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ISLAMABAD: The federal government to establish 30 new Accountability Courts (ACs) out of 120, while the remaining would be set up in a phased manner. The Supreme Court on 08-07-2020 had ordered for setting up 120 ACs all over the country as the corruption cases are not decided within time-frame mentioned in the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.

Federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr Muhammad Farogh Naseem yesterday (October 26, 2020) briefed Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding the establishment of 120 Accountability Courts.

According to the statement issued by the Law Ministry, the prime minister was pleased to grant in principle approval to establish 120 Accountability Courts in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. However, owing to financial constraints, initially thirty (30) Accountability Courts will be established, whereas the remaining courts shall be established in a phased manner keeping in view the workload. The prime minister was further pleased to direct the Establishment and the Finance Divisions to extend full support to implement the decision of establishment of additional Accountability Courts e.g. creation of posts, HR related issues, provisions of finances, etc.

The apex court in its order said that the strength of the accountability courts all over Pakistan shall immediately be increased by the government in order to ensure that all the NAB cases come to their logical conclusion at a fast pace and at least within three months.

The Secretary Law has been directed to immediately seek instruction from the government on proposal of creating at least 120 accountability courts all over the country, and to fill up such courts with the judges.

The Supreme Court on October 21 directed the Accountability Courts all over the country to hear corruption cases on a daily basis without granting adjournment and decide them expeditiously.

The chief justice said there should be no delay in references, and they be decided soon in accordance with the law.

The court said that the prosecutor generals make their availability before the courts and do not seek adjournment.

The chairman is asked to make sure that its (apex court) order is complied with.

If anyone found not complying with the court order then take action against them.

Moreover, Parliamentary Secretary on Law and Justice Barrister Maleeka Bokhari gave a briefing regarding creation of Special Courts to prosecute gender-based violence crimes, which includes rape and sexual abuse against women, children, and transgenders.

The initiative of the Ministry of Law and Justice was appreciated by the prime minister.

The prime minister was pleased to direct the Ministry of Law and Justice that after due consultation with the relevant stakeholders, to separately move a comprehensive proposal to bring amendments in the existing laws and establish the Special Gender-Based Violence (GBV) courts across the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020