MUZAFFARABAD: In a surprise move, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Supreme Court Chief Justice Chaudhry Mohammad Ibrahim Zia has linked pay raise of the court officials to regularity in offering mandatory prayers.
In his first formal address to the officials of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Supreme Court after soon taking the oath the other day, he made it clear to them that their annual increments would be conditional to their regularity in offering prayers.
“From today onwards, every officer and official in the Supreme Court will be bound to offer prayers with punctuality. Annual increment will be linked to regularity in prayers,” he held.
He said there would be two shifts for prayers.
“I will lead the first shift and those who are left behind for any reason will join the second jamaat that will be led by our prayer leader,” said the CJ, who had been an active member and office-bearer of the Jamaat-i-Islami during the days of his legal practice.
“I will not even deprive those of our employees who carry out security duties, including policemen, of offerings prayers, because that is our foremost obligation, as ordained by our Lord,” he said.
He said he would constitute a “nizam-i-salaat” committee and get it checked in secret as to who had and who had not offered prayers.
He said he did not like falsehood, trickery and double-dealing and warned that strict disciplinary action would be taken against those found practising such traits.
He directed the staff to give equal respect to a common litigant that they gave to lawyers or influential people.
“From the chief justice to a sweeper, we all are human beings. We have equal rights but different duties and responsibilities which we ought to carry out with complete dedication, devotion, honesty and sincerity.”
“In discharge of duties, every public servant should rise above personal likes and dislikes, regional or ethnic prejudices, besides doing away with slackness, negligence, or dereliction of duty,” he said.
The CJ also took an oath from all employees for observance of these principles.
Earlier, Justice Zia was administered the oath as the 12 permanent CJ by AJK President Sardar Mohammad Masood Khan at the president’s secretariat.
The oath-taking ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, Legislative Assembly Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir, senior minister Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, AJK High Court CJ Ghulam Mustafa Mughal, other cabinet and assembly members, judges, lawyers and government officials.
The notification about his elevation as CJ was issued on Feb 20. He has replaced Mohammad Azam Khan, who retired on Friday on attaining the age of superannuation.