Owing to the demand of National Judicial Committee (Policy Making), the Punjab Government has agreed to fill 317 posts of ADJs and 696 posts of Civil Judge cum Judicial Magistrates. This step is highly commendable. There are a lot of pending cases in our district courts and there is  shortage of judicial officers to attend to them. The question I want to ask is what will be the procedure of filling these posts and would the procedure be swift enough in the face of accumulation of pending cases?

Last year’s plan of recruiting 135 Civil Judge cum Judicial Magistrate is still under way. Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) was supposed to take written examinations and interviews of the candidates, but the Chief Minister of Punjab gave a onetime dispensation to allow the Lahore High Court to conduct the exams and interviews on the request of Chief Justice of Lahore High Court. That was carried out under a special provision in the rules of PPSC (functions) 1978 that allows for the CM to bypass the authority of PPSC to make recommendations. The reason given for bypassing the legal authority of PPSC to make recommendations was PPSC’s inability of selection within a short span of time.

Did the Lahore High Court succeed in carrying out the selection in a short span of time that was its claim to the special dispensation? The written exam was conducted in January and only the written result has come out by September this year making it into a nine month long process. The interview results will still take time. There does not seem to be any use of bypassing the function of a legal authority if the Lahore High Court itself could not carry out the selection in a speedy way. This shortcoming only encourages speculations that selection is being carried out on political basis, as it does whenever the due formal procedure is bypassed. I appeal to the relevant authorities to take notice and give the authority back to PPSC to conduct the recruitment procedure in a swift fashion.


Lahore, October 6.