What is the reason for delay in trial of murder cases in Pakistan? the capital debates latest news article 2022

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has given a further six weeks to the trial court in the Noor Muqadam murder case to complete the trial by December 14.Additional Judge Ata Rabbani had sought additional time from the High Court in a letter for the trial of the case, on which High Court Judge Justice Amir Farooq granted six more weeks.

Former Pakistani diplomat Shaukat Muqaddam's daughter Noor Muqaddam was killed on the night of July 18, 2021 in the capital debates.
Former Pakistani diplomat Shaukat Muqaddam's daughter Noor Muqaddam was killed on the night of July 18, 2021 in the capital Islamabad.

It should be noted that Noor Muqaddam, daughter of former Pakistani diplomat Shaukat Muqaddam, was killed on the night of July 18, 2021 in the capital Islamabad. The accused Zahir Jaffar is in police custody in this case. As the investigation of the case progressed, on July 25, the accused's father Zakir Jaffer, mother Ismat Adam Ji and domestic servants were also arrested. However, Ismat Adam Ji was later granted bail.

The trial of the accused in this case is ongoing. Since July, several important revelations have been made during the investigation of this case. Shortly before Noor Muqaddam's assassination, CCTV footage surfaced on November 13, when electronic media watchdog PEMRA banned its broadcast. During this time many demonstrations in favor of Noor Muqaddam were held in different cities of Pakistan and candles were lit in memory of the deceased. A "silent protest" also called for the case to be decided sooner, but it seems that there are still several steps to be taken.

Why is the trial delayed in murder cases in Pakistan? The Capital Debates News contacted senior lawmakers to find out.

In this regard, Dr. Khalid Ranjha Advocate, former Federal Minister for Law and well known lawyer said that there are many reasons for delay in trial. When we started practicing law between 1965 and 1970, every session judge had to deal with at least four murder cases in a month. Since then, the process has slowed down due to various factors. The reason for this, he said, was that because of the right of the plaintiff and the accused to reconcile, the sailan asked the lawyers to take the next date, saying that our reconciliation talks were going on.

Dating should not be an issue

How can murder cases be decided sooner? In response to this question, Khalid Ranjha Advocate said that if the situation is to be improved then we have to bring the system which is prevalent all over the world. When murder cases start in the world, it goes on and on, no dates are taken there. Until it happens here, we (lawyers) will keep asking for dates. This should not be a matter of taking dates.
Why does the court put the next date at the request of the plaintiff or the accused's lawyer? "Unless the court, the plaintiff and the accused come to the same page, the case cannot proceed," he said. If the constitutional amendment imposes on the judge to proceed with the case in any case, then it will not be (adjourned).

Use of delaying tactics in cases

Former National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor and lawyer Raja Amir Abbas Advocate says that the main reason for delay in criminal trials in Pakistan is insufficient courts. The infrastructure of the courts is not good and the lack of use of modern technology is one of the reasons for this. In addition, our investigative system is so complex that it delays the trial of such cases.
Most of the murder cases have police witnesses, their duties change. The lawyers then pick up several cases and then, according to their own preferences, appear in one case and take another date in the other case. According to Raja Amir Abbas Advocate, "Delay tactics are sometimes used in cases. For example, the cases of Asif Ali Zardari went on for 11, 11 years and during that time witnesses were scattered and records were lost.
It simply came to our notice then. The United States has a jury system. The jury decides that the person is guilty, and the judge's job is simply to convict. 

Judicial reform is inevitable

Raja Amir Abbas says, Judicial reforms are needed here as well as in other areas to improve the judicial system. This is a very sensitive topic. People here have been in jails for years and have already served most of their sentences when a decision is made. It so happened that the accused were acquitted after spending many years in jail. That's how his prison years were ruined. 
He said that the laws of the British era are still in force here. If you want to change things, you have to make legislation to the parliament which is not in their interest and they are not qualified for it.
According to Raja Amir Abbas Advocate, "Noor Muqaddam murder case is a case of big people but poor people have been lying in jails for years, they are suffering and they have no welfare.
There is a need to update the court infrastructure as well as increase the number of courts and judges," he added. The problem is that the courts do not have much funds. But for that, parliament needs to make big changes.

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