ISLAMABAD - The poor infrastructure and lack of security in the capital’s courts have created huge problems for litigants in the past. Adding to their misery is the new restriction imposed on litigants that restricts them from parking their vehicles in the district court’s main parking lot. Lawyers have installed a barrier at the district court parking lot entrance and stated that only lawyers are allowed to park their vehicles in the lot. Long queues of cars are seen on the Kaghan Road in sector F/8 during the times that the court is in session as people who do not find any other place to park, do so on the roadside. Apart from the litigants, other people also visit the court for different purposes associated with the judiciary, including purchase of stamp papers, property transactions, attestation by oath commissioners and surrender or sale of purchase deeds. All of these visitors face problems while looking for a safe place to park their vehicles.
Daud Azam, a private company employee, had a land dispute with his cousins, for which he had to appear before the court on Thursday. Although he reached the court on time, he could not appear for the hearing as it took him a considerable amount of time to find a parking spot. “I submitted a petition with the court to get back my land which is worth Rs 1 million but for that I cannot risk my car which is worth Rs1.2 million,” he said, adding that car theft cases are on an increase in the capital city and he did not want to loose his car by parking it too far from the courts. The employees of nearby offices and restaurants also used the same parking but now they also face difficulties due to the non availability of proper parking.
District Court Bar Association General Secretary Chaudhry Arbab Gujjar said many car theft incidents took place in the area after which the lawyers appealed to the Islamabad Capital Territory Chief Commissioner to allocate a parking lot to them.
“We put barriers and restricted public vehicles parking in the area after receiving the commissioner’s permission,” he said. Arbab said the unavailability of proper parking for the district courts was the cause of many problems. On the other hand, the district courts visitors said the measure was not fair on the public. “It is not the public’s fault if government has not shifted the lower courts to its new building,” said a police official who was also not allowed to park his vehicle in the parking lot.
DCBA general secretary said the issues could be resolved if the government provided land to the IHC so that the district courts could also be shifted to the new building. Pakistan Today has learnt that the IHC administration had asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to allocate land to the high court on the Constitution Avenue and that the IHC administration was interested in getting a plot adjacent to the foreign office but it had already been allotted to the NDMA. The litigants pointed out that the allocation of land to the court was not a public concern and they only wanted the facilities that they are entitled to as citizens of the country.They said that in the current circumstances, the lawyers should allow the public to use the existing district courts parking lot.