund administered by the World Bank for a period of 18 months following which the provincial government will meet its expenses.
On the occasion, Chief Justice Yahya Afridi said the secretariat would provide citizens with the services to justice in a more efficient, transparent and speedy manner.
PHC CJ says initiative to help improve judicial functions at district level
He said the secretariat had four departments, including ethics and integrity management, operation management (planning & development, administration & finance, and communication), service delivery monitoring and evaluation, and human resources and welfare.
The CJ said the reforms in the district judiciary would provide ‘oversight, compliance management, citizen facilitation and communication, grievance redress mechanism, integrity management, internal audit and analysis capability of district judiciary on scientific lines.
“The new system will be technology-driven where the monitoring and accessibility, research and development will make the lives of beneficiaries easier,” he said.
The CJ said all judges of the high court were consulted in the reforms process including the setting up of the judiciary secretariat.
“Every judicial officer of the high court wanted the secretariat and agreed on this initiative,” he said.
He said it was up to the judicial officers to give good suggestions to the district secretariat for bringing improvement in the judicial system in the district judiciary.
“All good suggestions will be materialised and will be put before the administrative committee of the high court for approval,” he said.
The CJ said the high court didn’t want judicial officers in the secretariat and wanted experts from private sector so as to run it independently.
“One can say that the justice delivery system is not up to the mark but my answer is that we are trying tirelessly,” he said.
The chief justice also appreciated the hard work put by PHC registrar Saleem Khan in materialising the plan of setting up the secretariat. He said the registrar would supervise the secretariat.
Senior puisne judge Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth said the reunion of all judicial officers of the province was a unique event in the judicial history of the province.
He said the independence of judiciary couldn’t be obtained, achieved or sustained without provisions of better facilities.
“A judge will be able to deliver justice only after he is stable and have no financial and stress issues,” he said.
Later, the best judges of the year awards were given away to additional district and sessions judges Kaleem Arshad Khan, Rashidullah Kundi, Arbab Suhail Hameed and Nadia Syed; senior civil judges Wajid Ali and Faisal Anjum, and civil judges Asghar Ali, Gulzarullah, Seemab Waheed Siddiqui and Ikramullah.
Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2017