LAHORE           -        Planning & Development Board, government of the Punjab in collaboration with Lahore High Court and Punjab Judicial Academy on Monday organised the inaugural ceremony of training workshop for district commercial court judges under Ease of Doing Business Reforms Action Plan.

The objective of the six-day intensive training workshop of judges is to equip them with relevant laws and precedents related to commercial and overseas courts. Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh, Chairman, Planning & Development Board, stated, “We are channelising our best efforts to create an enabling business environment in the province to attract investments and generate economic activity which would lead towards job creation. Since, the past few years, we have implemented a number of reforms for the private sector under this reforms strategy to create an enabling environment for the businesses to operate and flourish. 

In Punjab, several reform initiatives were implemented during the last two years in the areas of construction permits, registering property and getting electricity. This year under the guidance and supervision of Chief Justice Lahore High Court, Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan and his team led by Justice Shahid Karim and Justice Jawad Hassan worked in collaboration with Planning & Development Board to implement the reforms under enforcing contracts indicator.” he added.

Justice Jawad Hassan gave detailed presentation on Rule of Law and Access, Dispensation & Administration of Justice. He stated that 4th schedule, item 3 of the Federal Legislative list, Part-I emphasizes on “implementing of treaties & agreements while Article -4 of the constitution deals with equal protection of law. On 29th February, 2020 the National Judicial Policy Making Committee directed all Administrative Tribunals and Special Courts to be filled for clearing of backlog of all cases. He further added the reforms under contract enforcement indicator implemented by the Lahore High Court are historical and shall be beneficial for other provinces to replicate.

“We have not only established dedicated commercial courts but we have planned to provide the nominated judges with essential training required to deal with commercial matters,” he said. An important initiative of this reform action plan was to design modules for training workshop of judges and ensure the lectures are delivered by eminent lawyers who have specialized in their respective fields.

Chief Justice Lahore High Court Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan appreciated the efforts of his team led by Justice Shahid Karim and Justice Jawad Hassan who worked tirelessly with the Planning & Development Board and the World Bank, IFC Group and provided the vision for operationalisation of commercial courts and legislative reforms. He added that this landmark initiative will contribute significantly to improve the business environment of the province. Establishment of dedicated commercial courts will make a substantial difference as commercial disputes will be resolved in a timely manner therefore reducing the pendency of cases and backlog of cases thus increasing investor confidence in the judicial processes.He hoped that the judges nominated for training shall take full benefit from this opportunity and they will be better equipped when they go back to their courts.

The event was attended by judges of the Lahore High Court, secretary, Planning & Development Board, Punjab, Imran Sikandar Baloch, Ali Jalal, Program Director, senior representatives from the federal & provincial governments, Chamber of Commerce & Industry and World Bank Group, eminent lawyers and academia.