ISLAMABAD - The National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee (NJPMC) Saturday regretted appointment of judicial officers as delimitation authorities to hear and decide objections against delimitation of union councils and wards in Punjab and Sindh provinces.

The NJPMC meeting was held in the chair of Chief Justice of Pakistan Nasir-ul-Mulk, who is also its chairman. The chief justices of Federal Shariat Court and all high courts participated in the meeting.

The committee considered the request of the Election Commission of Pakistan regarding appointment of judicial officers as delimitation authorities to hear and decide objections against delimitation of union councils and wards in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh.

The committee observed that under the Delimitation of Constituencies Rules 2015, the functions of delimitation authorities are such that can be assigned to and performed by executive officers. The committee observed that the district judiciary is already tackling with huge backlog therefore assignment of additional responsibility of delimitation authorities would hamper the administration of justice, therefore, regrets may be conveyed to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The committee reviewed the process of appointment of judicial officers and observed that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh hundreds of posts of judicial officers are lying vacant. The chairman asked the chief justices of the High Courts to make all efforts for filling of all vacant posts of the judicial officers.

The committee also reviewed the performance of the subordinate judiciary service tribunals. The secretary LJCP presented the statistics of appeals pending, instituted and disposed of by the tribunals. After deliberations, the committee resolved that the tribunals may meet once in a week to hear the service appeals of the members of district judiciary.

The chairman asked the chief justices to monitor the performance of respective tribunals to ensure that at least half of the pendency should be cleared within a period of six months.

The committee also considered the proposal of reviving and reconstituting the provincial justice committees. The secretary LJCP briefed the meeting about the composition and mandate of the proposed provincial justice committees which include heads of all the provincial justice organisations and secretary LJCP as secretary/member of the committees.

The meeting was informed that the proposed committees, technically supported by LJCP, would ensure effective implementation to improve the quality of justice services. After deliberations, the committee approved the proposal for reconstitution of provincial justice committees which would meet on monthly basis.

The chairman observed that the provincial justice committees would potentially strengthen the provincial justice coordination, policy, planning and improve the administration of justice in the country.