ISLAMABAD - Senior most Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan has emphasised paralegal staff should be appointed on merit for effective and efficient performance of the district judiciary.

Justice Shakirullah Jan expressed these views in the certificate-awarding ceremony on the conclusion of one-week course on “Appreciation of Evidence and Management of Criminal Trial Before Magistrates” for twenty civil judges from all over Pakistan including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, here at the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA) on Saturday.

He observed that merit should be the only criterion for the appointment of paralegal staff including employees from grade-5 to 15.

“When I was the Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court then recruitment rules for the appointment of paralegal staff members were framed and appointments were made purely on merit.” When meritorious people are not appointed and those who are not well conversant with the work then it badly affect the performance of courts, he maintained.

Appreciating the feedback given by the trainee judges regarding the difficulties and problems which were being faced and experienced by theme, the honorable judge said: “I appreciate the feedback which you have given; we had initiated this - taking feedback from the trainees - with this aim and objective to share it with the National Judicial Policy (Making Committee) which is chaired by the Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan and all other Honorable Chief Justices of High Courts are its members. Difficulties and problems which you have mentioned in your feedback would be placed before the National Judicial Policy (Making Committee) for its favourable consideration.”

He also highlighted those issues one by one which the trainee judges have mentioned in their feedback such as lack of proper court rooms for judges, acute shortage of manpower, corruption in the paralegal staff and growing ‘intolerance’ among the lawyers etc.

“I have already talked to the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan and conveyed those difficulties and problems being faced by you. Implementable things will be implemented and other issue which mentioned in your feedback will help the National Judicial Policy (Making Committee) in the formulation of the policies” he illustrated.

The main purpose of this training course is to provide you an opportunity so that you have an acquaintance with each other and also about the district judiciary each others province and share experience with each other,  with the resource persons and also with us here in this Academy.”

Earlier, DG of the Academy presented his welcome address, an overview of the course and a brief introduction of honourable chief guest.

Hashim Abro, spokesman of the Academy said that honourable chief guest gave away certificates to the twenty judges-four were female Civil Judges -cum- Judicial Magistrates two from Sindh district judiciary and one each from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa.