Muhammad Basit Khan

PESHAWAR: As the third wave of coronavirus is proving more dangerous than expectations, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) has decided to hear only the cases of urgent nature during Ramazan.

Lawyers have welcomed this decision, but the litigants say it would further delay and slow down the prosecution of cases. The regular cause list for Ramazan has been suspended and all benches of the high court including Peshawar, Abbottabad, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu and Mingora have been directed to hear cases of urgent nature.

The PHC lawyer Saifullah Mohib Kakakhel said while talking to TNN that the lawyers had presented a suggestion of e-courts to reduce burden on courts. He said under e-court, lawyers could present arguments to judges through video call, but this proposal did not get any consideration from the judiciary. He said earlier judges in Mardan and Kohat were hearing arguments from lawyers through video link, but that has come to end as well. He said most judges are not convinced with the idea of e-courts.

Former president Charsadda Bar Association Mujeebur Rehman Advocate said the PHC decision is understandable given the dangerous pandemic situation. He said urgent nature cases will be heard anyway and people should not worry about it. He said the human life is the most precious thing, and other considerations come after that. He said the decision would reduce rush in the courts which will help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

However, the litigants with the long pending cases have expressed disappointment over the PHC decision.

Syed Raza Shah, a citizen from Charsadda, is pursuing a case for his brother who is languishing in jail. He said the PHC decision is good as far as corona precautions are concerned, but the trial of his case has got delayed further, which means more sufferings for him. He said the litigants would also suffer financially, as they would have to pay more to lawyers.

Raza Shah said he can’t tell how much the family of his brother is suffering due to this situation. He said the higher judiciary had earlier issued directions of disposing of the cases related to murder and attempted murder within three months. He said the courts must at least continue proceedings of such cases as these are of very sensitive nature.

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