Judicial allowance: SC sets aside contempt proceedings before LHC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court set aside contempt proceedings before the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the Punjab government for not implementing the LHC administration committee’s decision for making special judicial allowance part of the pension of the judicial officers. A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, on Tuesday, heard the Punjab government’s appeal against the LHC.

The bench expected that the High Court would soon decide about the judicial allowance. Justice Bandial said how the contempt proceedings could be initiated, when the main case is pending before the LHC. He said the High Court’s judicial power is for ending the disputes between the parties. The judge inquired who is petitioner Shafiqur Rehman.

The petitioner’s counsel told that his client is a retired sessions judge. Justice Bandial then remarked if the petitioner is the former judge then he should not dispute the constitutional balance. Additional Advocate General, Punjab, Qasi mChohan said the petitioner is trying to influence the court proceedings.

Ex-LHC chief justice Muhammad Qasim Khan on July 2, 2021, said if Chief Minister Usman Buzdar does not issue an ordinance for implementation of the LHC decision then a show-cause notice would be served to him. However, a special bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan on July 3, 2021 heard an appeal of the Punjab government at the Lahore registry, and suspended the contempt proceedings, initiated by the LHC.

He said non-implementation of the committee’s order could not entail contempt of court proceedings.

He pointed out that the Finance Department had rejected a summary sent by the chief minister’s office to make the special judicial allowance part of the pension of the judicial officers.

The Punjab judiciary has demanded an enhancement in utility allowance, upgradation of district and sessions judges to BS-22, and inclusion of judicial and special judicial allowances for calculation of pension to employees of the LHC and subordinate judiciary in the province.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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