Payment of allowance to KP judges ordered
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finance secretary to implement its order for payment of special judicial allowance to the judges of lower courts in the province.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Irshad Qaisar issued the directions in response to a petition filed by a senior judicial officer for the contempt of the court proceedings against the government for violation of the order of the court over the payment of the said allowance.
The bench ordered the provincial finance secretary to immediately address the matter to avoid action.
In the petition, additional district and sessions judge Amjid Zia Siddiqui said the high court ordered the provincial government on July 6 in 2010 to pay Special Judicial Allowance to all judicial officers and ministerial establishment of the high court on the basis of one initial basic pay in addition to 50 per cent of the running basic pay.
He claimed that last year, the government froze the said allowance despite the fact that the court had ordered payment of the 50 per cent of it on the running basic pay.
Ziauddin Siddiqui, lawyer for the petitioner, said prior to the institution of the petition, his client had repeatedly asked the provincial finance secretary and law secretary in writing to review their decision to freeze the allowance but never got reply.
He said currently, all provinces except for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and including the most backward and under-resourced Balochistan, had not only implemented the decision of the National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) but also provided transport facilities to all their judicial officers.
Additional advocate general Naveed Akhtar said since the relevant officials could not meet, the issue remained unresolved.
The chief justice observed that the court’s order was very clear and passed after the government had consented to its payment.
He asked the secretary could back out of his commitment to pay the allowance.
The chief justice also observed that once the chief minister had approved the allowance, its payment should have not been delayed.
The petitioner said in 2008, the Punjab government had notified Rs14,000 as judicial allowance, Rs8,000 as utility allowance, Rs7,000 as transport allowance and 300 per cent of initial basic pay as special judicial allowance for all judicial officers in the province.
He said later in 2009, NJPMC recommended that disparity in the salary of judicial officers of all four provinces be removed and that salary of judicial officers in the remaining provinces be brought on a par with those of Punjab.
He, however, said the provincial government was reluctant to implement the said decision.