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Model courts formed in 27 districts for speedy trials

Updated March 21, 2019

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Tribal districts will get such courts later on.—  AFP/File
Tribal districts will get such courts later on.— AFP/File

PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth has ordered the establishment of 27 model courts in all Khyber Pakhtunkhwa districts except tribal districts in light of the recent recommendations of the National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee for conducting trial of a case on day-to-day and continuous basis.

The model courts in the seven merged tribal districts will be established afterward.

Currently, these courts have been established in 27 districts.

Tribal districts will get such courts later on

A notification in this regard was issued by PHC registrar Khwaja Wajihuddin saying in pursuance of the recommendations of the NJPMC meeting on Mar 11, the chief justice has established model courts at district level in the district judiciary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for ‘providing expeditious justice through time-bound criminal trial regimen, trial management and scheduling mechanism’ with an immediate effect.

Initially, the old murder and narcotics cases will be assigned to the model courts, while qualified and dedicated staff will be provided to them.

Four of the district and sessions judges (DSJs) and 23 additional district and sessions judges (ADSJ) have been designated as heads of model courts in their respective districts.

Among them are Mohammad Arshad for Upper Kohistan, Ashfaque Taj for Torghar, Syed Anees Badshah Bukhari for Lower Kohistan and Safiullah Jan for Kolai-Pallas.

The ADSJs, whose courts have been declared model courts, include Aamer Ali in Peshawar, Dost Mohammad Khan in Nowshera, Arbab Sohail Hamid in Charsadda, Nadia Syed in Mardan, Mohammad Zaib Khan in Swabi, Adil Majeed Khan in Malakand, Hajira Rehman in Swat, Aftab Iqbal in Shangla, Liaqat Ali in Lower Dir, Syed Mudassir Shah Termizi in Upper Dir, Kashif Dilawar in Buner, Mohammad Khan in Chitral, Usman Wali in DI Khan, Nasir Kamal in Tank, Ijaz Rashid in Bannu, Abdul Wahab Qureshi in Lakki Marwat, Arbab Aziz Ahmad in Kohat, Ajmal Shah in Hangu, Malik Mohammad Hasnain in Karak, Khalid Hussain in Haripur, Zainab Rehman in Abbottabad, Mohammad Tahir Aurangzeb in Mansehra and Kiran Naz in Battagram.

The notification also included the standard operating procedure for model courts.

According to it, no adjournments will be granted by these courts, while a trial schedule will be issued for observance of lawyers and prosecutors, who will also give details of their junior/replacement for the conclusion of trial within the specified timeframe.

The SP (investigation) of each district will act as a focal person for the police department at district level, who will liaise with the process cell.

The in charge of the investigation of each police station will be respon-sible for the production of all witnesses (except medical witnesses) and case property.

The attendance of witnesses will be ensured through special process servers.

For timely production of medical witnesses, the provincial health secretary will be approached.

In case the lawyers engaged in the trials before model courts are to appear in the superior courts the same day, then those superior courts will spare those lawyers on the production of certificate regarding his or her appearance before the respective model courts.

The courts, which are to work within the existing legal framework and using the available resources, will be supervised by the high court’s chief justice, whereas the Supreme Court will monitor them.

The progress of these courts will be reviewed after every two months.

In the NJPMC meeting chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, it was stated that the initiative of model courts was likely to be extended to all criminal courts in provinces and Islamabad Capital Territory under the supervision of the high court chief justices.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2019