ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee on Tuesday cleared an amendment to the Code of Civil Procedure, which requires courts to decide cases of movable and immovable property including those involving inheritance rights of women in one year.
The amendment was moved by Member of National Assembly (MNA) Syed Javed Hasnain, and taken up by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice.
Mr Hasnain had recommended that such cases should not run infinitely. “The amendment binds a civil judge to decide such cases in one year and the appellate court shall take a decision in such cases in 90 days,” he said and committee members agreed with him.
“The inheritance right has already been ordained. Unfortunately, women and weak persons do not get their proper shares even after prolonged judicial proceedings. The recent judgement of the Supreme Court regarding the decision in civil-inheritance case is an eye opener, which concluded after a 100 years. Most women and weak persons hesitate to knock the doors for their due rights because of slow processes,” he told the committee.
Cases involving women’s inheritance should not linger on, MNA says
According to the proposed amendment: “Notwithstanding anything contained in any law … a suit filed under sub-section 1, shall be decided by the court in six months and the appellate court shall decide the appeal not later than 90 days.”
He stressed that the amendment was the need of the hour for women and vulnerable people so they could exercise their right to inheritance and property.
Similarly, Mr Hasnain had also proposed an amendment to Article 185 in the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which states: “An accused whose death sentence has been confirmed by the High Court has the right to appeal in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall decide on this appeal within 90 days.”
Mr Hasnain argued before the committee that it was common practice in the society that when a person was murdered for any reason, “sometimes a first information report (FIR) is lodged against innocent people. Sometimes, these innocent people are handed down death penalties and their trials run for many years. Often, after 15 to 20 years, the Supreme Court acquits these persons”.
This is unfortunate because sometimes even young people end up spending their entire life in prison and their family keeps waiting for justice, therefore the death penalty must be decided immediately, Mr Hasnain said.
However, further discussion on this was deferred. While chairing the committee, MNA Riaz Fatyana said that an amendment to the Constitution Bill required consent from two third members in the house.
The standing committee also deliberated over judicial reforms including appointment of judges.
Mr Fatyana said that the judiciary was an important pillar of the state.
“It has been a practice that unqualified individuals have been made judges and chief justices. The interpreter of law should be a man of impeccable character, and qualified in every aspect including emotionally, by knowledge, and psychologically. The judiciary should also support the idea of fair examination of individuals and recruitment should be made by senior judges on merit,” he said, adding that this would improve the quality of judges and clearer interpretation of law to deliver justice.
Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2021