Islamabad - Legal community of the capital is not happy with the government’s decision regarding relocating the district courts (West) from F-8 to the building currently housing Islamabad High Court in Sector G-10 during the current year.

They are of the view that this decision would further increase their problems instead of resolving the same. Presently, Islamabad Capital Territory is divided into two territorial jurisdictions of district courts (East) and district courts (West) for judicial purposes. Each division is headed by a district and session’s judge and a senior civil judge. A number of additional district and session’s judges and civil judge-cum-judicial magistrates work under their supervision to adjudicate both civil and criminal matters. Both divisions of the district courts are located in F-8 Markaz and the offices of Islamabad district courts have been made in the shops and plazas of the Markaz, while the lawyers’ chambers are built in makeshift shanties peppered in and out of the courtrooms.

The government has planned to relocate the district courts (West) to the building presently housing the IHC in Sector G-10/1, as somewhere in the middle of the current year, new building of the IHC, currently under construction in Sector G-5, will be completed at a cost of Rs2.6 billion over an area of 5 acres.

For judicial purposes, as a rule of thumb, all CDA sectors and areas adjacent come under the territorial jurisdiction of district courts (West), while rural areas of the ICT and adjacent areas come under the territorial jurisdiction of district courts (East).  Chaudhary Khalid, media coordinator of Islamabad Bar Association, said that the decision would neither benefit the lawyers nor the litigants, saying that it would be the best if both branches of the district courts are accommodated in one judicial complex.

“Both the legal community and the litigants will benefit greatly if both the courts are located at one place. It would be extremely hard, if not altogether impossible, for the lawyers to pursue multiple cases in the courts that are located far from each other,” maintained the lawyer. Another lawyer at Islamabad District Courts, Zahid Asif Advocate, said that District Bar Association (DBA) and Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) had passed resolutions demanding that both branches of the district courts should be constructed in one judicial complex. He said that they would not accept this decision because it would not only create a lot of problems for them but the litigants would also face many difficulties.