LAHORE - Citizens living in the jurisdiction of other benches of the Lahore High Court including Multan, Bahwalpur and Rawalpindi can directly approach principal seat (Lahore) for their cases, Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah said yesterday.

The chief justice gave this observation while hearing a petition for transferring a case from principal seat to a regional bench.

He remarked that “cases can be transferred from one regional bench to other but transferring a case from principal seat to regional bench would amount to limit power of the high court”.

The CJ further observed that establishment of the regional benches of the high court envisages providing justice to citizens at their door step and it does not curtail jurisdiction and powers of the principal seat in any manner. “The principal seat is, in fact, the high court,” he remarked.

CJ Shah adjourned hearing of the application for further arguments.

While addressing a ceremony of Punjab Bar Council held at Punjab Judiciary Academy, Mansoor Ali Shah said that incompetent and corrupt judicial officials would not be tolerated in the judiciary.

He expressed his wish to establish a just judicial system which is not possible without the support of lawyers. However, the CJ urged the lawyers to focus on self-accountability.

Senior LHC judges including Justice Shahid Hameed Dar, Justice Yawar Ali and Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan also graced the occasion. LHC registrar Khursheed Anwar Rizvi, Punjab Judicial Academy DG Uzma Chughtai and others officials were also present there.

CJ Shah said that the corrupt and ineligible judicial officials would not be tolerated at the lower judiciary as strict action would be taken against them within seven-day period if any complaint received against them. He warned they would lose their place if they did not focus on self-accountability. A high-level committee has been established which would resolve the problems and issues of the lower judiciary, he announced. “The committee will work for the development of courts and bars across the province. Cameras are being installed in courtrooms and the negative approach of the judicial officials is being monitored,” the CJ added.

He further said that a full court would be held within next two days to decide the fate of the new benches. The CJ hoped that the lawyers would respect the decision of the full court regarding the new benches.