Senate committee to consider abolition of special courts

Updated January 23, 2019

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Senate committee to consider if special courts should be merged with normal courts. — File photo
Senate committee to consider if special courts should be merged with normal courts. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: A Senate committee has decided to consider abolishing special courts and merging them with normal courts to avoid controversies.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Special Committee on Law Reforms that was presided over by its convener Farooq H. Naek and held in the Parliament House on Tuesday.

It was attended by senators Rana Maqbool Ahmed and Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, former senator Chaudhry Muhammad Anwer Bhinder, senior lawyer Raja Inam Amin Minhas and retired Justice Mohammad Raza Khan.

The committee approved its terms of reference and decided to hold its formal meeting in the first week of February. The agenda items to be taken up at its next meeting include considering the tiers of the court system and abolishing the special courts and merging them with ordinary courts.

Advocate Minhas referred to the recent remarks of Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and said that special courts — like accountability, anti-terrorism and narcotics courts — should be abolished or placed in the sessions divisions to avoid controversies over their jurisdiction.

The committee decided to write a letter to the Ministry of Law and Justice, seeking a report on the work carried out with regard to law reforms in the country within seven days. It asked the ministry to send an officer concerned to brief the Senate committee on the matter at its next meeting.

The committee will also write letters to other relevant departments and organisations in this regard, including the Pakistan Bar Council and provincial bar councils, Law and Justice Commission, National Commission for Women Rights, National Commission of Child Abuse and National Commission for Human Rights.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2019