LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Thursday restored number of deputy, assistant and deputy prosecutors general by suspending order of provincial government under which they were terminated. The court also referred the matter to chief justice to constitute a large bench on the matter because identical petitions are also pending before LHC benches at Multan and Bahawalpur and these all cases could be adjudicated upon by a larger bench. The court on Wednesday, July 29 had admitted the regular hearing of the petitions of Saleem Azad and more than 70 others whose services were terminated. On July 25, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah while addressing a press conference had announced to sack three assistant prosecutors generals, 18 deputy prosecutors general, 83 deputy district prosecutors and 383 assistant and public prosecutors. The law minister alleged the previous government for personal gain had hired these people in violation of law and were giving lucrative salaries to these officials to protect their interests. The minister said that the prosecutor general was getting a Rs 200,000 salary per month, additional prosecutor general Rs 150,000, deputy prosecutor Rs 75,000 and public prosecutor Rs 65,000. Those who were removed moved the constitutional petition challenging their termination and also applications to stay the operation of removal order. The applicants said they were appointed as on different dates ranging from June 2006 to September 2007. They said their tenure started with effect from the date they assumed the charge of the post till recruitment under Contract Appointment Policy, 2004. The applicants said their tenure might be revoked if they were found guilty of misconduct etc by adopting the due process. They said the government terminated their service upon their alleged failure to qualify in interviews conducted by the Selection Committee. They said their order of termination had been illegal because the executive authority of the province had to be exercised in the name of the governor, which had not been done in this case. They said they were removed in the name of failing to get through the interviews despite the fact that they were brought into service after they passed their interviews. They also submitted that it was settled practice and principle of law that interviews are taken before appointment and not after appointment. Accordingly, the interview after appointment is conducted, as a formality towards regularisation of service but instead of regularisation, the petitioners were removed from their service illegally, arbitrarily and mechanically. They requested to declare the termination order as illegal. On Thursday, the court heard the arguments petitioners counsel and advocate general Punjab Kh Harris on stay application and stayed the operation of the impugned order.