Thursday July 18, 2024

Justice Hilali becomes PHC's first female CJ

Justice Hilali is among the senior judges of PHC and will serve as chief justice till her retirement if notified by JCP

April 01, 2023

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali on Saturday administered the oath of Justice Musarrat Hilali as the first female chief justice of the Peshawar High Court (PHC).

Earlier, President Dr Arif Alvi appointed Justice Hilali as chief justice PHC with effect from April 1 and till the appointment of a regular chief justice by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP).

She was among the senior judges of PHC and would serve as chief justice till her retirement if notified by the JCP.

A notification available with APP disclosed that in the exercise of the power conferred under Article 196 of the constitution of Pakistan 1973, the president has appointed Justice Hilali, the most senior judge of the PHC, as the chief justice.

The post fell vacant after the retirement of Chief Justice Qaiser Rasheed.

The ceremony was also attended by the high court judges, office-bearers of the bar councils, lawyers, and ministers of the caretaker government.

If appointed as the regular CJ, Justice Hilali would be the second female in the country who has been elevated to the office of chief justice of a high court — the first being Justice Syeda Tahir Safdar, the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court.

It should be noted that on Friday, Justice Roohul Amin Khan took the oath as chief justice of PHC following the retirement of Chief Justice Rasheed; however, he retired on the same day and was given the honour in a full court reference on the same day.

The governor congratulated Justice Hilali on her new responsibilities and expressed good wishes.

Who is Justice Musarrat Hilali?

Born in Peshawar on August 08, 1961, Justice Hilali received law degree from Khyber Law College, Peshawar University and enrolled as an Advocate of District Courts in 1983, as an Advocate of the High Court in 1988 and as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2006.

Being a female she had several achievements in her career including:

  • First female elected office-bearer in the post of secretary at the bar from 1988-1989
  • Vice president at the bar (twice) from 1992 till 1994
  • General Secretary from 1997 till 1998
  • First female twice elected as an executive member of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) from 2007-2008 and 2008-2009

She was also the first female Additional Advocate General of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from November 2001 to March 2004 and was later appointed as the first female Chairperson Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Tribunal.

Justice Hilali also served as the first female ombudsman for protection against the harassment of women in the workplace.

She was elevated to the bench as an additional judge on March 26, 2013, and confirmed as a permanent judge of the Peshawar High Court on March 13, 2014.