ISLAMABAD - The top level meeting of the judiciary chaired by CJP Nasir-ul-Mulk on Wednesday discussed ways to fast track terrorism cases pending with different courts across the country.
The meeting participated by the chief justices of High Courts and the monitoring judges of Anti-Terrorism Courts decided that the ATCs judges must bound the witnesses, the investigation/prosecution agencies and the defence counsel for a particular date so that the cases are tried on day-to-day basis.
It observed that only 10-15% of the anti-terrorism cases pertained to bomb blasts or militancy related terrorism, while rest of the cases were being tried in the ATCs only because they technically fell within the definition of 'terrorism'.
After discussing the entire spectrum of the issues from different angles it decided eight points, including the trial of militancy related terrorism cases on priority and their hearing on day-to-day basis as provided under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Regarding Balochistan and the Malakand Division where FC and Levies personnel and Revenue officials are entrusted with the registration of FIRs and investigation of cases, the government functionaries concerned shall ensure that police officers, who are actually trained in the processes of registration/investigation of cases are immediately inducted by requisitioning the services of the suitable personnel from the police departments.
The monitoring judges of the High Courts shall hold meeting once a month, which will be attended by all the stakeholders i.e. the presiding officers of the ATCs, representatives of the investigation/prosecution agencies, jail authorities, home departments etc., so as to sort out the bottlenecks at that level. The reports of the monthly meetings shall be forwarded to the judges of the Supreme Court, supervising the respective High Courts.
The provincial governments shall take steps to reallocate the premises of the anti-terrorism courts in consultation with the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court to facilitate their smooth functioning. As regards the Anti-Terrorism appeals pending in the High Courts and the Supreme Court, the courts offices shall divide the same into militancy related cases and others so that the former category cases are heard on priority basis. The Chief Justices shall ensure that the exercise of separation of the cases is done at the earliest in their respective courts.
The Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan Secretariat will be tasked to review the anti-terrorism laws, formulate recommendations, and thereafter steps shall be taken to forward the same to the concerned quarters for further action expeditiously. The reports on the above measures will be forwarded to the monitoring judges of the Supreme Court as well as the Chief Justice of Pakistan so that follow up meetings are held on regular basis.