Although promises were made and some steps were taken in the past, the judicial system of the province still needs basic reforms for prompt, quality and inexpensive justice. Over the decades, many decisions, policies and measures were announced by the various heads of judicial systems but to no avail.

The litigants better know of the problems they face at lower courts, where they do not find even potable water. Security situation is even sorrier – Farzana Bibi’s stoning to death outside the Lahore High Court a few months ago was one of the examples of poor security for courts.

There are only 145 civil judges-cum-judicial magistrates for the city of more than 10 million people. Though the judicial authorities have given approval to 122 more civil judges-cum-judicial magistrates, they have not been appointed, leaving the staff overburdened.

The judicial authorities have borrowed a building from the Lahore Development Authority to run civil and family courts. A single room at the LDA building has also been divided into two or three portions to provide space for all judges. Surprisingly, there is only one marking room at the civil court beside the court of senior civil judge, where people from across the city come to file their suits/applications. Two clerks receive all the petitions and maintain the record manually. Had the system been computerised, the working of the courts would have been much better.

It usually happens that a citizen files his application/civil suit a number of times in the courts and finally gets relief, though his application/civil court had already been rejected. The situation stays same for the sessions courts.  As far as the administration of the civil and magisterial courts is concerned, only seven people are there to deal with all civil judges, judicial magistrates and guardian courts’ work. Requesting anonymity, a senior official stressed the need for at least 30 people to do administrative work for all civil judges and judicial magistrate.

The official said application had also been written to the Lahore High Court for the recruitment of more people but to no avail. The timely justice is possible only if the more staff is appointed and given proper salaries, he added. He stated the salary of all employees at the high court level has been doubled beside the allowances and etc. On July 9, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmad appointed Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah as Reform Judge to bring in betterment the judicial system.