Islamabad - Chief Justice Federal Shariat Court Riaz Ahmed Khan has said the institution of Ombudsman is best suited for resolving common man’s problems, which, otherwise, would result in long litigations at formal courts.

He made this statement during a visit to the Ombudsman Secretariat. The chief justice was accompanied by Justice Allama Dr Fida Muhammad Khan, Justice Sh Najam-ul-Hassan, Additional Registrar Syed Nadeem Haider and Deputy Registrar Shabnam Amir Khan.

The FST chief justice said that all national institutions must combine their efforts to bring about meaningful and comprehensive change in the system of governance in the country. He said it was only through such dedicated and collective efforts that meaningful change in the system could take place.

Justice Riaz said, “We must not ignore the pressing need for effectively revamping the defective system for desired improvement.” He further said that there is lack of information about the role and objectives of the Ombudsman Institution

Earlier, Federal Ombudsman Salman Faruqui while welcoming the chief justice and judges of the Shariat Court said that such visits are a source of great encouragement for the institution. The Ombudsman gave a detailed briefing on the overall operations of the institution. He said the main emphasis of the institution was on expeditious delivery of justice to the aggrieved complainants. In this connection he referred to the 1983 presidential Order which, he said, had certain lacunas that required to be addressed, therefore, after he was appointed Ombudsman he immediately paid attention to the matter for improving the effectiveness of the institution.

Therefore, Wafaqi Mohtasib Regulations 2013 was formulated with the expert advice of imminent jurists, legal experts and members of the civil society. As a result of Regulations 2013, a timeline of 60 days was fixed for expeditious disposal of cases, as there was no timeline fixed earlier for the purpose.

Similarly, all references made to the president against the decisions of the ombudsman were to be decided by the president within 90 days. The Ombudsman was also granted powers of the civil courts to ensure implementation of the ombudsman’s decisions. The Ombudsman informed the judges that dimension of the institutional operations has been expanded, besides attending to regular complaints the institution was now addressing systemic issues in government agencies having considerable impact on public lives.

He also apprised the judges of speedy complaint resolution, the system of appraisement to ensure quality of investigation and decisions. He informed about the resolution of longstanding pension payment issue. He said due to extensive interactions with relevant offices, pension payment issue has been resolved as all cases are now timely processed and released to retiring government servants.