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Wide-ranging reforms introduced in Punjab judiciary: LHC CJ

By Murtaza Ali Shah
November 24, 2017

LONDON: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah Thursday said judicial reforms were being introduced at a fast pace across Punjab and a special court had been set up to provide speedy justice to overseas Pakistanis.

In an interview with Geo News here, Syed Mansoor Ali Shah said there were more than 1.2 million cases pending in Punjab alone and amongst them more than 800 cases related to overseas Pakistanis.

He spoke to The News after addressing a large gathering of British Pakistanis that was organised by the World Congress of Overseas Pakistanis (WCOP).

Justice Mansoor said he didn’t believe in favouring anyone on the basis of their social status and wealth but it was important to provide relief to overseas Pakistanis on the basis that they lived outside of Pakistan and perhaps a dedicated court could help speed up the resolution of their cases.

Justice Shah is in London on the invitation of Ministry of Justice. He is accompanied by four judges and members of Lahore High Court who are all part of the delegation visiting London to learn about the recent judicial reforms introduced by the government.

Justice Mansoor said the Punjab’s Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis met him and informed about the number of cases related to overseas Pakistanis.

“For us, all are equal. We don’t get impressed by social status and wealth; we have decided to provide speedy justice to overseas Pakistanis and fast tracking hundreds of cases. Over 1.2 million Pakistanis live in the UK only, there is a lot of disconnect. Overseas Pakistanis need to know about the system and learn how to file complaints properly as that’s helpful in getting justice. Case management is an important element of a case and it’s important to get the case right.”

He said wide-ranging reforms had been rolled out in Punjab to bring changes to the ailing system. He said he was visiting London with his colleagues to interact with the British judiciary and also to learn from the reforms that have been introduced in the justice system in recent years.

“Both Pakistan and the UK have done reforms and are carrying on with them. We wanted to interact with our counterparts to learn from their experience and to exchange ideas. Both of us are going through a phase of reforms.”

Justice Mansoor said the aim of judiciary in Punjab under him was to provide relief to those who seek justice and come to courts for resolution of their disputes and to seek justice.

He said for the first time mediation courts had been introduced in Punjab to try to end disputes outside of litigation where possible. He said backlog was a reality in courts everywhere in the world but in Punjab it’s quite high. “Meditation courts are there to reduce dependency. We want to lessen the burden. The focus of judiciary is ordinary people. There’s no other agenda and mission.”