MULTAN, March 1: The Multan District Bar Association reiterated on Saturday its opposition to the Legal Framework Order in the presence of the chief justice of Pakistan.

Speaking at a reception in the honour of Chief Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, DBA president Sheikh Jamshed Hayat said the Multan Bar believed that the LFO was a blot on the face of the constitution. “Democracy, in its worst form, is better than dictatorship.”

He said military dictators in Pakistan had ruined the country by derailing democracy time and again.

The DBA president received a thunderous applause from the audience when he urged the legislators not to make the LFO part of the constitution.

He observed that intentionally or unintentionally the establishment had diverted the job of legislation from parliament to the courts.

About the problems being faced by the lawyers and litigants in Multan, the DBA president demanded a compact judicial complex on the pattern of Lahore’s Aiwan-i-Adl. At present, the courts were scattered in different parts of the city.

Mr Hayat proposed that the judicial complex could be constructed at the police lines which was adjacent to the district courts.

He also underlined the need for the automation of courts’ record and a modern library in Multan for the lawyers.

He urged the chief justice to frame such rules that could ensure involvement of young lawyers, especially the women lawyers, in cases like murder and Islamic laws.

Mr Hayat further demanded that the government should make compulsory the document preparation through lawyers.

Chief Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, however, avoided issues like the LFO in his key speech. He mainly spoke about the period he spent in Multan when he was first appointed as a high court judge in 1984.

The chief justice said he felt more pride in being a lawyer rather than a judge.

He said that within a year after becoming the CJ, he had succeeded in constituting the National Judicial Policy Commission through an ordinance.

He said after getting reports from the chief justices of the high courts for the improvement of judicial system, he recently held meetings with the finance department and directed the people there to execute the plan for the uplift of judicial infrastructure in the country.

He said the plan to establish judicial complexes in the country with the help of the Asian Development Bank would be started from south Punjab.

He said the project for the automation of courts’ record throughout the country had been approved and would soon be implemented.

He urged the lawyers to develop reading habit and avoid unnecessary delays in the disposal of cases.

Later, when a journalist asked him about the future of LFO, the CJ said: “We will see when it will be put up before us.”

APP ADDS: Chief Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad said facilities would soon be provided to the subordinate judiciary.

Provision of facilities to subordinate judiciary and the Bar associations was essential to aid process for administration of justice, he said.

Apart from accommodation facilities for civil judges and additional district and sessions judges, pick and drop facility would also be provided to them.

Lauding the performance of duties by the judges in far-flung areas like Rojhan, Rajanpur and Khairpur Tamewali despite lack of facilities, he said that all the deficiencies would be removed shortly.

He said that the chief justices of the high courts had been asked to provide detailed report about the number of court rooms, accommodation and other facilities. They have also been asked to submit their requirements.

A meeting of the secretaries of provincial and federal finance ministries has also called to ensure speedy release of funds for the purpose. Prime Minister’s adviser Shaukat Aziz would also attend the meeting.

He said the project for computerization of judicial record required funds for purchase of hardware.

The CJ gave Rs500,000 cheque each to the Lahore High Court Bar Association, Multan bench, and the Multan District Bar Association, besides another Rs200,000 cheque to the Shujabad Tehsil Bar Association.

Lawyer Akram Shaikh also announced Rs100,000 assistance for the Multan DBA.

The reception was also attended by justices Muhammad Zafar Yasin, Nazir Ahmad Siddiqui, Muhammad Khalid Alvi and Chaudhri Iftikhar Husain of the Multan bench of the Lahore High Court besides judges of lower courts.

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