Govt to develop ADR mechanism to ensure speedy justice


Islamabad: Federal Minister for Human Rights Zahid Hamid on Wednesday said that government would develop the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism soon to ensure speedy justice for people.

Addressing the Senate functional committee on Human Rights, he said that the government was using many approaches to provide speedy and inexpensive justice to the public.

“The government is working to reduce the four tiers of justice system to three besides reducing the burden of cases from the courts by strengthening the system of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR),” he said.

In addition, he mentioned that court procedures would also be simplified.

“The petitioner and defendant will first provide evidence document to the tribunals before the case is taken to the court,” he said adding, besides the time would be fixed for deciding such cases.

About speedy and inexpensive justice, the minister said that a Law Reform Committee formed on the directives of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was working to implement the promises made in the PML manifesto about speedy and inexpensive justice.

The meeting took place under the chairpersonship of Senator Nasreen Jalil.

Briefing the meeting members on gang rape cases in Punjab, Additional Home Secretary Punjab, Dr. Ehtasham Anwar said this year, there was a 15 per cent reduction in cases as compared to 2014, 262 cases were reported whereas in 2015, 224 cases were registered and  70 per cent of the accused were arrested and challaned.

“Latest scientific methods have also improved prosecution method,” he said adding, they have established a well-equipped Forensic Lab in Lahore with satellite stations in different cities.

The Police department has also prepared police training modules for training of cops and introduced `Gender Responsive Policing’, he said.

“We have conducted trainings of our staff at national and international level to improve their dealing with masses,” the official informed.

Secretary Ministry of Law Justice, Muhammad Raza Khan stated the Whole Committee of Senate has presented a report consisting of six points, including the speedy resolution of Civil Procedure matters, which mainly deal with individual conflicts.

For reducing burden of cases on courts, they recommended introducing the ADRS, which has three major parts including consideration, mediation, arbitration, and all trivial matters would be referred to it.

He informed that the government is doing a comprehensive exercise on ADRS and soon legislation relating to it would be tabled in the parliament.

They have also recommended to increase the number of Supreme Court judges from 17 to 27, but this would need supporting amendments in legislation, he informed, adding that two adhoc judges were recently appointed to share workload.

They also asked for speedy work in courts; the Supreme court and High court will present their recommendations for this, besides which a Law, Justice Commission is already working on the matter.

He informed that it is the responsibility of the Federal and Provincial Governments to give legal aid to those who do not have the resources to bear court expenses.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Human Rights Barrister Zaffar Ullah said that to discourage fake cases in courts, a practice is being followed internationally where a person who files a civil litigation pays all the expenses to the other party if they lose the case.

The Legal Reforms Committee is also preparing a law on these lines, he informed, he said.

If the practice is also introduced here, a major reduction in court cases would be observed, he said adding that unfortunately, every case that lands in civil courts take an average of 25 years to get resolved.

He further said that after 18 amendments, if federal wants to work on any legislation related to provincial matter it requires provinces to pass resolutions so that it can be enforced in the country.

In this regard, he said that a draft bill on Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act was formulated and later passed by KP and Balochistan, but Sindh and Punjab are yet to follow suit.

On this, the chairperson directed the committee to write to the Punjab and Sindh government to pass resolution on it.

The chairperson also directed that the Ministry of Defense be called to brief the committee on the status of the missing persons matter forwarded to it through the Ministry of Interior.


Published: Pakistan Today