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Pakistan

Courts start functioning at new judicial complex amid protests by lawyers

 

MULTAN: District courts started hearing cases on Tuesday morning at a new location, a spacious new judicial complex built at Matti Tal area in the suburbs of Multan city under a project worth million of rupees.

The new judicial complex was built few years ago at a 791 Kanal area, however, shifting of courts to the new modified facility got delayed after lawyers raised objections including its distance from the city area, and absence of lawyers chambers.

The new judicial complex project was announced in the year 2003 and work began in 2005 after acquisition of land. Initially it was estimated to be completed within three years at a cost of Rs 395.9 million. However, its execution got delayed and cost increased.

The court work at the new facility began after formal opening and flag hoisting ceremony. The first case that came up for hearing before District and Sessions Judge (DSJ) Ameer Muhammad Khan was the bail application of Mufti Abdul Qavi in the murder case of social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch.

Twelve courts of additional district and sessions judges, a court of senior civil judge and 24 courts of civil judges have been built in all respects besides judges residences, roads and Bakhshi Khana, officials said.

Meanwhile, lawyers led by district bar association president Yousuf Zubair, and high court bar association president took out a rally from old Katcheri to high court Multan Bench.

Former general secretary of high court bar association Multan Syed Riaz Ul Hassan Gilani told APP that shifting of courts to new judicial complex would create difficulties for litigants as it was around fifteen kilometres away from the city. Moreover, there were no chambers of lawyers at the judicial complex and it lacked facilities for the litigants.

He said, lawyers demanded that the courts should return to the old Katcheri till the time all the facilities are made available there. He said that lawyers were staging sit-in in front of the high court Multan Bench.

Earlier, last Monday, officials shifted the whole judicial record of the district courts to the new judicial complex under tight security arrangements.

APP