GILGIT: Three months after the retirement of judges, the service tribunal of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) remains dysfunctional since no replacements have been finalised.
The three judges, including the tribunal’s chairman justice Hafeezur Rehman and the two members, justice Khurshid Alam and justice Fida Hussain, had been appointed to the court in February 2014. But they retired in January after their service period ended.
The government, though, has been less than urgent to address their absence. “There are no judges, so there is no work in the court,” a lawyer said on Saturday.
“All I can say is that the situation has just added to the miseries of the people while the government has turned a blind eye [to the matter],” the lawyer said while preferring not to be named.
What is curious is that the government continues to pay rent on a building using public money where it does not have officials to carry out designated work for the public.
Murad Ali, a resident, said that he wanted to file a case of urgent nature with the tribunal. But he could not do so due since there is no judge in the tribunal.
Commenting on the situation, senior advocate Amjad Hussain, who is also president of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in G-B, termed the absence of replacements in the tribunal as the regional government’s failure to run affairs of the region smoothly.
“The judges should have been appointed before the retirement of the previous judges,” Hussain told The Express Tribune. “This shows this government’s level of interest in public issues,” chided Hussain.
He asked the region’s chief minister and the governor to resign while accepting their inability to address key issues.
“How will they run a government if they cannot manage the affairs a department,” asked Hussain while referring to chief minister Hafeezur Rehman and governor Mir Ghazanfar Khan. He added that employees of the tribunal had no work for the past three-four month since there were no judges and that the government was paying rent for the office worth thousands of rupees without any purpose.
The G-B service tribunal was formed in 2014 under empowerment and self-governance order 2009, a constitutional package which paved way for G-B to attain a province-like status. It consisted of three judges including the chief judge which is called chairman.__Tribune.com