PESHAWAR, Oct 6: NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani on Monday approved the summary of the proposed Sharia Nizam-i-Adl Regulation for the troubled Malakand region.
The summary was sent to the governor by NWFP Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti. A high level meeting presided over by the chief minister few days ago had approved the draft of the proposed regulation after incorporating certain changes in the earlier draft.
The said summary would now be sent to the State and Frontier Region Division in Islamabad for approval of the President of Pakistan as in terms of Article 247 of the Constitution a law could only be introduced in the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (Pata) by the governor with prior approval of the president.
Malakand region comprising seven districts -- Swat, Chitral, Buner, Shangla, Malakand, Lower and Upper Dir -- is part of the Pata and normal laws of the land could only be extended there by the governor with approval of the president. The proposed law would replace the existing Nizam-i-Adl (Sharia) Regulation, 1999.
The proposed regulation envisages that it would be applicable to Pata of NWFP except the tribal areas adjoining Mansehra district and former state of Amb.
The government has also decided to increase the number of judicial officers in Malakand region and assign them reasonable number of cases to provide speedy and cheap justice to the people. Around 100 judicial officers including four izafi zila qazi (additional district and sessions judge) and 96 ilaqa qazi (civil judges) would be appointed along with the ancillary staff.
The proposed law envisages appointment of a mauvin qazi (assistant to qazi) in each of the court and his role in assisting the court would be enhanced. He would have to give his findings in every case and his findings would be part of the judicial record.The mauvin would assist the court in arriving at a correct conclusion regarding the proper applications of Islamic laws in the relevant references from Holy Quran, Hadith-i-Nabvi and books of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and Sharia of the recognised jurists.
Appeals originating from the judgments of the qazi would be decided within one month of its filing. Moreover, a circuit bench of the Peshawar High Court would be established at Malakand which would be called as the shariat bench.
The proposed law envisages that a criminal case has to be decided by a court within four months of its institution and a civil case within six months. Moreover, at a time only 150 cases should be assigned to each of the izafi zila qazi; and 200 cases should be assigned to each of the aala ilaqa qazi (senior civil judge cum judicial magistrate) and ilaqa qazi.
The qualification of a judicial officer to be posted in Pata includes that he may either possess LL.M (Sharia) degree or has completed Sharia course of at least four months duration from a recognised training institution including Shariah Academy of Federal Judicial Academy.