OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE The Lahore High Court has ordered taking strict action against all those officials and lower court staff who accepted gratifications from the lawyers, litigants or any other persons, a circular issued here on Tuesday stated. The employees involved in the ill practices are committing a serious offence which calls for penal as well as strict disciplinary action against them, it warned. Acting on a direction from Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Additional Registrar (G&S), in the circular, observed: A section of qasids/naibqasid and other court staff and officials is involved in taking bribe and illegal gratification notwithstanding the fact a substantial raise has been made in their salaries and allowances to check this practice. And this misdeed is bringing a bad name to the institution. The circular also stated that taking a serious view of the situation, the competent authority had decided that in future no leniency would be shown to any official found involved in receiving gratifications. All private secretaries and readers attached with the courts and the assistant registrars, deputy registrars, and additional registrars have been directed to keep a close eye on the lower staff and officials attached with their offices to detect any such misdeeds on their part and to immediately report any such malpractice to the competent authority for necessary disciplinary action and punishment against them. The order states that failing in this behalf would invite the same disciplinary action against the officer in-charge who would be considered an accomplice with the actual culprits. Hamesh Khan: A Division Bench of the Lahore High Court Tuesday adjourned for May 23 further hearing of the bail petition moved by Hamesh Khan in the Rs 9 billion Bank of Punjab loan scam. The Bench, headed by LHC Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, put off the proceedings as Barrister Ms Mesooma, the counsel for the Bank of Punjab, was not available. Hamesh, the former president of the Bank of Punjab, has been accused of sanctioning Rs 9 billion to Harris Steel Mills against rules and regulations. Earlier, the counsel for the NAB submitted the Bureaus reply to the petition opposing bail for Hamesh. The NAB counsel said Hamesh was the main accused in the scam who issued loans of billions of rupees on bogus papers so he should not be granted relief of bail.