In a significant move aimed at ensuring the swift dispensation of justice and alleviating the burdens faced by litigants, Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti has dispatched a summary to the caretaker government for the issuance of a notification enabling litigants to access nearby courts instead of the LHC principal seat.
The initiative is set to bring a sigh of relief to countless litigants, especially those residing in far-flung areas who have long endured the grueling task of traveling to the LHC principal seat. This new approach seeks to streamline the legal process by allowing litigants to file their cases at courts closer to their residences.
Under the new system, cases originating from districts Mianwali and Bhakar will be taken up at Rawalpindi and Multan benches, respectively. Previously, litigants from these districts had to endure arduous journeys lasting approximately six to seven hours, just to file their cases at the LHC. With this initiative in place, the travel time to reach the relevant bench is expected to be reduced to a maximum of two hours.
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The move comes as a direct response to the enormous challenges faced by litigants who had to make the long trek to the LHC principal seat, incurring significant time and financial costs. Litigants found themselves spending an entire day just to file their cases and having to make the same journey repeatedly for hearings. Ensuring their presence on each court date became a considerable burden.
In light of these ongoing challenges, litigants began to voice their demands for LHC Chief Justice Bhatti to establish benches in closer proximity to their homes, thereby simplifying access to justice. The chief justice, empathising with the litigants’ plight, decided to take action.
The establishment of these new benches in Rawalpindi and Multan not only promises to save time but also reduce the financial burden on litigants who had to bear exorbitant travel expenses. The decision to implement this change was discussed and approved in a meeting of the administrative committee, presided over by Chief Justice Bhatti.
The administrative committee deemed the initiative highly beneficial and granted its final approval. Subsequently, a summary was dispatched to the caretaker government, requesting the issuance of a notification to put the plan into action.