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Pakistan

Web Desk
June 26, 2018
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Yousaf Saleem sworn in as Pakistan’s first blind judge

Pakistan

Web Desk
Tue, Jun, 18

LAHORE: History has been made, as Yousaf Saleem became the first blind judge in Pakistan after taking oath of civil judge here on Tuesday.

Yousaf was among 21 candidates who were sworn in for the post of civil judges today.

While Yousaf became the first blind judge in Pakistan, there are numerous examples of visually-impaired judges in other countries.

Saleem, who was earlier dropped for being blind, had been reconsidered and recommended for the position of the civil judge after intervention by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar.

A gold medalist of the Punjab University in LLB (Honors), Yousaf had topped the written judiciary exam among 6,500 candidates. He was amongst 21 candidates, who qualified for interview. However, he failed in interview as he was blind.

As The News reported this issue on April 22, the CJP took suo motu notice. The chief justice observed that a person could be a judge even if he is blind, provided he meets all other qualifications.

“It appears in this case, his fundamental rights under Articles 9, 14 and 25 of the Constitution, the provisions of the UN Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Pakistan, three percent quota under the Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Ordinance 1981, and the jurisprudence developed by the Lahore High Court in PLD 2017 Lahore 406 and PLD 2017 Lahore 1 were not considered by the Lahore High Court,” reads the SC press release on suo motu.

The CJP referred the matter to the chief justice Lahore High Court and the relevant selection committee directing them to reconsider the case and “give a speaking opinion.”

Yousaf’s prayers were finally answered when he received a letter from the LHC that reads: “You are hereby informed that the Hon’ble Examination Committee for Recruitment of District Judiciary and Lahore High Court Establishment has recommended you for appointment as Civil Judge-cum-Magistrate.”

Talking to The News, Yousaf had thanked the CJP for taking notice of the situation and the chief justice of Lahore High Court and selection committee for reconsidering his case.

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