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September 23, 2019

Four superior court judges including CJP, LHC CJ hang up their robes this year

National

September 23, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Four superior court judges, including the chief justices of Pakistan and the Lahore High Court (LHC) will retire during the ongoing year on attaining the age of superannuation.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa hangs up his robes on December 18 this year after becoming 65 years old, the retirement age of an apex court judge.

LHC Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan superannuates on December 31 after becoming 62 years old, the retirement age of a high court judge. It may be a mere coincidence that LHC Judge Shahid Mobeen also retires on the same day.

A Sindh High Court (SHC) judge Justice Muhammad Iqbal Mahar superannuates on November 14 this year. After the recommendation of the judicial commission to elevate LHC judge Justice Aminuddin Khan to the Supreme Court, the LHC will be short of three judges. At present, it has a total of 46 judges.

A few weeks back, the LHC chief justice proposed appointment of nearly a dozen new judges, including three district & sessions judges. However, the recommendations were not accepted. The LHC chief will send new names.

After Justice Khosa’s retirement, the most senior judge, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, will automatically become the chief justice to serve for nearly two years as the topmost judge.

Following the retirement of LHC chief justice, senior puisne judge Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh will be appointed in his place to serve just two months and 18 days. He will be replaced by Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan, who will work as the chief justice for some 16 months.

Not a single judge of the high courts of Islamabad, Peshawar and Balochistan retires during the current year. The senior judicial appointments are governed by Article 175A of the Constitution. It says the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) will make appointment of judges of the Supreme Court, high courts and the Federal Shariat Court.

For appointment of judges of the Supreme Court, the JCP will consist of chief justice of Pakistan; four most senior judges of the Supreme Court; a former chief justice or a former judge of the Supreme Court to be nominated by the chief justice of Pakistan, in consultation with the four judges for a term of two years; Federal minister for law and justice; attorney-general for Pakistan; and a senior advocate of the Supreme Court nominated by the Pakistan Bar Council for a term of two years.

For appointment of judges of a High Court, the JCP will also include the chief justice of the High Court to which the appointment is being made; the most senior judge of that high court; provincial minister for law; and an advocate having not less than 15 years practice in the high court to be nominated by the concerned Bar Council for a term of two years.

However, for appointment of the chief justice of a high court, its most senior judge will not be member of the JCP. If for any reason the chief justice of high court is not available, he will be substituted by a former chief justice or former judge of that court, to be nominated by the chief justice of Pakistan in consultation with the four supreme court judges of the JCP.

For appointment of judges of the Islamabad High Court, the JCP will also include its chief justice and its most senior judge. The JCP by majority of its total membership will nominate to the parliamentary committee one person, for each vacancy of a judge in the Supreme Court, a high court or the Federal Shariat Court as the case may be. The committee will consist of the eight members – four each from the Senate and the National Assembly.

Out of the eight members, four will be from the treasury benches, two from each House and four from the opposition benches, two from each House. The nomination of members from the treasury benches will be made by the leader of the House and from the opposition by the leader of the opposition.

The committee on receipt of a nomination from the JCP may confirm the nominee by majority of its total membership within 14 days, failing which the nomination shall be deemed to have been confirmed. The committee, for reasons to be recorded, may not confirm the nomination by three-fourth majority of its total membership within this period. If a nomination is not confirmed by the committee, it will forward its decision with reasons so recorded to the JCP through the Prime Minister. If a nomination is not confirmed, the JCP will send another nomination. The committee will send the name of the nominee confirmed by it or deemed to have been confirmed to the prime minister who will forward the same to the president for appointment.

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