Speedy justice

THIS refers to the letter ‘Jirgas: a challenge for the judiciary’ (June 12). I agree that jirgas should be banned, but something should also be done to speed up the judicial process.
I have been involved in litigation over a simple inheritance case which has not progressed much even after nine years, although it should not have taken more than a year to be decided.
Often the opposing side’s lawyer gets a new date of hearing, on some pretext or the other.
Although the plaintiff’s cross-examination was held two years ago, the defendant’s lawyer has successfully managed to prevent his client being called to the witness stand.
There are only 17 high court judges to deal with thousands of cases and one hears horror stories of many litigants having to wait for 20 years before their cases were decided.
To top it all, every year the high court goes on vacation for two months. Why can’t more judges be appointed to clear the huge backlog?

Published in DAWN, June 20, 2011