Shahzad Ahmad

LAHORE - District and Sessions Judge Abid Hussain Qureshi on Tuesday reprimanded all 50 special judicial magistrates deployed here over alleged corruption by their Ahlmeds or summary clerks who were removed for their alleged malpractices.

The DSJ on Monday removed all 49 Ahlmeds posted at City, Model Town and Cantonment district courts on corruption charges. He had taken extreme action against the clerks attached to the special judicial magistrates and performing duties as summary clerks after complaints of corruption poured in against them and reports of their corruption appeared in different sections of the media.  All 49 Ahlmeds removed the other day were summoned to report to the office. They waited for hours in front of the committee room at the DSJ’s office where a meeting of the judge and magistrates was held.

The DSJ during the meeting asked them why the malpractices were going on under their nose at the courts. He directed them to keep a vigilant eye on the activities of the staff in their respective courts and ensure corruption-free atmosphere in the courts, sources said.

During the meeting, which lasted for over an hour, the judge said that no leniency would be shown to corrupt staff in the judiciary, the sources said. The sources said that removed clerks might be deployed at civil courts.  When asked, they said that duties of removed clerks would be discharged by summary clerks-II. The judge had to take the extreme action against the clerks attached to special judicial magistrates after complaints of corruption poured in against them and reports of their corruption appeared in different sections of the media.  The judge also directed the magistrate to submit a fortnight report on receipt and deposit of fines in the government treasury. Court clerks demand bribe from litigants as well as lawyers even for their legal tasks and the practice is commonly observed in courts of sessions judges, special judges, civil judges as well as magistrates across Lahore district.

For the first time in the history, a district and sessions judge has taken a step to eradicate corruption from the judiciary. Litigants have to give bribe for each and every task such as getting next dates in the absence of judges and attested or unattested copies of difference court documents. In case of putting up resistance, they prolong the process.