This case explores the constitutionalism of financial autonomy and budgetary independence of the superior judiciary on the touchstone of the ageless constitutional values of independence of judiciary and separation of powers. Additional Registrar of this High Court has knocked at the constitutional jurisdiction of this Court, raising the question of non-compliance of the executive authority of the Federation by the Provincial Government, as the direction of the Prime Minister to the Provincial Government to enhance the allowances of the staff of the superior judiciary goes unheeded. During the course of hearing, this legal question has snowballed into a far more significant constitutional issue regarding the constitutional protection of the financial and budgetary autonomy of the High Court.
The facts are that the Prime Minister in the year 2011 allowed an increase in the pay of the staff of the superior judiciary across the country, by granting them an enhancement of 50% Judicial Allowance and 50% Adhoc Allowance (“Allowances”) w.e.f. 01.07.2010. However, more importantly, the matter was also taken up by the Lahore High Court and was duly approved and sanctioned. The inaction and the silent refusal on the part of the Provincial Government to honour the budgetary approval of the Allowances by the High Court is not only violative of the constitutional financial procedures provided under Articles 121 and 122 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 (“Constitution”) but also corrodes the financial autonomy and as a result the independence of the judiciary which forms the bedrock of our constitutionalism. You can see the full detail of the decision on the copy of the court decision attached.
Special Thanks to Mr. Ghulam Mustafa Ch. for sending the copy of the decision of Judicial Allowance @ 50% and 50% Adhoc Allowance alongwith Arrears to the Officers and Servants of the High Court.