After CJP’s letter: Punjab govt requests LHC to remove guardrooms from judges’ houses

Ansar Abbasi
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

ISLAMABAD: Guardrooms outside officials’ residence in already well-guarded GOR-1 (Government Officers’ Residences), Lahore have upset the Chief Justice of Pakistan but later it is revealed that such objectionable constructions are mostly found outside the official residences of at least 17 Lahore High Court judges.

The Registrar Supreme Court had conveyed the CJP Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s concern to the Punjab government, which in return approached the Registrar LHC for the removal of guardrooms from outside the residences of 17 LHC judges residing there.

Following the direction received from the CJP, the Services & General Administrations Department (S&GAD) approached the LHC Registrar the same day with the request for removal of guardrooms from outside the residences of 17 judges. The letter contained addresses of all 17 judges, where the guardrooms are required to be removed or shifted inside the residence premises.

It is said that in GOR-I except the Chief Secretary, IG Police and Home Secretary hardly any other government is in violation of what the CJP had noted. The SC Registrar wrote a letter to the Chief Secretary Punjab on 20th April. The letter read: “I am directed to inform you that after the incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan assumed office he came to conduct Court in Lahore from 15 to 19 April 2024 and stayed in the Chief Justice’s Rest House situated in the Government Officers Residences (GOR).

“The Hon’ble Chief Justice noted that the character of the GOR has changed and continues to change for the worse. Despite the fact that entry into the GOR is restricted, and gained after security checks, why then in the open-green areas guardrooms are illegally erected? If a guard is required he should be within the premises of the residence of the person to be guarded.

“The unnecessary wasteful expenditure on walls constructed around each residence within the GOR also concerned the Hon’ble Chief Justice. It is justifiable to spend public resources on walls within the secured GOR? And. Why the earlier practice of installing fences has been discarded?

“Looking forward to your early response. Kindly also provide the applicable rules/regulations in respect of buildings and construction, including walls, within the GOR.” The same day, on April 20, the S&GAD wrote a letter to the Registrar LHC to convey, “I am directed to draw your kind attention towards a recent observation made by Hon’ble Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan during his Lordship’s recent stay in GOR-I whereupon he noted with concern that despite the restricted entry into the GOR-I. guardrooms in open-green areas are illegally erected and construction outside the premise of residences.

“”You are humbly requested to make necessary arrangement vis-à-vis removal of the said guardrooms/checkposts or move them inside the residences as per direction of Hon’ble Chief Justice of Supreme Court of following residence of Hon’be Judges of Lahore High Court, Lahore………” The letter contained the addresses of 17 LHC judges residing in the GOR-I. the Punjab government requested the Registrar for an early action on the subject matter.