LAHORE - Defending the National Judicial Policy, the federal government has told the Lahore High Court that the termination from service of three judges of Lahore accountability courts was the outcome of the policy as government was bound to follow Supreme Courts order under the article 190 of the constitution. The Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry stated this in its reply to a constitutional petition pending in LHC. The ministry further stated that four vacancies at Lahore accountability courts were lying vacant and a panel of three names for each seat had been sent to competent authority for approval. At the offset on Monday, the counsel for petitioner judges informed the court that eight accountability judges in Sindh were also removed under NJP but now their removal order had been withdrawn. He said Lahore judges were being subjected to discrimination. At this, the judge said the petitioners had not taken ground of discrimination in the petition and for that purpose they would have to file an amended petition. The court allowed petitioners counsel AK Dogar to file amended petition within a week and gave a copy to deputy attorney general in advance. On previous hearing the court had ruled that finality of their removal would be subject to outcome of present case. Ch Ahsan Ahmad, Muhammad Hanif Khan and Sardra Ahmad Chaudhry, judges of accountability court at Lahore have challenged their removal. The petitioners through their counsel AK Dogar pleaded that they joined the Punjab subordinate judiciary and later they were appointed as judges of accountability court in 2006 by then president of Pakistan. During service the petitioners were retired from regular service in 2006 but they were allowed to continue for the remaining period of their office as contemplated u/s 5-A(3) of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999. The counsel pointed out that on June 1st a section officer issued their termination letter. He said NJP had been understood as far as petitioners removal is concerned, because they were not retired judges at the time of their appointments in NAB courts rather they were serving sessions judges. He further argued that NJP has not been meant for termination of incumbent judges rather it would apply for future appointments. He further said their termination was made in utter disregard of principle of natural justice and NAB ordinance as they were neither served notices nor they were afforded opportunity of personal hearing. Dogar went on to say that petitioners could not be removed from service as their termination letters were issued a section officer of Law & Justice division Islamabad while their appointment authority is president of Pakistan. He prayed to the court to set aside petitioners termination orders and allow them to continue as accountability judges.