ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly on Thursday passed the Costs of Litigation Bill, 2016 aimed at empowering courts to impose costs to discourage false and frivolous litigation and unnecessary adjournment.

Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid piloted the bill in the House. The minister said thousands of cases were pending before the court and unnecessary adjournment further led to piling of more cases. He said that the bill would help discourage unnecessary adjournment and false and frivolous cases.

The minister said it was an important bill and it was yet another step to provide speedy and inexpensive justices to people at their door steps, which was also part of PML-N election manifesto.

He said criminal proceeding was also in the bill and urged the lawmakers to pass it unanimously.

Shafqat Mehmood and Dr Arif Alvi also termed it a positive step towards speeding justice. However, they said repeated word should be specified.

The statement of object and reason of the bill says that the tendency of filing false and vexatious cases and taking baseless grounds for defense is unfortunately on the increase.

This tendency leads to numerous evils, including heavy expenditure incurred by the affected parties, causing them financial loss and mental torture, apart from wasting precious time of the courts.

Meanwhile, the House also cleared the Cost and Management Accountants (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The bill was moved by Law Minister Zahid Hamid on behalf of Minister for Finance Mohammad Ishaq Dar in the House. – APP