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Friday July 19, 2024

President approves appointment of first-ever female CJ of LHC

Justice Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui also appointed as CJ of Sindh High Court

By Naveen Ali & Web Desk
July 10, 2024
Justice Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui (left) and Justice Aalia Neelum. — SHC/LHC websites
Justice Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui (left) and Justice Aalia Neelum. — SHC/LHC websites

President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday approved the appointment of Justice Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui and Justice Aalia Neelum as the chief justices of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and the Lahore High Court (LHC), respectively.

The president approved the appointments under Article 175-A (13) of the Constitution, according to an official notification. 

The top positions fell vacant after three high court judges, including the chief justices of Sindh and Lahore high courts — Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan, respectively — were elevated to the Supreme Court last month.

The Judicial Commission of Pakistan unanimously nominated Justice Aalia for the LHC CJ’s post and Justice Shafi for the SHC’s top post in June.

Justice Aalia is scheduled to take oath in a prestigious ceremony to be held in Punjab Governor House in Lahore at 9:30am on Thursday. Governor Sardar Saleem Haider Khan will administer the oath to Justice Aalia.

Justice Aalia: a brief profile

Justice Aalia was born on November 12, 1966, and got an LLB degree from the University of the Punjab in 1995. She was enrolled as an advocate a year later.

She also served as an advocate in the top court after her enrollment in 2008.

The lady jurist has rendered a number of reported judgments on numerous important issues since her elevation to an LHC bench in 2013.

As per her academic qualifications, Justice Aalia has a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of Punjab and also holds diplomas in multiple fields related to law and judiciary. Moreover, she also acquired a B.Ed degree from her alma mater.

Besides practising judiciary dealing with criminal, civil and anti-terrorism laws, Justice Aalia also performed as a focal person for gender-based violence courts among other works.