- The justices’ nomination for the Supreme Court, according to a group of lawyers, breached the seniority principle.
- In the Al-Jihad Trust decision, the Supreme Court purportedly introduced the concept of seniority-based nominations.
- allegations that complaints from national lawyer organisations were also ignored
The Islamabad Bar Council (IBC), according to The News, has asked the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) to reconsider its decision to promote junior justices to the Supreme Court.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, members of the bar council reportedly declared the Supreme Court judges’ recommendation to be contrary to the seniority principle and recommended a review.
According to Syed Qamar Hussain Shah, vice chairman of the IBC, Raja Muhammad Aleem Khan, chairman of the executive committee, and other office holders, legal organisations from throughout the country have demanded that the seniority principle not be ignored in the recruitment of Supreme Court justices.
They said that in the Al-Jihad Trust decision, the Supreme Court established the concept of seniority-based appointments to the upper judiciary.
“Recommendations for the appointment of junior judges were made in Monday’s Judicial Commission meeting, disregarding seniority,” they claimed in the statement. Protests by national lawyer organisations, they alleged, were also ignored.
The JCP has proposed Justice Minallah and two other candidates for the Supreme Court.
On Monday, the JCP approved the appointment of justices from high courts to the Supreme Court.
Justices Shahid Waheed of the Lahore High Court and Hasan Azhar Rizvi of the Sindh High Court, as well as Chief Justice Athar Minallah of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), were also recommended for nomination (SHC).
Under the chairmanship of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Umar Ata Bandial, the JCP met and discussed the promotion of four judges to the highest court.
The highest court is now lacking five of its 17 judges.
According to credible sources, the JCP members decided to name the three judges mentioned above after a comprehensive deliberation.
Justice Minallah’s candidacy was unanimously approved, while Justice Rizvi and Justice Waheed earned a 5-4 vote, According to sources.
JCP placed Shafi Siddiqui’s promotion plan on hold since meeting attendees couldn’t agree on his name, sources.
According to sources with firsthand knowledge of the issue, Justices Qazi Faez Isa, Sardar Tariq Masood, Mansoor Ali Shah, and Akhtar Hussain, a representative of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), opposed the elevation of Justices Shahid Waheed and Hasan Azhar Rizvi.
The JCP’s recommendations will be forwarded to the Parliamentary Committee on Appointment of Judges in Superior Courts for final confirmation.