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Thursday December 02, 2021

SCBA asks why four senior judges ignored for apex court

July 10, 2021
SCBA asks why four senior judges ignored  for apex court

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has questioned the expected elevation of the fifth senior most justice of the Sindh High Court to the Supreme Court and has demanded that this practice must be discouraged and principle of seniority should be preferred.

Ahmed Shahzad Farooq Rana, Secretary SCBA, in a statement issued here on Friday, said that although criterion for elevation to the Supreme Court is already enshrined in Article 175-A of the Constitution and further validated by court in "Re: Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan vs Federation of Pakistan (PLD 2002 SC 939)", however the way in which the elevation matters has been dealt in the past and present, has only increased the dilemma.

He did not mention the name of the Sindh High Court judge, whom the SCBA expected to be elevated but simply said the fifth most-senior judge of the Sindh High Court may be elevated to the Supreme Court, terming it a controversial matter. He said that any such appointment (if made) would be a severe defiance of the standards settled in the Al-Jehad trust case.

He further stated that the appointment or elevation of judges should preferably be made on the basis of seniority first and thereafter other credentials of the candidate may also be considered. "No doubt that competency, honesty and proficiency are imperative and equally important for elevation as a justice to apex court; however discouraging the principle of seniority is also equally disrespectful to other senior justices,” the SCBA secretary said. He further said that habitual sidestepping of senior "Justices" during elevations is constantly undermining the integrity of the entire judicial system and would also be a discriminatory practice for the judges who have not only served the judiciary to the hilt but also deserve elevation as vested right.

Earlier, the Pakistan Bar Council had also expressed its reservations over the expected elevation of fifth senior judge of the Sindh High Court to the Supreme Court of Pakistan without mentioning his name.

However, sources said both the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Pakistan Bar Council are referring to SHC Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, who is on the fifth number and is expected to be elevated to the Supreme Court. According to the website of the Sindh High Court, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar is at seniority No 5 who was born on October 5, 1964, appointed as judge of the SHC on February 18, 2010 and will retire on October 4, 2026.