ISLAMABAD: After suffering for four years and losing even his job for opposing illegal appointments made in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the then IHC Additional Registrar Ijaz Ahmed has finally been reinstated in the same position in the same court.
Interestingly, no less than the Supreme Court of Pakistan in September 2016 held that the appointments as pointed out by Ijaz Ahmed in the LHC were illegal but the officer instead of being rewarded continued to suffer till Tuesday (Jan 22, 2019) when finally the incumbent Chief Justice Athar Minahllah ordered his reinstatement.
Ijaz was placed on suspension by the then IHC chief justice on January 9, 2014, on the charges that he had opposed the appointments and thereby challenged the authority of the chief justice. After remaining under suspension for a prolonged 20 months (unprecedented in judicial history) till August 2015, he was forced to retire on 20-08-2015.
Meanwhile, the appointments in IHC were challenged in the Supreme Court in 2014, and the apex court, in its judgment issued on 26-09-2016, endorsed the view of Ijaz Ahmed and ordered the de-notification of the appointments made since 2011.
However, Ijaz was not reinstated and had to wait for another 28 months before being reinstated at his former position following a court order dated January 23, 2019 by the incumbent IHC CJ.
Although the officer suffered for long for pointing out the wrongs of his the then chief justice, to his good luck he finally got justice from his new chief justice who interestingly has already ordered verification of degrees of all the employees of the IHC.
Soon after his appointment as IHC Chief Justice, Justice Athar Minallah also suspended the notifications for upgradation, postings/transfers and allotment of government houses to ‘blue-eyed’ officials by his predecessor Justice (R) Anwar Khan Kasi.
The Supreme Court while deciding against the illegal appointments as pointed out by Ijaz Ahmed in the IHC, had observed, “Before parting with the judgment, we may observe that the Chief Justice Islamabad High Court and/or the Administration Committee of Islamabad High Court have made appointments in the Establishment in complete disregard of the mandate given by the Rules framed under Article 208 of the Constitution.”
The SC had added, “If the competent authority itself starts cherry picking by deliberately ignoring and overlooking meritorious candidates in appointment exercising powers under Rule 26 of the Lahore High Court or Rule 16 of the Islamabad High Court, the image of the institution will be tainted beyond repair. Such practice may lead to distrust of the public in the judicial institution of the country. We could not allow denial of justice to those candidates who merit appointment nor could we encourage anyone to bypass transparent process of recruitment provided under the Rules.”
Following the SC’s judgment, a reference was filed against the former IHC CJ Mr Kasi.
Interesting in this case the administrative tribunal- Supreme Judicial Council- got preference over judicial proceedings of the Supreme Court as the then Chief Justice IHC Anwar Khan Kasi, who was held responsible for illegal appointments by the apex court, was cleared by the council shortly before his retirement.
Supreme Judicial Council had dismissed all four complaints against Chief Justice Islamabad High Court (IHC) Anwar Khan Kasi and found no material of misconduct.
It was announced by the SJC that after detailed deliberations and discussion, the council came to the conclusion that on the basis of material available on record, no case of misconduct was made out against the judge. Therefore, the Supreme Judicial Council dismissed all the complaints against him.