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Tuesday November 30, 2021

SBC concerned over third extension of Chairman NIRC

July 26, 2020

KARACHI: Sindh Bar Council on Saturday expressed concern over third term extension of Chairman National Industrial Relation Commission Justice (retd) Shakirullah Jan and termed the extension as against the independence of the judiciary and national judicial policy.

SBC Vice Chairman Syed Haider Imam Rizvi and other members adopting a resolution said that SBC believes that independent and impartial judicial system is essential for the rule of the law, constitutionalism and for the protection of the fundamental rights and freedom of citizen of the country. SBC was of the view that it is necessary that all judges including those on tribunals and quasi judicial forums are appointed in a transparent manner and on merit to guarantee the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. It expressed concern over the media reports that Chief Justice of Pakistan has recommended extension of the appointment of former SC judge Justice Shakirullah Jan as chairman of NIRC for further tenure of two years. He was initially appointed as chairman NIRC in 2016 and was given extension in 2018 on recommendation of then CJP. They said that it was also provided in national judicial policy that no retired judge of the superior court shall accept an appointment as presiding officer of banking court, customs court and administrative tribunals etc.

The SBC also dismayed at the trend whereby successive governments have enacted laws and rules providing that only retired superior court judges can be appointed on various tribunals and commissions and NIRC was one such example as chairman and members (Qualification) rules 2016 enacted under the industrial relations Act 2012. The bar council said that such rules are a classic example of the executive trying to influence the judiciary.

They said that extension of Chairman NIRC was not supported by any law and there was no provision of extension of tenure in either IRAA 2012 or even in the chairman or members (qualification) rules 2016. They called upon Chief Justice of Pakistan as well as federal government to review and recall their decisions and make a fresh appointment based on merit and in a transparent manner as NIRC has become vital for the protection of the rights and interests of the workers in particular after covid-19 pandemic when the workers are most vulnerable.