Ministry of Law and Justice, under the guidance of Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, has drafted bills for presentation to the Parliament which are to be considered by the incoming Federal Cabinet. Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, Minister for Law and Justice while chairing a meeting on law reforms here in Ministry of Law& Justice stated that a serious problem facing the country is the matter of delayed justice where cases have been lingering on for decades.
Barrister Ali Zafar said that delay defeats justice. It is especially true in the context of civil disputes pending adjudication before the civil courts and it may take years or even decades to get a civil case decided by a civil court,he said.
He pointed out that the major reason for not being able to address this problem is lack of law reforms. In that respect, it is a ground-breaking accomplishment of the caretaker government that during this short period, Law Ministry has finalized the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The Bill aims at expeditious disposal of civil cases without compromising the fundamental right of fair trial. Reforms are proposed in filing of plaint, service of summons, filling of written statements, preliminary hearing, alternate dispute resolution, case management system, day to day trial, commission for recording of evidence, earliest decision of trial and appeals,he said.
He also said that the proposals also limit unnecessary discretion of civil courts and restrict granting of adjournments and subjecting the parties at fault with heavy penalties in the shape of costs. Object of these reforms is to revolutionize the trial system and bring it in line with the Courts’ system operating in modern world in other countries. It will initially be applicable only in Islamabad.
nother Bill has also been finalized to protect names of public places and to lay down the procedure for naming and renaming of Federal public places. The names of public places play a significant role in orientation, communication, vocabulary, and recognizing spirituality and reflecting the community values of the time. It provides records of historical and cultural value and ensures the capacity to unambiguously identify and locate geographical entities and public places as an essential system for services, infrastructure and public administration.
However, presently no legal sanctity and protection is attached to the existing names of such public places including building and structures. The Bill provides a framework to ensure a coordinated, consistent, fair and equitable protocol which is to be followed by the Naming Committee and the Federal Government when investigating and determining naming proposals.
uits for defamation are inordinately delayed and despite provision of section 14 of the Defamation Ordinance 2002 for decision of such case in 90 days, it takes years for the Courts to decide a case of defamation. Such delays make remedies insignificant and existing procedure do not create any deterrence against publication of false and frivolous defamatory statements.
Bill to amend the Defamation Ordinance 2002 has been prepared which aims to streamline the procedure in order to ensure early disposal of defamation suites, create deterrence against frivolous litigation and swift execution of decrees in defamation suits. The minimum and maximum amount of general damages has also been proposed to be rationalized since these were last fixed in 2004. Provision of security for execution of decree is made mandatory for stay of execution by the appellate Court. —APP