Report underlines flaws in LHC’s new case management system

Published November 10, 2018
The Lahore High Court building. — Photo/File
The Lahore High Court building. — Photo/File

LAHORE: A report, prepared by the urgent cell of the Lahore High Court (LHC), has termed the computerised Case Flow Management System (CFMS) introduced in the court in April 2017 not user-friendly, saying it consumes more time in fixation of cases and requires more manpower than the previous computer system.

The report, available with Dawn, states that since the inception of the CFMS, a lot of problems ‘created by default’ with this system are still pending. It says the new system shows incorrect pendency data of the cases and contempt petitions are not being auto-fixed with reference to criminal or civil cases before the benches concerned. Another problem is that intra-court appeals (ICAs) are sometime auto-fixed before the single bench instead of division bench and often before that single/division bench against whom that ICA can’t be filed as per law.

The report also points out a chronic problem being faced from the first day is that during the filing of a contempt petition, if the bench concerned is not available at principal seat, the petition, during fixation, goes to ‘schedule error’ in the CFMS, which means that the fixation of that case faces a prolonged undue delay. Similarly, whenever two or more civil miscellaneous applications are filed in an ICA, the computerised system auto-fixes the applications before single benches instead of division benches if the bench concerned is not available at the principal seat. Sometimes, whenever, at the time of publication of urgent cause list, the list of a court has to be cancelled to be fixed before other courts, the computer system does not auto-fix the whole list in one command.

The report notes another mind-boggling problem of the new system. When a case has to be transferred from one bench to another, the system fixes the same before a strange bench instead of the targeted bench.

“Last but not least, when the urgent cell completes fixation and puts the lists for publication, a lot of time is consumed for sequencing the same list by the CFMS which results in undue delay in sending of urgent peshi to courts,” the report concludes.

LHC former chief justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah had launched the CFMS, developed by the Punjab Information Technology Board.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2018

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