Seven additional judges of the Sindh High Court (SHC) took oath on Wednesday.
SHC Chief Justice Mushir Alam administered the oath to the newly appointed judges - Syed Mohammad Farooq Shah, Farooq Ali Channa, Habibur Rehman Sheikh, Azizur Rehman, Aftab Ahmed Gorar, Salahuddin Panhwar and Riazat Ali Sahar.
Talking to journalists after the oath-taking ceremony, the SHC chief justice, referring to police and other law enforcement agencies’ reports, said the lack of an impartial administration was responsible for the failure to bring the law and order situation in Karachi under control. He noted that the frequent transfers and posting in the police department were also to blame for the problem.
“The provincial government has held out the assurance that no unnecessary transfers and posting will take place in the police department and the system will be regulated.”
The SHC chief justice, who is also the head of a high level committee formed on the directives of the Supreme Court to monitor the law and order situation in Karachi, said criminals mostly took refuge in Katchi Abadis and as these areas were congested, the law enforcement agencies found it difficult to arrest them.
“The government has been asked to look into the matter of Katchi Abadis’ regularisation and plan residential schemes for their residents.”
Responding to a query, he said the SHC had been facing a shortage of judges during the last couple of years, but after the induction of the new seven judges, the high court’s strength was satisfactory and this would help monitor the law and order situation effectively.
He said a research and development centre was being set up at the SHC to review police investigation reports. “This step will help monitor the crime ratio and law and order situation.” He expressed hope that the government would cooperate with the court in this regard.
To another question, the SHC chief justice said there was a need for setting up a judicial complex so that all courts including provincial and federal tribunals could work at one place.
The ceremony was attended by judges, federal and provincial law officers and other judicial officers. After the induction of the seven judges, the total strength of SHC judges has increased to 24. However, there is still a shortage of 16 judges. It is pertinent to mention here that a full bench of the SHC, setting aside the parliamentary committee’s decision, had ordered the confirmation of two additional judges for the high court.