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LHC stopped from moving against judge’s family

August 02, 2007

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LAHORE, Aug 1: Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday of the Supreme Court (SC) has taken suo moto notice of a notice issued by the Lahore High Court (LHC) registrar to the family of a late LHC judge to vacate their official residence, and stayed operation of the notice.

Justice Muhammad Nawaz Bhatti, who was working at the Multan bench of the LHC, died in a plane crash in Multan on July 10, 2006.

The registrar, citing a decision of the LHC chief justice, directed Justice Bhatti’s widow through a notice on July 30 to vacate the official residence in GOR-I, Lahore, within a week. The notice said that the residence would be got vacated forcibly after the deadline. The notice quoted the LHC chief justice as saying: “The widow/family of the late judge are not entitled to retain official residence of the high court beyond 30 days/and or 90 days maximum granted as grace period. The house be got vacated.”

Justice Ramday said that a notice be issued to the LHC registrar and added that the matter had been brought into the notice of the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) because it was related to violation of human rights. The CJP has directed that the issue be registered at the Lahore registry of the Supreme Court and heard in Lahore, says the written order issued by Justice Ramday after hearing Aamer Nawaz Bhatti, son of late the judge.

He recalled that the Punjab government had devised a policy to give residential plots to deserving widows at government residential schemes and desired that the chief minister may look into this case too if the policy was still in vogue. He said that a copy of the order be sent to the principal secretary to the chief minister.