LAHORE: The Punjab government has abolished six anti-terrorism courts in the province with immediate effect.

A notification issued on Sept 18 by the additional chief secretary (home) sates, “Governor of Punjab is pleased to de-notify the following Anti-Terrorism Courts in the Punjab with immediate effect.”

The de-notified courts include two each in Lahore and Gujranwala and one each in Multan and Rawalpindi.

The employees and resources of the de-notified ATCs shall be placed at the disposal of the home department for their further adjustment in the newly-established ATC at Sargodha, and in any other department.

An official said the decision to abolish the courts had been taken on the directions of the Supreme Court and the Lahore High Court. He said Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik of the SC, being a monitoring judge of the ATCs in the country, had taken notice of almost zero pendency of terrorism-related cases before several ATCs in Punjab.

Meanwhile, Justice Malik also presided over a meeting at the Lahore registry to review performance of the ATCs in the province.

The home department’s officials presented fresh reports on disposal and pendency of the cases before the ATCs at the meeting, which also reviewed performance of Punjab Forensic Science Agency, prisons, home and prosecution departments.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2020