by Akhtar Amin
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Friday sacked four judges of the district judiciary including three additional and district sessions judges and one female civil judge on charges of corruption and misconduct.
The PHC administrative committee headed by Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth accepted the unconditional resignation of one civil judge of the district judiciary.
As per the notifications, the competent authority removed three additional district and sessions judges (BPS-21) including Aurangzeb Khan, Naeem Iqbal and Shakeelur Rehman and female civil judge Saima Irfan from service.
The resignation of civil judge Johar Ijaz Ali Shah was accepted and departmental proceedings against him were dropped after he requested to be allowed to tender unconditional resignation.
The judicial officer tendered his resignation after he was issued a show-cause notice and asked to clear his position about the charges of misconduct and corruption against him.
As per the notifications of the sacked judges available with The News, the competent authority comprising the PHC chief justice and senior judges of the high court held that disciplinary proceedings were initiated against the accused judicial officers under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules 2011.
“Whereas, credible evidence of delinquency established misconduct and corruption on their part, hence, inquiry against them was dispensed with and show-cause notice was issued to the accused officers whereby tentatively decided to impose upon them the penalty of removal from service under the rules,” the competent authority stated in the notification.
It was further stated that their replies and personal hearings couldn’t lessen the gravity of their culpability. “Therefore the competent authority is pleased to hold that keeping the accused judicial officers in the judicial service is highly uncalled for and undesirable and they are removed from service as envisaged under Rule 4 (1) (b) (iii) of the said Rules, the said accused officers stand removed from service with immediate effect,” the notification added.
Earlier, the high court had suspended the services of the judicial officers before holding of inquiry against them on the charges of misconduct and corruption. Before this, the then PHC chief justice Yahya Afridi, who is now judge of the Supreme Court, in consultation with judges of administrative committee had removed 13 judicial officers including additional session judges and senior civil judges from service on charges of misconduct and corruption.
At the time, majority of the 13 judicial officers had claimed that they had not been given a chance to defend themselves and were terminated from service without evidence. They had also challenged the termination orders in the Appellant Tribunal of the high court.courtesy The News