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Saturday November 27, 2021

JCP recommends elevation of BHC CJ as SC judge

July 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on Tuesday recommended the elevation of Chief Justice Balochistan High Court (BHC) Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel as a judge of the Supreme Court but deferred the elevation of Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhahr of Sindh High Court (SHC) to the apex court due to the reservations shown by the legal fraternity across the country.

Meeting of JCP, a constitutional forum recommending the appointments of judges in the superior judiciary, was held here in the Supreme Court in the chair of Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed being the Chairman of the Commission. The JCP was constituted under the 18th Constitutional Amendment for the purpose of appointment of judges for the superior judiciary.

It was learnt that the JCP extensively deliberated on the elevation of BHC Chief Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel as well as Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, judge of SHC to Supreme Court of Pakistan. After thorough deliberations, the JCP approved the elevation of BHC Chief Justice as a judge of the Supreme Court and also approved the name of Naeem Akhtar Afghan, senior judge as BHC chief justice respectively.

The JCP however, could not develop consensus on the elevation of SHC’s Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar to Supreme Court and deferred the matter.

Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), Supreme Court Bar Association and other Bar councils of the country had expressed reservations over the elevation of Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar to the Supreme Court for being on seniority number 5 as Chief Justice Sindh High Court Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh, senior Puisne Judge Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi are seniors to him.

Similarly, the legal fraternity on the call of PBC observed on Tuesday nationwide strike and lawyers did not appear before the courts.

The PBC had maintained that Muhammad Ali Mazhar is presently positioned at Sr. No. 5, by ignoring four senior most judges of the same high court as well as principle of seniority as envisioned in the landmark judgment of the SC given in “Al-Jihad Trust Case” on the point in issue as well as for the betterment of judicial system.

Meanwhile, after the meeting of JCP, PBC vice-chairman and the Executive Committee of the Council through its Chairman Muhammad Faheem Wali, lauded the decision of the JCP, confirming the elevation of Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, BHC Chief Justice to the Supreme Court

They also lauded the Commission’s decision deferring the matter of Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar what they termed in line with the wishes of the legal fraternity of the country.

They, while appreciating the decision, paid rich tribute to the entire JCP for sticking to the principles of justice and reiterated that the resolution by the Bar Council was issued for enforcement of the Rule of Law and strict adherence to the Constitution and judicial principles, as the legal fraternity holds Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar in high esteem for his competence and legal acumen.