Civil judges hiring okayed to address 1.3m pending cases Huge backlogs awakes LHC CJ to justice delay

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Amraiz Khan

Taking stocking of the huge cases backlog, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan has taken a big step to provide timely dispensation of justice and decided to recruit civil judges to handle more than 1.3 million cases pending in courts across the province.
After approval by the LHC chief justice, written examinations for the recruitment of civil judges will be conducted from November 17 to 24 across the province. According to the officials concerned, requisite approval has been accorded to the plan and all arrangements have been made for the recruitment of civil judges, starting from November 16.
The officials, seeking anonymity, informed that roll number slips have been issued to the candidates for the written examination to be conducted for the recruitment of civil judges. As many as 3,143 candidates from all over the province including Lahore will appear for the examination of recruitment of civil judges. For the recruitment of civil judges, the educational standard of BA/LLB and two years of advocacy practice has been maintained.
Written examinations will be conducted at Lahore Board Examination Centers on Lawrence Road, Multan, Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi. Candidates will be required to appear for the examination papers of seven subjects including Civil, Criminal, General Knowledge and English.
Candidates who score a total of 50% marks in the examinations will be called for interviews stage. According to sources, the committee headed by Justice Shahid Bilal Hassan will monitor the examination for the recruitment of civil judges.
On the other hand, it is a pity that for a population of 220 million people, there are only 3,000 judges and magistrates available from top to bottom. Former Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had observed at a function that the Supreme Court decided 26,000 cases last year.
He said that during the last year 3.1 million cases were decided. He drew a comparison of the judicial system of Pakistan with that of the United States, saying that the Supreme Court of Pakistan had wrapped up 26,000 cases during last year while the American Supreme Court could decide only 80 to 90 cases. “Despite heavy workload, our judges are trying their level best to clear the backlog,” the chief justice said. This alarming situation in the judicial sector was also highlighted by Chief Justice Khosa when he spoke at the full court reference hosted by the Supreme Court to bid farewell to his predecessor, former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar.
Then Chief Justice Khosa had lamented that successive governments had failed to suitably increase the number of judges and magistrates on account of financial constraints and pointed out that 3,000 judges and magistrates could not handle 1.9m cases even if they worked for “36 hours a day”.
It was, therefore, time to take some big and hard decisions, he had observed, adding that it was time to introduce some structural and systemic changes to minimise litigation, eliminate unnecessary delays and rationalise the workload.

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