LAHORE - The Punjab government on Friday has terminated the contractual appointments of 488 public prosecutors, while 394 prosecutors will keep on working till further orders. The terminated 488 prosecutors included Punjab Prosecutor General who had already resigned, three Assistant Prosecutor Generals, 18 Deputy Prosecutor Generals, 83 Deputy District Prosecutors and 383 Assistant District Prosecutors. Moreover, the government has decided to recruit experienced professional in the Prosecution Department at the highest level, who will have the status and perks equal to Advocate General and Additional Advocate Generals for improving the performance of the Department. Secondly, the Deputy and Assistant Prosecutors in districts will be recruited through the Punjab Public Service Commission. This was told to the mediamen at a press conference held at the Punjab Assembly by Punjab Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Rana Sana Ullah Khan. Secretary Punjab Public Prosecution Department Shaigan Sharif Malik was also present on this occasion. Rana Sana Ullah Khan said these contract appointments of Prosecutors, which had been terminated, were made by the previous government by relaxing rules, and procedure. "As per directions of the Lahore High Court, a selection committee was constituted to review and scrutinise these contract appointments through interviews. 882 contract Prosecutors were interviewed, out of which 488 failed, who had been sent home packing," he said adding that the interview process of the Prosecutor to be appointed in place of the terminated ones would start in the month of August. "The interviews will be conducted by a selection committee constituted at the departmental level, while the recruitment process will be completed during the same month as well," said the law minister. Rana Sana Ullah said the selection and eligibility criteria for new prosecutors had been reviewed by fixing age limit, qualification and experience. "Applications for Assistant District Public Prosecutors and Deputy District Public Prosecutors will be received at the district level, which will be scrutinised and short listed by a sub-committee on the basis of eligibility. In order to reduce expenses, the posts in districts will also be rationalised keeping in view the quantum of court cases. An adequate training has also been planned for the Public Prosecutors to enhance their capacity building," he mentioned. He said the government could have terminated all the prosecutors recruited against merit, but it did not do so, as it might have been termed as political victimisation. "The government has only implemented the decision of committee formed by the LHC," he added. While launching a bitter diatribe against the previous government, Rana Sana Ullah accused the Pakistan Muslim League-Q government of recruiting people in the Public Prosecution Department against heavy pays and in violation of merit, policy and procedure. "The government had allocated Rs 469.528 million to the Department during the fiscal year 2006-07, Rs 550 million during 2007-08 and Rs 614.84 million for 2008-09," he said, while giving break-up of the bulky salaries received by the Prosecutor General, Additional Prosecutor General and Assistant Prosecutor Generals. "The Punjab Prosecutor General was receiving over Rs two lacs besides other perks. The Additional Prosecutor General was receiving Rs 1.50 lac. The same government recruited on political grounds hundreds of District Deputy Prosecutors and Assistants Prosecutors on heavy pays. The illegal recruitments of Prosecutors at the district level were challenged in the LHC, which directed for the constitution of a committee comprising a retired High Court judge and the PPCS member to decide it keeping in mind the procedure and policy," he told the media. He said he was in constant touch with Chief Justice LHC Justice Zahid Hussain Bokhari for ensuring speedy justice to the masses. "I had had a couple of meetings with Justice Bokhari regarding how the judiciary could play its effective role in improving law and order. The prevailing judicial crisis is of political nature, and had nothing to do with the poor who needed justice at the earliest, which the Pakistan Muslim League-N government is seeking at the moment," said Rana Sana to get a flurry of questions from the mediamen, who quizzed him whether his meetings were reflective of his party's shift on the judges' issue. "The PML-N has it firm stance on the judicial issue, and it will budge even an inch from it. My meetings with the CJ LHC are of the administrative nature, as the provincial government and the judiciary cannot work in isolation," he clarified. "We recognise Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary as the constitutional CJP, and the government will accord him the due protocol during his visit of Bahawalpur," he added. He was optimistic about the resolution of the judges' issue in the next meeting between Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. About the approaching US visit of Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, he said, "The PML-N will give reaction after seeing the agenda. Our Party is of the view that the government should not be dictated from other countries, like the previous government." To a question about the nomination of the Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly. "It is the prerogative of the Speaker PA to nominate it. The PML-Q had not nominated its parliamentary secretary for five years, now why we should do it so early?" he questioned.