LAHORE - Drug court has been functioning without proper infrastructure, thanks to authorities concerned for drugs regulation.

Situated at a road-corner in posh Shadman of the Punjab capital, the one-judge and one-room court looks after the cases of eleven districts – Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Mandi Bahauddin, Narowal, Kasur, Okara, Sheikhupura, Nankana and Hafizabad.

Two former drug court judges have been enjoying the perk of official cars, the serving judge does not have a vehicle to travel to other cities, The Nation has learnt. Sardar Ashiq Hussain Rind Baloch, the judge, has also been serving as its chairman under such pathetic conditions … the rundown building – one court room and one retiring room with an open window – is enough to explode the security cover.

In all weathers, the court lacks backup during loadshedding while no sitting arrangements rub salt into litigants’ wounds. Moreover, the deputy district public prosecutors (DDPPs ) and bar members do not find place to sit and wait their cases. Moreover, judicial lockup is considered as an integral part of any court but unfortunately this is not available for the accused of this court. 

An official said on anonymity that maintaining court records was also a ‘big’ challenge because no permanent place was allocated for the court and usual shifting may cause loss of any important file.

Performance

In June, the court decided 51, out of 727, cases and imposed Rs 250,000 fine on convicts of violating drugs regulation laws. Had the court given proper facilities, the situation would have been better.