Pakistan,s apex court gives verdict in century old property case

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By Muhammad Luqman

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has given its  verdict in a 100-year-old property inheritance case that had started in a court in Indian state of Rajasthan in 1918.

The property case, which dates back to 1918, was about a dispute over the inheritance of 700 acres (5,600 kanals) of land in Bahawalpur, a region that was regarded as part of the Rajputana States before the establishment of Pakistan. Following the independence, the case was transferred to a trial court in Bahawalpur, a city in Pakistan’s Punjab province. In 2005, the case was transferred to the apex court , according to media reports.

The complainants, who travelled from Bahawalpur to Islamabad for the hearing, claimed that Shahabuddin, the elder son of Sher Khan, was the owner of the land. He had died in 1918, and the dispute had been going on since then.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case. While announcing the verdict, the CJP said the property should be distributed among the heirs under the Islamic law. “The court will not deprive anyone of their legal share,” he remarked.

Traditionally, hundreds of thousands of cases remainpending with the courts in Pakistan for decades. According to legal experts, the number of such cases cannot be brought down until amendments were made in the Pakistan Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and the evidence act and improving the system of criminal justice.

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