Bench and bar clash over new IT system at LHC


LAHORE: The members of the bar association and the Lahore High Court (LHC) bench are set to clash on the new case management system at the court. LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah is adamant to use the new, modern system while the lawyers want to employ the old system.

Talking to court reporters in an informal meeting, the chief justice said that the inter-prize system, launched with the cooperation of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) for facilitation of lawyers and litigants, is modern and fully functional at the court. He added that there are no technical problems and the lawyers can use it with complete ease.

“Special dockets have been formed for each case, in every category, which will facilitate every judge and lawyer.  The new system will help in the speedy dispensation of justice,” said chief justice.

“All technical problems have been resolved during summer vacations. Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi is leading a bench for addressing the complaints. Shabbir Shah in Judicial Branch and Registrar High Court are there to resolve IT-related problems of lawyers,” he said and urged the lawyers to cooperate with him to make the new system a success.

He also claimed that the Supreme Court (SC) and other high courts, especially Peshawar High Court (PHC), have sought his help to introduce the modern case management system, and added that the old system is a ‘relic of the past’ and would not be restored even if he does not remain chief justice.

On the other hand, LHC Bar Association (BA) Secretary Amir Saeed rejected the new system and said that it was more problematic for lawyers as compared to the previous system. “It has been a year but the new system has failed to manage dismissals of cases, regular and supplementary cause lists and restoration of cases. The SMS and email system are a complete failure,” he added.

“The new system is not only problematic for lawyers but also for litigants and police officials who bring the accused to be presented before the court,” he said.

LHCBA President Chaudhry Zulfikar said that lawyers were suffering a lot at the hand of the new system. “About 80 per cent of lawyers do not have Android mobiles and the new system is delivering wrong messages about cases and judges. Even judges are perturbed over the new system,” he claimed.

“Millions of rupees have been wasted on the technically flawed system,” he alleged and added that the LHCBA has called a meeting of the Pakistan Bar Council and Supreme Court Bar Association to give a strike. “We will not accept the new system at any cost,” he said.