GILGIT (ET): GB Chief Court accepted the unconditional apology of three secretaries of the GB administration and exempted them from appearing in court in handcuffs. The pardon settled the week-long row between the bureaucracy and the judiciary which had perturbed routine business in Gilgit. GB Chief Court judges, Justice Muhammad Alam and Justice Wazir Shakeel, had issued non-bailable warrants against the secretaries of home, law and finance departments last week, and directed the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police to present them in handcuffs for failing to show up for proceedings.
The warrant was issued after the secretaries were a no-show in a contempt of court notice issued earlier over the appointment of prosecutors in the government. However, the apex court of the region, the Supreme Appellate Court, set aside the penalty of handcuffs last week in response to a petition filed through the advocate general.
“The judges accepted the apology and the secretaries will appear in court without handcuffs at the next hearing,” said Musarat Jamal, a lawyer present in the courtroom on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the government has decided to fill the 36 vacant posts of prosecutors through tests and interviews. “For this purpose, the list of posts will be sent to the Federal Public Service Commission,” said an official, adding the judiciary will be consulted before sending the list to the commission. While the court has pardoned the secretaries, lawyers will go ahead with a meeting of the legal fraternity from across the region that was planned earlier.
G-B Bar Council Vice Chairman Shahbaz Khan had said in a statement issued on Sunday that representatives from the Supreme Appellate Court Bar Association, High Court Bar Association and district bar associations of Gilgit, Skardu, Diamer, Ghizer, Ghanchae, Astore and Hunza-Nagar will meet on June 2 to discuss the situation that arose in the wake of the secretaries’ defiance.