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Judge seeking justice for himself

June 28, 2013

ISLAMABAD, June 27: District and Sessions Judge Islamabad Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah had been delivering justice for the past two years, but he is currently seeking it for himself after being repatriated to his parent department.

Mr Shah, who was a judicial officer of the Punjab subordinate judiciary, had joined the Islamabad Judicial Service on deputation as the acting registrar in January 2011.

The same year, he was absorbed in the judiciary as a District and Sessions Judge (DSJ), and the then Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman, with whom Mr Shah is said to have cordial relations, appointed him as member of the inspection team and also promoted him to BPS-22.

However, after two years, Mr Shah was informed by IHC authorities on April 9, 2013 that his services were no longer required and he was being repatriated to his parent department, the Punjab Judicial Service.

Following the orders, Mr Shah reported to the Lahore High Court, where he learnt that he could no longer resume his job. He was told that he had the chance to re-join his parent department within two years, which had already lapsed.

Currently, Mr Shah is in an imbroglio.

On the one hand, the IHC administration had stopped paying his salary since April and asked him to vacate the official house allotted to him. On the other, the LHC administration has disowned him and refused to provide him with any facility or salary.

Mr Shah is now searching for a forum where judges of the IHC subordinate judiciary could get justice for themselves. However, he has learnt that contrary to the Judicial Services Tribunals established in the four provinces, there is no such tribunal in Islamabad.

The tribunals, established under an act of the Parliament and comprised of three high court judges, provide justice to judges in matters related to their service or in any adverse decision made by the administration.

However, for Islamabad, no such legislation has been made since the establishment of IHC in 2010, even though it had been proposed in the Islamabad Judicial Services Rules 2011.

Therefore, no judicial forum or services tribunal could be established for Islamabad’s district courts despite the fact that their strength has increased from 14 judges to over 60 judges.

Mr Shah also moved a departmental representation before the IHC Chief Justice Mohammad Anwar Kasi last month, but it was dismissed by the judge. Finally, he filed an appeal with the IHC administration which would be submitted to the Islamabad Judicial Se-rvices Tribunal when it is established.

He said his appointment had been declared illegal and the impugned orders stated that Section 6(3) of the Islamabad High Court Act 2010 and Rule 8(1) of the Islamabad Judicial Service Rules 2011 had been violated.

However, Mr Shah maintained that Section 6(3) was not applicable as it was related to judges who were on deputation.

On the other hand, an IHC official, requesting anonymity, said Mr Shah had already challenged his repatriation before the competent authority i.e. the IHC Chief Justice, adding that the judge had rejected Mr Shah’s departmental representation.

He added that Mr Shah could file an appeal in the Supreme Court to seek any relief against his repatriation.