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PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has declared the next judicial year beginning next Sept the performance year for district judiciary, saying special emphasis will be laid during the period on the clearing of backlog by the lower courts.

PHC registrar Khawaja Wajihuddin told reporters here on Friday that a comprehensive policy was being made for the district judiciary to increase the rate of disposal of both criminal and civil cases. He said currently, 416 courts were functional across the province and the cases pending with them totaled 180,383 including 72,221 criminal and 108,162 civil ones.

The registrar said the cases pending with Peshawar courts totaled 27,910. He said new cases had been initiated causing higher pendency rate.

Mr Wajihuddin said the high court was working on the digitisation of record and office management procedure to make the whole matter more systematic.

Accompanied by PHC legal draftsman Ahmad Sultan Tareen, member of the inspection team Mohammad Zubair and other officials, the registrar said PHC Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth had refused to get all sorts of protocol and security, including several vehicles, as he had begun austerity from himself.

Declares next judicial year ‘performance year’ for district judiciary

He added that the chief justice had directed all officials to adopt austerity measures to minimise expenditure.

The registrar said to achieve quantifiable outputs of judicial officer, the units policy related to the disposal of cases was re-modified, which was later on approved by the Peshawar High Court chief justice and a notification was issued to all district judiciary in that regard.

He said the first evaluation would be carried out after the end of the first quarter and that in due course of time, incentives and rewards would be fixed for the outstanding judicial officers.

Mr Wajihuddin said the units policy would be implemented by replacing the existing Disposal Performance Evaluation Policy in all district judiciary from Sept 2018.

“The unit policy in the initial phase will be piloted in all districts from September to December 2018 and output will be assessed,” he said, adding that it would help decision and policymakers for needful modification.

He said from January 2019, it would be implemented on regular basis. The registrar said the letter had been sent to judicial officer to report any person or official to the chief justice, who tried to get favour by using his influence.

He said two complaint boxes were placed in the high court to receive complaints and suggestions from visitors to future improve working environment.

Mr Wajihuddin said the people could lodge complaints directly with the chief justice on emailaddress, hcj@peshawarhighcourt.gov.pk.

Regarding the extension of judiciary after Fata merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said the Peshawar High Court had completed its homework and informed the provincial government about requirement of judicial officers, paralegal staff, infrastructure and budgetary expenditure.

He said security concerns had led to the suspension of the functioning of mobile courts for the time being and that they would resume work after security situation improved.

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2018