ISLAMABAD: A member of the Pakistan Bar Council has drawn the attention of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial to the “non- functional status” of the Balochistan High Court’s four circuit benches for the last few years.

Munir Ahmed Khan Kakar, a PBC member from Balochistan, requested Justice Bandial to ensure that all the four circuit benches of BHC become functional so that “the hapless people of the province could get justice on their doorstep instead of coming all the way to Quetta”.

The letter cited the example of Sibi, where the high court’s circuit bench has been non-functional for the last 49 years. Lawyers in the district have been on strike since last month to register their anger over the state of affairs.

The BHC’s Turbat circuit bench was not functioning on a regular basis for the last 12 years and the one at Loralai has been inactive for the last five years, the letter added.

The open letter further complained that senior lawyers from these areas were ignored whenever there were vacancies for judges in Balochistan High Court on the ground that they did not have enough experience.

This is all the more reason for regular hearings in the four circuit benches so that lawyers there could acquire enough experience and improve their career prospects, Munir Kakar said in his letter. “I am at a loss to understand why circuit benches in the three other provinces are functioning without let or hindrance and taking up cases on a regular basis.”

Mr Kakar said he felt that the “unfortunate litigants and lawyers of Balochistan are being denied such facility in an attempt to deprive them of their fundamental rights”.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2022

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