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July 7, 2020

Tribute to Kh Khalid Paul

Islamabad

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APP
July 7, 2020

Islamabad:Justice Khawaja Khalid Paul was the first Sessions Judge of Islamabad. Justice Paul hails from Sialkot and belongs to a family of lawyers as his father, grandfather and great grandfather were also members of the legal fraternity. He served as the first Sessions Judge of ICT from 1980 to 1983. After serving his time as Sessions Judge Islamabad, he was appointed as the Registrar of Lahore High Court and then elevated as the Judge of Lahore High Court in 1988 and retired in 1997.

Justice Paul was a liberal man and had his own opinion about Hudood Ordinance which he expressed in a meeting with then President General Zia ul Haq. The meeting surrounds an interesting incident that after the implementation of Hudood Ordinance, around 40 drunkards were arrested by police and later on released by the magistrate/civil judge in Islamabad. When this news got published, General Zia summoned the District and Sessions Judge Islamabad, Khawaja Khalid Paul to express his concerns on the release of those drunkards. Responding to which, Justice Paul said that there was no evidence or confession. He added that we are the courts of Law, not the court of morality and we can only litigate on the basis of existing laws. He added that the very few people who were stoned in the past, were those who voluntarily confessed their crimes before the courts out of the fear of God. Therefore, what we should do is to instill God’s fear in peoples’ minds, in order to prevail morality among public. After this meeting, Gen Zia decided to establish Sharia’t Courts.

We all speak very much about the speedy justice but the attitude of our Executive towards Islamabad’s Judiciary doesn’t pose an encouraging image at all. When the first Sessions Judge of Islamabad was appointed, there was no office for the newly appointed sessions judge. The office of the Sessions Judge was initially established in two shops in F-8 Markaz. Even today, the office of the Sessions Judge of Islamabad is in the same premises in a very pity condition which is not in line with the honor and dignity of the Judiciary. The district courts complex in F-8 Markaz presents a very sad situation for the honorable lawyers who don’t have their proper offices in line with the image of the capital of Pakistan.

In order to deliver the justice in a speedy and efficient manner, appropriate infrastructure should be built for the district courts as well as for the offices of lawyers. The lack of seriousness of state in this regard can be inferred from the fact that even after 40 years of their establishment, the court of Sessions Judge is being operated from the same premises in F-8 Markaz. The public seeking justice feels helpless if they have to wait for their court hearings as there is no sitting area. The hot, cold and rainy weather puts people to real test as the visitors feel as if they are facing punishment for seeking justice.

— Zafar Bakhtawari