Hon’able Chief Justice Muhammad Anwaar-ul-Haq from Lahore High Court (LHC) has taken the supreme initiative to give a directive to District & Session Judge Mr. Abid Qureshi to open an evening court.

The LHC chief justice took the decision to set up the court for hearing family cases and those related to child custody and to provide children a secure atmosphere so that they could feel better in evening hours rather than in the morning when courts are overcrowded. According to a notification, the pilot project has been initiated from Lahore and 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 secure the welfare of the minors and protect the best interest of litigant public.

Some litigants also complained about the congested meeting room where children are allowed to meet their parents. The parents also demanded installation of new swings, slides and other essentials near the courts where their children could play.They also called for a shop where children could be taken to and given a freehand for buying what they want, on their own. The court will deal with the cases of minor’s custody, especially in order to keep the children of divorced parents away from traditional environment of courts. The maximum pendency in this evening court shall be 400 cases and similarity the daily cause list shall not exceed 20 cases. Anytime free for decision as given by relevant law shall be strictly followed by the evening court. The District and session 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&S judge shall forward weekly progress report to the Lahore high court on every Saturday. Speaking on the occasion LHC Chief justice Muhammad Anwar ul haq said that he was connected with this profession for the past 40 years and had worked with almost all sort of courts and tribunals. He said that he was well aware of the problem as he himself faced them as a lawyer and a common man. Besides evening court another remarkable measure had been taken to reduce the suffering of the litigants, all orders of Punjab judiciary are now available on the official website and anyone could get their copy or read them. Further in order to improve the performance of judges, for the first time all newly appointed civil judges were being trained for a period of 8 months.

It is pertinent to mention that for the first time in the history of the country, such a step has been taken. If the objective of the measure is accomplished, it could gain prominence and be adopted by other courts throughout the country.

MUHAMMAD NADEEM BHATTI,

Lahore, November 15.