SC asks govt to decide about 120 new courts in a month

By: News Desk      Published: 02:50 PM, 21 Oct, 2020
SC asks govt to decide about 120 new courts in a month

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the government to make a decision within a month about establishing 120 accountability courts throughout the country, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmad who was heading the three-judge bench hearing the suo moto case said the court sought a report from the NAB chairman regarding NAB rules which, the NAB prosecutor said, are with the Law Ministry. “The same thing was told to the apex court during the last hearing,” the CJP added.

The Additional Attorney General informed the court that at the moment there were 24 accountability courts working in the country which are all functional. There was no vacant post in any of these courts, he added.

Expressing anger over the absence of a regular secretary in the Law Ministry, the court directive for the appointment of a permanent secretary in the ministry. “There is no room for ad hocism now,” the Chief Justice remarked.

The CJP again sought a report about the NAB rules from the Law Ministry, posing a question of what happened to establishing 120 courts.

The court then adjourned the hearing for one month.

On September 4 last, the government, after the directive of the Supreme Court, had unveiled a comprehensive plan to set up 120 accountability courts across the country.

The decision was taken by Law Minister Barrister Farogh Naseem. The plan included the overall human resource requirements and financial implications for the establishment of additional accountability courts across the country.

A statement issued by the law ministry then had said the plan would be presented to Prime Minister. The plan will be presented to Prime Minister Imran Khan by the Law and Justice Division for consideration in the coming days.

Currently, 24 accountability courts were functioning across the country including in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Lahore, Multan, Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Quetta.

   The apex court issued the directives after expressing dismay over pending of 1,226 references since the year 2000. The directives were issued by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed while hearing a suo motu case regarding delay in trials before accountability courts in the light of Section 16 of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999, which asks for deciding corruption matters within a period of 30 days.