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Special Branch points out security lapses in district courts

By Malik Asad 2019-01-04
ISLAMABAD: Special Branch, Islamabad police has pointed out serious security lapses within the premises of the district courts due to the construction of unregulated and illegal chambers of lawyers.

In its report on The Prevailing Situation in District Courts, Special Branch points out that lawyers have constructed another 10 illegal chambers in the surroundings of the courtroom of the District and Sessions Judge Chaudhry Mumtaz.

`Likewise, some chambers have also been constructed near the main entrance of district courts,` the report says.

It goes on to say that lawyers have constructed chambers in the parking areas due to which there is no room lef t for parking and people have to park their cars in nearby streets.

`The entrance and exit points of the district courts premises have been narrowedand it would be not possible to conduct effective rescue operation in case of any emergency,` the Special Branch has warned.

`In case any chamber or any area of the district court is caught fire (sic), the fire tenders would not reach the affected areas,` it says.

SC remands football ground encroachment case to IHC Meanwhile, the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday remanded the matter related to encroachment on a football ground to the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The apex court in February last year took notice of the construction of lawyers` chambers on an amenity plot reserved for a football ground.

Former office bearers of the district bar association of Islamabad had divided the ground into five blocks and named them after themselves.

The blocks were named after former presi-dent of the association Naveed Malik, former association secretary Chaudhry Naseer, former vice president Shakeel Awan, former joint secretary Dilawar Khan and the fifth was named Shuhada Block.

The encroachment started on the basis of a stay order issued by senior civil judge Mohammad Shabbir, who restrained the Capital Development Authority (CDA) from interfering in the construction of chambers on public ground.

In 2013, lawyers had planned to construct the chambers and obtained a judicial order from civil judge Naveed Khan.

However, after resistance from F-8 traders, CDA demolished about 30 under construction chambers but almost half the plot occupied by lawyers could not be retrieved.

There was also a clash between lawyers and traders, forcing the police to move an application to seal the ground.

The lawyers then detained several judges of the subordinate judiciary in their respec-tive ofhces in Oct 2013 after civil judge Umer Shabbir showe d reluct ance in issuing a contempt of court notice to the then CDA chairman for demolishing the chambers.

Lawyers have also constructed chambers on footpaths, litigants` sitting area, parentschildren meeting hall and other open spaces in front of the courtroom as well as in the surroundings of the district courts.

In its report dated Dec 19, 2017 CDA said lawyers were constructing chambers on public ground.

`Action undertaken by the lawyers is completely unlawful and stands in violation of the CDA Ordinance 1960,` the report said.

It also said when the CDA staff visited the area to retrieve the land and asked the lawyers to stop the work they presented a stay orderissued by the courtofseniorciviljudge Mohammad Shabbir.

Judges rotation case Meanwhile, Chief Justice Mian SaqibNisar directed the committee headed by the attorney general of Pakistan to consult the Islamabad district bar association before submitting the proposal on judges` rotation/transfer policy to the federal cabinet.

A deputy attorney general, Syed Nayyab Hassan Gardezi informed the court that the draft proposal is ready and it would also be submitted to the IHC chief for his approval.

The chief justice remarl(ed that it appears that there is some development in this matter and directed the government to submit the proposed amendment in the judicial service rules before parliament.

However, he assured the association`s president, Riasat Ali Azad of taking up this matter in the Chief Justices Committee, which comprises of four chief justices of high courts and headed by the chief justice to deliberate upon the policy related to the rotation of judges of the lower judiciary of the federal capital.