Islamabad: The Parliamentary Committee on the Appointment of Judges on Friday approved the nomination of Justice Aamer Farooq as the new Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Justice Aamer Farooq will succeed the incumbent Chief Justice Athar Minallah, whose name was also okayed by the Committee for elevation to the Supreme Court as a judge.
The names of the two honourable judges, combined with two other judges for elevation to the apex court, were recommended by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP).
However, the eight-member bipartisan panel, headed by Dr Fehmida Mirza of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), surprisingly deferred the consideration of JCP’s recommendation in respect of the two judges for their elevation to the apex court.
The elevation of Justice Shahid Waheed of the Lahore High Court and Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi of the Sindh High Court (SHC) to the Supreme Court will be considered “at a later stage”.
Friday’s meeting of the eight-member committee was attended by only five members: Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Muhammad Asim Nazir, and Senators Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Rana Maqbool Ahmed, and Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, Senator Farooq Hamid Naek, and Syed Naveed Qamar could not attend the meeting.
Legal experts were surprised over the sudden calling of the agenda, which was reserved for the November 10 meeting, and then the dropping of the other two recommendations.
The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) had approved the nomination of Senior Puisne Judge Justice Aamer Farooq as the new chief justice of the IHC on November 1.
The JCP meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Atta Bandial to consider the appointment of IHC’s CJ.
The meeting was attended by senior judges of the Supreme Court, Law Minister Ayaz Sadiq, Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali, representatives of the Pakistan Bar Council, and other members.
Under Article 175-A of the Constitution, the JCP recommends the appointment and confirmation of the judges, whereas the Parliamentary Committee on Judges Appointment endorses these recommendations.
Meanwhile, Justice Athar Minallah’s elevation to the apex court was unanimously approved on October 24 when the JCP had met.