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March 9, 2018

PHC puts on notice CJ, others in appointments case


March 9, 2018

PESHAWAR: A division bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday put on notice chief justice, administrative committee of the high court and Supreme Judicial Council in a writ petition challenging appointments of registrar and an additional registrar from the bureaucracy in the high court.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Muhammad Ayub Khan issued notice to respondents in the petition including Mohammad Saleem Khan (registrar), Zakaullah Khattak (additional registrar), the high court administrative committee through the registrar, the PHC chief justice through principal staff officer, provincial government through law secretary and the Supreme Judicial Council through its secretary.

The court issued the notice in the writ petition filed by a lawyer, Ali Azim Afridi, who requested the court to declare as unconstitutional the amendments made in the relevant rules last year to allow appointment of a civil servant of the provincial or federal government as registrar and additional registrar (administration).

To a question from the court if the notice can be issued to chief justice and high court, the lawyer cited judgement of the Supreme Court (PLD 2016 SC page 961) related to the appointments in Islamabad High Court in which he explained that the SC court had declared that high court and chief justice could be made parties in suchlike case.

The lawyer argued that the appointments were against the constitutional provision related to separation of judiciary from the executive

The petitioner stated that the appointment of the high court registrar Mohammad Saleem Khan (BS-20) and additional registrar (administration) Zakaullah Khattak (BS-19) through a notification on February 1, 2017, was illegal and without any lawful authority.

The petitioner submitted that the said two appointments impinge upon the notion of independence of judiciary.

The lawyer also requested that the administrative committee of the high court may be tried for committing contempt of court as it has violated judgments of the Supreme Court on the said subject.

He pointed out that the cases of the judges of the administrative committee may also be referred to the Supreme Judicial Council.

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