CJP directs reopening of Multan’s old courts in 10 days


LAHORE: After lawyers in Multan protested the shifting of sessions courts to a newly-constructed judicial complex, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday ordered the relocation of courts to their previous address near Kutchery Chowk within 10 days.

Enraged lawyers in Multan last week stormed and vandalised the new judicial building on Mattital Road which began functioning on Nov 14, with the main bone of contention being that the facility does not house their chambers.

The lawyers had protested, saying that due to the rain and cold weather, they would face grave difficulties as they had to operate in the grounds outside the buildings.

Around 39 lawyers — including Lahore High Court Bar Association-Multan President Sher Zaman Qureshi — were booked for vandalism.

On Thursday, the CJP expressed his displeasure with the Lahore High Court (LHC) Registrar Khursheed Anwar Rizi, questioning the reason behind the facility’s rushed inauguration when it did not appear to be ready for use.

CJP Nisar, who met with a delegation of lawyers in Lahore earlier this week, ordered that the courts be returned to the old complex in Multan within 10 days and the new facilities be improved within three months.

The CJP observed that the new complex lacked a decent bar room and and that it was located in place that was practically farmland.

The construction of the judicial complex began in 2005 on 1,000 acres of land after the Asian Development Bank granted a loan under the Access to Justice Programme.