ISLAMABAD: In a significant development, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) held a full court meeting on Tuesday to address concerns regarding serious flaws in the construction of its newly-built court building.
During the meeting presided over by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, discussions revolved around the need for a thorough inquiry into the construction issues, to be conducted by a reputable firm.
One of the key topics of discussion in the meeting was the possibility of live-streaming court proceedings.
To tackle this, a two-judge committee was formed, comprising Justice Babar Sattar and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz.
The committee’s primary responsibility is to devise a strategy and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for implementing live streaming. They will seek input from other IHC judges to formulate comprehensive SOPs.
Moreover, discontent was expressed during the meeting regarding the Pakistan Public Works Department (PWD) for its failure to provide a report on the construction flaws in the IHC building.
This building, which took nearly a decade to complete and cost approximately Rs. 11 billion, has faced various issues since its inauguration.
The decision to launch an inquiry was prompted by a malfunctioning elevator incident in August, during which over a dozen individuals, including lawyers, were stranded for more than 30 minutes.
Initially, the housing ministry was tasked with investigating the incident, but it failed to assign responsibility.
Sources have indicated that an inquiry was conducted by the PWD, the construction firm Habib Rafiq (Private) Limited, and other parties.
This inquiry highlighted multiple faults in the elevator but did not identify the individuals responsible for its installation and maintenance.
Among the identified issues was the absence of certain features present in the prototype and specifications.
Beyond the elevator concerns, the new IHC building faces additional challenges, including an inefficient cooling system, inadequate parking facilities for litigants and lawyers, as well as the absence of firefighting, IT, lightning protection, and security systems.
It is worth noting that the IHC building, with a cost exceeding Rs. 11 billion, stands as one of the most expensive structures in the capital city.