LAHORE - Conflict between the Lahore High Court (LHC) registrar and the Punjab government on certain issues has deepened. Issues include upgrade of various posts, time-scale promotions and advance increment in respect of this court and the district judiciary.

The LHC registrar said in a letter to the Punjab government that chief justice was the competent authority to make re-appropriation of the amounts from one head to another, create new posts, abolish posts or change their nomenclature and to upgrade or downgrade as per requirements of their respective courts. And this, the letter adds, should be possible, without being obliged to seek approval of the Ministry of Finance or the Provincial Finance Departments as the case may be but within budgetary allocation.

The LHC registrar stated, “The objection on part of the Provincial Finance Department is nothing but a simple bigotry, hatred and antagonism with judiciary, which is very embarrassing, humiliating and shameful”.

After citing different judgements of the apex and higher judiciary, the registrar wrote, “I am therefore directed to convey a deep displeasure of the honourable authority about the scrappy, trivial, frivolous, biased and prejudiced attempt through the ‘prejudiced letter’ with a clear advice to implement the subject notifications/ order of this court and to refrain from misleading and intermingling the subject matter and also to sensitize that any inroad into independence of judiciary.”

Through the “prejudiced letter the Finance Department, with malignant intent declared the letters/orders of this court w.r.t up gradation of various posts of this court and the district judiciary, time scale promotion of various posts of the district judiciary and one advance increment in respect of this court and the district judiciary as unlawful and suggested that the same cannot be implemented due to the reasons mentioned in the ‘prejudiced letter’ with other stipulations in the prejudiced letter”.

In general the said department tried to mislead this court and other government departments by vivid misinterpretation of law with a distorted view to not only lessen the authority of this court but also to putrefy the conception of independence and separation of judiciary from executive as guaranteed by the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.

The registrar letter also gives para-wise comments on the objections raised by the Provincial Finance Department in the “prejudiced letter”.

The LHC registrar, as officials say, has pointed out finance department letter dated Aug 29 2018 termed as ‘prejudiced letter’ that according to him contains a flimsy, disrespectful and irrelevant litany of legal recitals that lack meaning or purpose. The tenor of the ‘prejudiced letter’ is also pretentious and derogatory for pontificating this Court presumably on law. The ulterior motive of the author of the ‘prejudiced letter’ is to smash the constitutional provisions of separation of Judiciary, from Executive and he intentionally with a clear ill-will referred the matter to Secretaries (I&C) S&GAD and Law & Parliamentarian Affairs Departments under the impression that this Court is the attached department of them and as a sequel of the said nefarious design the Cabinet-I Section has referred the matter to this Court for further necessary action.

It is not first attempt at the part of the Government to let down this Court, earlier the S&GAD attempted to review the performance of this Court vide letter dated November 14 2017 while posing it as the Administrative Department of this Court. However, when the said department was apprised of the Constitutional position of this Court vide letter dated November 15 2017, the Secretary l&C tendered a written apology.

It is very frivolous and ludicrous attempt to discuss the powers and functions of this court, which portrays that either the Provincial Finance Department has more knowledge than this court about the subject powers/functions or it is trying to mislead this court on the said powers which have rightly been exercising not only by this court but also by the Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan and all the Provincial High Courts for more than three decades, after separation of Judiciary from Executive, in consonance with relevant law/Constitutional provisions.

It is once again an attempt to mislead this court by quoting the law not relevant to subject letters/orders issued by this Court. Moreover, the author of the prejudiced letter’ does not disclose as to which clause/section of quoted law has been violated. The author of the ‘prejudiced letter’ not only misled this Court but also touched the extreme level of recklessness, mischief and immorality by challenging the powers of this Honorable Court with reference to District Judiciary.

Moreover, referring to a para of the finance department’s letter the registrar wrote “This para is also a glaring example and valid proof that the author of ‘prejudiced letter’ has lost his wits’ as he ludicrously attempted to interpret the Judgments of Honorable Supreme Court, which is not his job, rather misinterpretation of Court’s decision-is itself a serious contempt of honorable court. Through this para the author of the ‘prejudiced letter’ has opened his evil mind for non-accepting the subject up-gradations /time scale promotion because the same are against the policy of his department, meaning thereby he has nefariously assumed that this court is the attached department of his department.

However, senior officers of the Finance Department on anonymity said that the worthy registrar’s mentioning of prejudiced letter about twenty times and using a language was a matter of serious concern. They term the letter language as unbecoming of a public sector office correspondence to another public office.

A senior officer said that that there was no issue of separation of judiciary and executive. He said that the withdrawal of superior executive allowance from the registrar was a matter of concern here. “When both the then Chief Secretary and IGP could not get superior executive allowance of about Rs 400,000 per month, the registrar got that despite the fact that he had already been drawing a handsome amount as a judicial allowance”.

The drawing and then reimbursement of funds from the then registrar office might be a reason. He said that the honourable LHC had been passing orders to the executive that were duly implemented. This was perhaps for the first time in history that the LHC registrar used such a language to convey their opinion to the government.