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REUTERS
February 9, 2011
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Revival of magistracy system

Business

REUTERS
February 9, 2011

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This is apropos the news item ‘MQM, PPP agree to revive magistracy system’ (February 7). This is indeed a very welcome step and will surely help improve governance in the country besides hugely contributing towards poverty reduction through control of prices etc. The government should have acted much earlier to undo the changes made by a dictator in the administrative system with the ulterior motive of making his rule palatable. The abolition of the magistracy system impacted the life of the common man in a big way. No doubt the market forces play a big role in fixation of prices, but unfortunately, supplies have always been manipulated in our country to jack up prices and fleece the common man. Abolition of magistracy had also increased the workload of the lower judiciary. It was unnecessarily burdened with cases of executive and semi-judicial nature under the Criminal Procedure Code. Hopefully, the judiciary will be spared of this extra baggage. I would rather suggest that the cases of maintenance, divorce etc. should be transferred to conciliation courts headed by nazims or chairmen of union councils.
A robust magistracy system is imperative to rein in the forces behind black-marketing, profiteering and hoarding. However, merely giving powers of special magistrates to some officers without strong institutional support behind them, as is in vogue these days, will never achieve results.
Muhammad Zaman
Lahore

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