ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has stressed upon the chief justices of the High Courts to ensure that the allocated funds are being utilised to strengthen the capacity of district judiciary in terms of infrastructure, court-related conveniences and amenities to litigants, and clinical aid to clients affected by fundamental rights violation.

A meeting of the Governing Body, Access to Justice Development Fund was held in the Conference Room of the Supreme Court of Pakistan with Chief Justice of Pakistan in the chair. It was attended by Chief Justice Balochistan High Court, Qazi Faez Isa, Chief Justice Sindh High Court, Mushir Alam, Chief Justice Peshawar High Court, Dost Muhammad Khan, Chief Justice Lahore High Court, Sh Azmat Saeed, Secretary Ministry of Finance, Waqar Masood Khan, and Secretary and Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP), Habib-ur-Rehman Sheikh.

The Chairman Governing Body/ Chief Justice of Pakistan observed that establishing the Access to Justice Development Fund, being managed by the Law & Justice Commission, ensured that the genuine requirements of the District Judiciary were met and legal aid was made available to the indigent people who could not pursue their rights in the court of law.

The governing body approved projects of the organisations/ individuals for funding from the Access to Justice Development Fund, including Legal Empowerment Fund Window: Good Thinkers Organisation (GTO), Kasur, National Development Organisation, (NDO), Kashmore, Sindh, Sindh Community Foundation (SCF), Hyderabad, Community Development Program (CDP), Bannu, Community Development Organization (CDO), Bannu, Youth Resource Centre (YRC), Peshawar, Basic Integrated Rural Development Society (BIRDS), Nowshera, Balochistan Boy Scouts Association (BBSA), Quetta, Today’s Women Organisation (TWO), Quetta, Legal and Judicial Research Window: Ms Afshan Zia (Individual), Karachi, Fund for Innovation in Legal Education Window: Ms Saima Amin Khawaja, Lahore. The chairman appreciated the role of Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan in promotion of legal awareness particularly of vulnerable groups by sponsoring projects of legal empowerment and provision of legal aid under the Access to Justice Development Fund.

Besides approving accounts of the AJDF for the financial year 2010-11, the Governing Body also approved the amount recommended by TEC for the District Legal Empowerment Committees (DLECs) with remarks that such Committees may also be formed in all the Districts of Pakistan.

The Governing Body also approved to launch the 6th phase of AJDF for inviting the project proposals from individuals, researchers, scholars, Bar Councils and Associations, Law Colleges and Research Institutes across the country for release of funds from the allocated windows of the fund.