Lawyers boycott courts No consensus in JCP over Justice Ayesha’s elevation to SC

9
Staff Reporter
Islamabad

Lawyers across country went on strike on Thursday and boycotted court proceedings against the appointment of junior judges to the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP).

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Latif Afridi informed Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed of the protest through a letter sent on August 21.

The two major pillars of the judiciary, the bench and the bar have been drifting away from each other for the past few days, following differences over the appointment of judges to the apex court that also led to protests by the legal fraternity at various levels.

Today, the lawyers boycotted the court on the call of various bar organisations including the Sindh High Court Bar Association, Pakistan Bar Council, SCBA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council.

Due to the strike, counsels did not represent the petitioners whereas only government lawyers appeared before the apex court in two cases.

The petitioners sat in the corridors of the court whereas the court staff kept calling the names of lawyers and clerks who did not appear.

A heavy contingent of police was also deployed on the occasion and the parking lot of the court was also closed due to security concerns as the lawyers gathered at the SC to protest. They demanded that judges be appointed in the SC on the basis of seniority under the traditional procedure.

“Our protest is peaceful,” one of the protesting lawyers said. In addition, CJP Gulzar Ahmed had summoned a meeting of the JCP today to consider Justice Ayesha Malik, who is number four on the LHC judge seniority list, for her appointment as a Supreme Court judge. The meeting decided not to appoint her as Supreme court judge.

Amid lawyers protest across the country, Justice Ayesha Malik of the Lahore High Court could not be elevated to the Supreme Court, sources privy to the development told media on Thursday.

They said that the Judicial Commission of Pakistan could not evolve consensus regarding the elevation of the first lady judge to the apex court. Under the Constitution, the JCP with a majority vote recommends elevation to the top court.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan and Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem supported her nomination. While Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice (Retd) Dost Muhammad Khan and PBC representative in JCP Akhtar Hussain opposed the nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa, a member of the JCP, was absent from the meeting. It is pertinent to mention here that no lady judge has ever been elevated to the Supreme Court in the judicial history of Pakistan,

Lawyers across Pakistan went on strike on Thursday and boycotted court proceedings against the appointment of junior judges to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Bar Association President Latif Afridi apprised CJP Gulzar Ahmed of the protest through a letter sent on August 21.

The two major pillars of the judiciary, the bench and the bar have been drifting away from each other for the past few days, following differences over the appointment of judges to the apex court that also led to protests by the legal fraternity at various levels.

AGP Khalid Jawed Khan said in his opinion submitted before CJP Justice Gulzar that appointment of the first woman judge to the apex court “would have been a historic occasion”.

“I would prefer that the first woman judge be appointed by unanimous recommendation of the members of JCP as well as full support of the Bar. Such happy occasion does not appear to be materialising today,” he wrote in his note.

 

Previous articleGovt to use i-voting, EVMs in elections at any cost: Babar
Next articleNawaz coming back to Pakistan this year, claims Javed