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Thursday Oct 10 2019
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Judicial policy committee directs separate courts be made for gender-based violence cases

Geo.tv/Illustration/Files

ISLAMABAD: The National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee — or the NJPMC — has directed Pakistan's high courts to set up separate courts to hear cases of gender-based violence (GBV) by November 4.

The NJPMC, part of the Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP), in a notification said cases pertaining to violence against women and children and related hearings would be assigned to session or additional session judges trained by the Punjab Judicial Academy (PJA) in collaboration with Asian Development Bank.

Back on April 29, the NJPMC had pondered upon a move to set up separate courts for the cases and hearings pertaining to violence against women and children under the leadership of the chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa — also the chairperson of the committee.

The decision to ensure that the GBV courts were established by November 4 was conveyed to all the high courts by the NJPMC Secretary, Dr Muhammad Raheem Awan.

The committee in a meeting held June 24 had decided that the high courts would nominate a judge of the high court as focal person for the GBV courts.

A LJCP press release noted that Justice Khosa aimed to ensure expeditious and inexpensive justice to every citizen under mandate of the Constitution of Pakistan indiscriminately and especially to the vulnerable classes of the society i.e. women and children.

In this regard, Dr Awan said the environment of the GBV courts would be friendly towards the women and children, established in safe and secure premises, and equipped in such a manner that the women and children coming to these courts would feel comfortable.

There would be relaxed siting area and possibly a playing area for the children, he added, noting that the decision came about to address the grievances of the vulnerable classes, especially women and children.

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