MIRPUR (AJK)-The lack of required number of the lower courts in various parts of Azad Jammu & Kashmir including the major city of Mirpur is causing inordinate delay in the administration of justice, former AJK chief justice pointed out.

Former chief justice Azam Khan was addressing a farewell ceremony hosted in his honour by the citizens of Mirpur after his retirement as CJ. The retired chief justice continued that the extraordinary delay in disposal of the cases by the heavily burdened civil courts was due to the non-availability of the required number of the civil courts.

He pointed out that according to the stipulated criteria only 350 cases could be heard by a civil court. Whereas, over 7,000 cases are lying under trial at a time in some civil courts in AJK particularly in the civil courts in Mirpur city, he referred to.

He said, “In such circumstances, how speedy and inexpensive justice could be expected from the judiciary in the presence of such situation being faced by most of the courts in AJK.” He pointed out that during his term in office as CJ of AJK, he always endorsed the recommendations of the AJK High Court to the government for the immediate increase in number of civil courts in different parts of AJK including in Mirpur district for the sake of the dispensation of speedy and inexpensive justice.

He further said mutual cooperation among the bench, bar and the litigants was also imperative for dispensation of speedy and inexpensive justice. “The bench and bar are part and parcel of the justice dispensation and is prerequisite to ensure inexpensive and speedy justice in true spirit,” he emphasised.

The former CJ of AJK termed the ties between the bench and bar in AJK exemplary, saying that the lawyers always extended cooperation to the bench at each stage, which the latter has reciprocated in the same spirit for the sake of delivery of quick and inexpensive justice.

He emphasised that the legal fraternity have to perform a proactive role to help the restoration of more trust in the judiciary and come up to the public expectations. “Both the bench and bar would have to go the extra mile to ensure quick disposal of pending cases and ensure justice in letter and spirit,” he underlined.

Referring to the Kashmiris’ struggle for the achievement of their birth right to self-determination, Justice (r) Azam Khan emphasised the need for maximum participation of the masses including all segments of the civil society in the activities for strengthening the struggle for right to self-determination.

He underlined that it was sad to note that the participation of the local civil society in AJK was becoming thin in the ceremonies held to mark various national days besides those for commemorating and renewing for the national days related to Kashmir freedom struggle. He advised the masses from all walks of life including the political activists and the elders from diverse segments of the society to ensure their maximum participation and role to give a renewed impetus to the struggle.

The ceremony was also addressed by the city elders including Ambassador (Retd) Arif Kamal, AJK Supreme Court Bar Association President Syed Nishaat Hussain Kazmi, renowned academic and retired Registrar of AJK University Khawaja Hanif and retired Prof Nazir Tabassam and others.

The ceremony was largely attended by the city elite representing various walks of life including Vice Chancellor Mirpur University of Science & Technology Dr Habibur Rehman, Agha Sajaad Hussain, President AJK Chamber of Commerce & Industry Sohaib Saeed Ch, Iqbal Rattayal, Amir Afzal, Azeem Dutt Advocate, Sabir Ansari Advocate, Babar Ali Advocate, senior Kashmiri journalists Hafiz Maqsood and Altaf Hamid Rao and Mirza Pervez Iqbal Advocate.