LHC penalises 18 judges, 276 subordinates for corruption

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The administration of the Lahore High Court has penalized on corruption charges 18 judges of district judiciary and 276 subordinate officials of district courts across Punjab in the last one year.
“While, new inquiries are in the pipe line against 5 district & sessions judges, 11 additional district and sessions judges, 4 senior civil judges and 13 civil judges again on corruption charges,” said a press release issued by registrar Lahore High Court Sohail Nasir on Tuesday. According to the punishments accorded, 1 district & sessions judge was compulsorily retired and 2 additional district and sessions judges and 2 civil judges were fired. Minor penalties such as stopping the annual increment and severe warnings were imposed on 1 session judge, 1 ASJ and 7 civil judges.
During the period under review as many as 89 officials of the district courts through out the Punjab were proposed to be fired, however, after scrutiny 57 of them were removed from service and minor penalties ranging from stoppage of annual increments to censure were slapped on 210 officials of the district judiciary.
This comes in a context when courts have been issued instructions for eradication of corruption from the judiciary hierarchy. LHC judges have been assigned the task to check and monitor the working of the district judiciary with each assigned one or two districts.
The PR encourages litigants to submit complaints with proof and play their part in eliminating judicial corruption.
— seeks reply on Sarabjit’s fate: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday directed federal government to submit a reply till July 13 on a petition seeking court orders for execution of death sentence awarded to Sarabjit Singh, an Indian terrorist on a death row in Kot Lakhpat Jail for allegedly killing 14 people in two bomb blasts in 1990.
LHC Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry passed the order after hearing arguments of petitioner-counsel Rana Illumuddin Gazi. The petitioner alleged that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government, including the president, had a soft corner for the convict which encouraged Dalbir Kaur, his sister, to make a fresh mercy appeal for Sarabjit’s release, claiming he was innocent. The petitioner beseeched for issuance of restraining court order to prevent President Asif Ali Zardari from pardoning Sarabjit on the recent mercy appeal.
Gazi filed the petition submitting Dalbir Kaur was making efforts to win sympathies of for getting presidential pardon for her brother or conversion of his sentence from death to life imprisonment which would release him because he had already served a jail term equivalent to life imprisonment.
The petitioner said the trial court had announced death sentence for the convict which was later upheld by the LHC and the Supreme Court (SC). The petitioner had made the President of Pakistan, Punjab Home secretary and Kot Lakhpat Jail superintendent respondents to the petition.
The petitioner requested that the court ask the Punjab home secretary why black warrants for the convict were not issued after his appeal was dismissed by the SC and his mercy appeal turned down by the president. The petitioner said the convict’s mercy appeal to the then president of Pakistan was rejected and filing a new mercy appeal itself was an unlawful act.
The petitioner also contended that under article 45 of the constitution, president’s power to pardon a murder convict was against the Quran and Sunnah which say allow no one except the legal heirs or family of the deceased the right to pardon a murderer. He requested the court to ask the government to removed article 45 from the constitution, declaring it against the Quran and Sunnah. Referring to teachings of Islam, the petitioner said convict Sarabjit Singh who executed multiple bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan in 1990 and killed about 14 men, could not granted pardon president or any body, except the legal heirs of the victims who lost lives in the blasts.
He also stated besides being unIslamic that it was unconstitutional step for the president to pardon terrorists and spies who were in jail after conviction by the country’s courts. He stated that it is duty of the court to stop the misuse of the constitutional powers of the president and other state functionaries.