District courts not a safe place | Pakistan Today

District courts not a safe place

Lack of proper security arrangements at the district courts in the federal capital is posing a threat to the hundreds of people from the twin cities and the suburbs who visit the premises to pursue their respective legal matters.
According to the findings by Pakistan Today, the district courts situated in Sector F-8 are presenting muddled look as not only the chambers of lawyers but a number of restaurants, refreshment centres, cobblers and makeshift offices offering stamp papers, affidavits and attestation, are all mingled up without any planning.
Although the courts are surrounded by a boundary wall but it is not sufficient, and where a wall is not erected, the administration has placed barbed wires. In addition, the offices of SSP, SP, Excise and Taxation, district administration, Revenue and other departments are also located in the compound.
The Islamabad District Courts have eight entry points where walkthrough gates are installed but the security officials deputed there are often not taking their task seriously and very few are seen performing their duties while those standing at the gates are without the metal detectors. A quick round of district court reveals that there are only four female security officials deputed at the entry points while the individual search prior to entry is also their discretion.
“There security measures taken for judges, lawyers, and litigants are very poor. I think security should be more effective and enhanced to ensure safety of general public visiting the court regularly,” said Tahir Mahmood, a litigant who is visiting the place for the last many days for obtaining his domicile.
The visitors demanded the authorities to deploy Elite Force in the premises and fencing the walls with barbed wires. Visitors also said that many of the restaurants and eateries, makeshift stalls of cobblers and others are a constant threat for untoward incident as these spots are often crowded by Afghanis.
In the past, many incidents of exchange of fire have taken place at the premises. One cannot also forget the bomb blast on July 17, 2007 when people busy in preparations to welcome Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry were targeted. The explosion claimed four lives while PPP leader Dr Israr Shah was deprived of his both legs, said Waseem Elahi, a lawyer.
According to Waseem, the security personnel did not know how to deal with people while there were many ‘fraudsters’ as well. He wants his community members to start a campaign against those who are not lawyers but wear black coats and appear in different courts as lawyers, thus becoming a security threat.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police Media Coordinator Muhammad Naeem says security is beefed up from time to time. “Now we have over 80 ICT security officials deputed on all 10 to 12 entry points at the district courts and inside the premises,” he said.
Naeem said policemen along Civil Defence officials were vigilant and monitoring every visitor. “All walkthrough gates are operative, and every passer-by is thoroughly checked at entry point and can be searched inside the court premises as well. Therefore, there is no security-related issue.”

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