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December 12, 2016

Next CJ to stay in office for two years and 18 days

National

December 12, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who has been notified by President Mamnoon Hussain to be the next chief justice of Pakistan from Dec 31, will hold the exalted office for two years and 18 days.

The top judge, who replaces Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, will lay down his robes on January 18, 2019 after reaching the age of retirement, 65 years. He was born on January 18, 1954.

After Justice Saqib Nisar will be sworn in as the chief justice on Dec 31, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa will become the senior most judge of the apex court after him.

Neither the president nor the prime minister or any other State institution has any role whatsoever in the appointment of the Supreme Court chief justice. It was conclusively decided by the apex court itself once and for all long time ago that any judge, who was the senior most after the chief justice, would get this office after the retirement of the incumbent top judge. The issuance of notification of the appointment of the chief justice by the president is just a formality.

Following the retirement of Justice Saqib Nisar on January 18, 2019, Justice Khosa will be named as the chief justice to hold this coveted slot for some eleven months till Dec 12, 2019.

The appointment of both eminent lawyers as the judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) happened at the same time in May 1998. Similarly, they were elevated to the Supreme Court on the same day, February 18, 2010. In such eventuality, the seniority is calculated on the basis of the age of the judges, meaning whoever is senior in age becomes senior to the other.

Justice Saqib Nisar had earned the rare distinction of being nominated as the federal law secretary in 1997 becoming the first ever lawyer getting this position. Previously and also subsequently, either sitting or retired judges are given this berth.

Justice Saqib Nisar was born in Lahore. He passed his Matriculation from Cathedral High School, Lahore, did his Graduation from Government College and Bachelor of Law from the University of Punjab in 1979-80.

He joined legal profession as an advocate on May 2, 1980 and was enrolled as a lawyer of the High Court in 1982 and as advocate of the Supreme Court in 1994. He was elevated as the judge of the LHC on May 22, 1998, and as justice of the Supreme Court on February 18, 2010.

Justice Saqib Nisar was member of a delegation, which represented Pakistan in International Youth Conference held in Tripoli (Libya) in 1973. He had practiced in civil, commercial, tax and constitutional law; had appeared in a large number of important constitutional cases both in the High Court and the Supreme Court. He was elected as Secretary General of LHC Bar Association in 1991.

He also represented Pakistan in the International Conference held in Wilton Park, Britain, on “Pakistan and India at Fifty”.

He led the Pakistan delegation to Manila, Philippines, in a conference of the minister level on “Asia Region Transitional Crimes” and headed the Pakistan delegation on Human Rights to Switzerland. Besides, he participated in a conference held in Oslo, Norway, under the auspices of Pakistani community in collaboration with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on “Islam and Democracy” in February, 2009 and read the paper on the “Role of the Courts in Islamic Democratic Society”.

He was also a part-time lecturer at Punjab Law College and Pakistan College of Law, where he taught Civil Procedure Code and the Constitution.