LAHORE - Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Anwaarul Haq inaugurated an evening court, which is aimed at facilitating kids and parents in early disposal of family matters, at Judicial Complex here on Friday.

The court will deal with the cases of minors’ custody, especially in order to keep the children of separated parents away from traditional environment of courts. Established by the LHC, the initiative of evening courts aims to secure the welfare of the minors and protect the interests of the litigant public belonging to working class as well as to help reduce the voluminous backlog of cases.

The maximum pendency in evening court shall be 400 cases and simiilarlty the daily cause list shall not exceed 20 cases. Any time frae for decision as given by relevant law shall be strictly followed by the evening court. The district and sessions judge shall depute experienced court staff. Preferably femal court officials will be posted in the court.

Cases will be transferred to evening court with the consent of both the parties and the counsels concerned. The D&SJ shall forward weekly progress report to the Lahore High Court on every Saturday

The evening court will work from 2pm to 7pm. The project will be extended to 36 other districts if required for expeditious decision of family cases under the West Pakistan Family Courts Act, 1964 and the Guardians & Wards Act, 1890 to ensure the welfare of minors.

Speaking on the occasion, LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Anwaarul Haq said that he was connected with this profession for the past 40 years and had worked with almost all sorts of courts and tribunals. He said that he was well aware of the problems as he himself faced them as a lawyer and a common man.

He said that after taking oath, he tried to take measures for resolution of these problems every day. He said, “Whatever could have been improved, I have tried my level best to accomplish it.”

He added that besides evening court, another remarkable measure had been taken to reduce sufferings of the litigants a week ago. He said that all orders of Punjab judiciary were now available on the official website and anyone could get their copy or read them.

He disclosed that the LHC registrar had been appointed with consensus of administrative committee member judges, for the first time. He maintained that in order to improve performance of judges, all newly appointed civil judges were being trained for a period of eight months. The administrative committee approved appointment of eight additional district and sessions judges today and they would also undergo eight months training.

In this regard, he lauded the role of Lahore Bar Association, saying that all these improvements were not possible without cooperation of the bar. He thanked LBA President Arshad Malik for playing a key role in making the evening court project functional. He also thanked the media for spreading information regarding the evening court.

Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan, Justice Muhammad Farrukh Irfan Khan, Justice Athir Mahmood, Justice Shakilur Rehman Khan, District and Sessions Judge Lahore Abid Hussain Qureshi, Senior Civil Judge Shakeeb Imran, Punjab Bar Council Vice Chairman Bushra Qamar, Lahore Bar Association President Malik Arshad, ,Secretary General Sohail Murshid, civil judges and a large number of lawyers were present.

On the occasion, D&SJ Abid Hussain Qureshi said that the initiative was aimed to ensure the welfare of the kids involved in the family cases by not affecting their studies. It also aims to facilitate the litigant parents to reach the court after office timings, he said.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has lauded the initiative taken by Lahore High Court Chief Justice Anwaarul Haq to start evening court for early disposal of family matters in Lahore. The chief justice sent a message to the LHC appreciating the initiative for improving the system of administration of justice. He said in the message, “I am highly privileged and honoured to convey a message on the occasion of the inauguration of the first ever Evening Court which will hear cases under the West Pakistan Family Courts Act, 1964 and the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.”

He added, , “1 have no words to express my appreciation for this initiative taken by the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court, Mr. Justice Anwar-ul-Haq, which is in line with the vision I have always had for improving our system of administration of justice.”

He maintained, “I have no doubt in my mind that this project will help in the expeditious disposal of family cases whkh will in turn not only protect the interests of the litigant public but more importantly, the welfare of the minors involved due to the provision of a conchiLive and protective atmosphere. I wish the Chief .Justice of the Lahore High Court best of luck for this noble cause and I hope that it will be replicated throughout Pakistan and be extended to all other kinds of Courts as well. Thank you.”