Swat: Civil judges must refrain from coming to the courts. Sufi Muhammad's order
Sufi Muhammad urges people to cooperate with Qazi courts
SWAT, Mar 16 (APP): The Chief of Tehrik Nifaz‑e‑Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM), Maulana Sufi Muhammad here Monday appealed people to cooperate with the Qazi courts for quick, speedy and inexpensive justice to litigants in light of the Nizam‑e‑Adl regulations 2009. He told a press conference here at peace camp in Saidu Sharif that Qazi courts in the district will hear cases from Tuesday in accordance with the Nizam‑e‑Adl regulations. The TNSM Chief said after the announcement of provincial government, the Qazi courts will take up cases from February 16 and will start proceedings in Swat from Tuesday. He also instructed the civil judges must not come to courts any more.
“I will himself supervise the process of courts after which Qazi courts would also be gradually extended to Dir, Buner, Malakand Agency, Shangla, Kohistan and Chitral districts,” he added. He said that Darul Qazi (appellate) tribunal will be setup at divisional level in which three Qazis would be appointed.
Sufi asks Swat judges to cease hearings
* TNSM chief says continued hearings violate peace agreement
* PHC asks NWFP govt to ensure safety of judges
* Registrar says judges to continue jobs until told otherwise
By Akhtar Amin and Ghulam Farooq
PESHAWAR/MINGORA: Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammad (TNSM) chief Sufi Muhammad warned judges of the Swat lower judiciary on Monday to cease their hearings, as sharia courts would start operations in the district from today (Tuesday).
He warned at a press conference that if the judicial officers continued to attend their offices, it would be considered a violation of the peace accord between him and the NWFP government.
Under the agreement, Sufi said all decisions rendered by lower courts in Swat after February 16 are void, and only the qazi courts are qualified to decide the cases in the district under sharia law. He claimed there was no need for President Asif Ali Zardari’s approval on the Nizam-e-Adl (Shari) Regulations, 2009 as such regulations had already been implemented in the region without presidential consent. He said qazi courts would now be established in Lower and Upper Dir districts, Buner, Malakand Agency, Shangla, Kohistan and Chitral districts.
Sufi said if the appointed qazis did not deliver their verdicts in light of sharia laws, they would be replaced by other qazis. He said the qazi courts’ decisions would be challenged in Darul Qaza, for which two qazis had already been appointed and a third one would be appointed soon. He appealed to the public to examine the qazi courts’ verdicts and efficiency, and inform him of any weaknesses and delays.
Concern: Following the press conference, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) expressed concern at TNSM chief Sufi Muhammad’s threats to judges in Swat, and directed the NWFP government to ensure the safety of Swat judges and courts. PHC Registrar Qalandar Ali Khan told Daily Times the PHC and provincial government supported the appointment of sharia courts in Swat, but Sufi’s warning to Swat judges against attending to their duties from today was a matter of concern.
Denouncing the warning, the PHC registrar said he had contacted Swat District and Sessions Judge Hayat Khan after learning of the threat, and they had decided that the lower court judges would resume their hearings into the cases pending before them. “I have informed the provincial government of the security concern. But it has not responded yet,” he said, adding it was the provincial government’s duty to ensure protection of the judiciary. He said the lower courts could only be shut down if the provincial government ordered the PHC to do so.
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