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Sindh High Court appointments challenged in top court


ISLAMABAD:

A constitutional petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking the revocation of appointments made to the Sindh High Court (SHC) and the district judiciary since 2017.

The petitioner, Ghulam Sarwar Qureshi Advocate, pleaded that the appointments be declared null and void.

Under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, he adopted the stance that the apex court should form a joint investigation team comprising senior judges of the SHC to investigate the appointments made from 2017 onwards.

The petitioner asked the court to seek the record of all appointments from the SHC registrar, the SHC chief justice and the government of Sindh.

He also requested the court to issue an order for the de-notification of all appointments and added that an inquiry be conducted against the SHC chief justice, registrar and judges of district courts for violating the law.

The petition further sought the court’s directions to restrain the SHC chief justice from making appointments until the case was decided.

The SHC chief justice and registrar and provincial and federal governments were named respondents in the application.

The Sindh Bar Council (SBC) has recently filed a petition challenging the elevation of three judges of the Lahore High Court to the SC.

Earlier, the bar council has raised serious questions over “out-of-turn elevation” of judges to the Supreme Court.

The members of the lawyers’ body conveyed their reservations in a letter written to the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP), a constitutional body for the nomination of superior court judges’ appointments and elevation.

Similar concerns were also raised by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth in his letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, who is also the JCP chairman.

In its three-page letter, the SBC wrote that of the last five judges elevated to SC, four were not on top of the seniority list even in their own high courts.

During the tenure of former CJP Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Munib Akhtar was elevated despite being fourth on the seniority list in the Sindh High Court

Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed was appointed an SC judge a month after his retirement from the Lahore High Court during the tenure of former CJP Asif Saeed Khosa. He was 26th on the LHC seniority list.

Later, Justice Aminuddin Khan of the LHC was also elevated even though he was fifth in terms of seniority. Likewise, the recently elevated Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi was third on the LHC seniority list.

The Sindh Bar Council letter also referred to the judgment of the Malik Asad Ali case wherein it was held that senior-most judge of the court had legitimate expectancy to become chief justice even though the Constitution was silent.



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