Lahore - Federal Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem said on Thursday that the government was determined to bring in judicial reforms after civil suits would be decided in one year to 15 months.

Addressing a reception hosted for him, Dr Farogh said the government was considering appointing lawyers at police stations. He said he had a proposal for the inclusion of lawyers in the process of investigation and registration of FIRs so that lawyers can be provided jobs and the issue of fake FIRs can be resolved.

He stressed the need for merit-based judicial appointments. “Litigation will prolong when judges are appointed in violation the merit,” he said, adding that capacity-building of lawyers was also a priority of the government.

Responding to PbBC Executive Body Member Bushra Qamar’s request to finalise all the programmes that were in the pipeline for the community’s welfare, he said there was no such proposal on his table.  However, he pledged welfare of lawyers by providing them with health cards, housing colonies etc. PbBC Vice Chairman Jam Muhammad Younus demanded health cards, housing colonies, an academy for about 115,000 lawyers across Punjab. He informed the participants that the PbBC had recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Turkish lawyers’ association for sharing experiences.

He demanded the federal government immediately announce funds for bars in Punjab but the demand was not given much importance by the law minister.

Bushra Qamar presented a long list of demands before the minister after presenting a grim picture of the sorry state of affairs of the community especially of the young lawyers and elderly ones.  She was of the view that the government could resolve most of the lawyers’ grievance by passing an executive orders. She proposed an additional fee of Rs500 on each Power of Attorney and an additional ticket on each Wakalatnama to be used at the PbBC platform for the betterment of young as well elderly lawyers. She repeated most of the demands made by the earlier speaker such as housing colonies, health cards etc for the lawyers.

She said in Turkey, the government provides lawyers and their family with health cover. She urged the government to ensure the representation of Pakistan through lawyers in the United Nations.