KARACHI-Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday informed Sindh Assembly that a total of 42,531 criminal cases are pending in 27 districts of the province of which 17,516 are in Karachi only.

The Chie Minister, who also holds the law portfolio, stated this while responding to the lawmakers’ written and oral queries in Sindh Assembly. Murad said that Alternate Dispute Resolution methods were being considered to decrease burden on courts. “There are 92,189 cases in the Sindh High Court and 101,059 cases are also pending in District Judiciary of Sindh. Out of above 37,090 of civil, 54,269 criminal, 14,125 family and 7,738 banking court cases are pending in various courts and tribunals of the province,” he added.

The CM said that access to justice was priority area of the provincial government and in order to reduce work load and expenses in court system, Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism and measures such as mediation and conciliation are being considered through amendments particularly in section 89-A, Code of Civil Procedure (Act V of 1908) and Order X in 2002.

The Sindh Assembly had recently passed The Code of Civil Procedure (amendment) Bill, 2018 paving the way for alternate resolution of the disputes.

Murad added that for strengthening the criminal justice system, Sindh Rule of Law Road Map, Project was under study. “Review work by the stakeholders on the said Project is going on under the supervision of Home Department.

Besides, prosecution services are being provided actively in all courts of the province including Supreme Court of Pakistan with regard to fair, speedy and inexpensive justice to the common people of the Province,” said the CM.

‘Shortage of funds’

To another question, the CM once again decried the cut of funds from the centre, saying that they should have been given all the funds by the centre, adding that the latter did not receive their entire share. He was replying to the Grand Democratic Alliance MPA Nusrat Sehar Abbasi who asked a question regarding officials’ residential accommodation for the prosecutors in Sindh.

“The scheme was approved at an estimated cost of Rs.359.161 Million Block but it could not be completed on time due to adequate funding and hike in the cost of construction material, labour charges,” said Murad.

Opposition Leader Firdaus Shamim Naqvi criticized the government and said there was flaw in the system which needs to be corrected for the timely completion of the projects. “How could we complete projects with shortage of funds. Our billion of rupees are still due on the federal government but despite that we had carried out record uplift works last year,” Murad said while asking the Opposition Leader to cooperate with them getting ‘due share’ from the centre.