LAHORE - A citizen yesterday filed a constitutional petition in the Lahore High Court praying that strength of judges of LHC be completed immediately and appointment be made by inviting applications throughout the country from all advocates who have more than 10 years practice in any high court.

MH Mujahid, a lawyer, filed the petition through his counsel Advocate AK Dogar and submitted that under the law, the strength of Lahore High Court’s judge is 60 but posts of 13 judges were lying vacant which is clear violation of constitution. He said under Article 199 of the constitution for the enforcement of fundamental rights enshrined in Article 9, access to justice to all, read with Article 192 (1) that this learned court is not high court in the absence of 13 judges less than prescribed number of 60 judges fixed by the President of Pakistan.

The counsel of the petitioner submitted that Article 192 (1) of the Constitution says: “A High Court shall consist of a chief justice and so many other judges as may be determined by law, or until so determined, as may be fixed by the President.”

He submitted that President fixed the number of judges of LHC as 60, but surprisingly, the total number of the learned judges at present functioning in the LHC is only 47. Thus, the high court is short by 13 judges and, therefore, it is not a legally constituted high court, he argued.

He contended that in the circumstances noted above there is no escape but to accept and acknowledge the constitutional defect from which the LHC suffers. The counsel says that it is fundamental right of every lawyer who is eligible and qualified under Article 193 (2) (b) to be appointed a judge of a high court.

3-year LLB programme pleaded for 2016-17 graduates: Punjab Bar Council through a recommendation to Pakistan Bar Council yesterday pleaded that students who were about to complete their graduation in year 2016-17 should be given the chance of doing 3-year LLB instead of five years program.

Legal Education Committee of Punjab Bar Council headed by its Chairperson Farrukh Ijaz Baig made this recommendation after deliberations on hundreds of applications of students seeking extension in three-year LLB programme.

The committee recommended that two years extension should be given to the students who were doing their graduation in year 2016 and 2017. The extension would be helpful for the students who were about to complete their graduation to save their two years. The committee further recommended that 5-year LLB program should be enforced after 2017.

On January 24, 2016, Pakistan Bar Council enhanced the duration of law education from three to five years.