Ijaz Kakakhel Islamabad
The Constitutional Amendment Bill was debated at length here on Thursday before the Senate Law & Justice Committee headed by Senator & Barrister Syed Ali Zafar. Committee’s Chairman, Barrister Ali Zafar, began the debate by stating that without independence of judiciary no nation can progress or society function and no state can survive.
In order to ensure the independence of judiciary, Barrister Ali Zafar stated that the two most important items are that there must be transparency and security in the process of appointing Judges as well as their removal. Tracing the history, he stated that previously there was an unofficial process of consultation between the Executive and the concerned Chief Justices through which the Judges were appointed but vide the 18th and 19th Amendments, a more transparent and robust process was initiated in which the Judges were appointed in stage one by a Judicial Commission and then as a second stage by a Parliamentary Committee.
He pointed out that through a judgement of the Supreme Court, the powers of the Parliamentary Committee were taken away and it was left without any jurisdiction to deny the nominations made by the Judicial Commission and, hence, the Parliamentary Committee became a toothless body. Barrister Ali Zafar further pointed out that the recent meeting of the Judicial Commission also showed that there was need to maintain a balance so that in the matter of appointment of Judges, the decision could be made in a more transparent and structured manner.