Thursday December 02, 2021

JC session on Justice Ayesha’s elevation to SC ends in tie

September 10, 2021
JC session on Justice Ayesha’s elevation to SC ends in tie

ISLAMABAD: The elevation of Justice Ayesha Malik to the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday remained inconclusive due to an equal split after four members of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) opposed and four others supported her elevation.

A JCP meeting for appointment of judges to the superior courts was held here at the Supreme Court, with Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed in the chair as the chairman of the constitutional forum.

Sources said the matter had been deferred due to the split vote. The JCP consists of nine members, including Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) being its chairman, with four senior sitting judges of the apex court, a retired judge, law minister, attorney general for Pakistan and a representative of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC).

Justice Qazi Faez Isa, who is also a member of the JCP, is currently in Spain for treatment of his wife, and he could not attend the meeting. CJP Gulzar Ahmed had convened the Judicial Commission of Pakistan meeting for considering the name of Justice Ayesha Malik, a judge of the Lahore High Court (LHC) for her elevation to the SC.

Soon after the meeting, Attorney General Khalid Javed issued a statement, saying that a meeting of the JCP, held for appointment of the first woman judge to the apex court, would have been a historic occasion. He said he supported the nomination of Justice Ayesha A Malik by the CJP, and he wanted the first woman judge be appointed by a unanimous recommendation of members of the JCP as well as full support of the Bar. However, that did not happen on Thursday, the AG regretted.

"Since the consensus for evolving criteria for appointment to the Supreme Court has yet to develop and response of the Bar is awaited, I would recommend that subject to the permission of the Chief Justice/ Chairman JCP, the members of JCP may consider, decide and resolve that there should be at least one seat, with possibility of more in future, earmarked for appointment of a woman as a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan," the AG added.

He said in view of the foregoing decision, the consideration of name of Justice Ayesha Malik might be deferred till the next meeting with the request to the Chief Justice/ Chairman JCP, to consider nominating the names of one woman judge from each high court (where available) including that of Justice Ayesha Malik for appointment as the first woman judge of the SC in the next JCP meeting. Khalid Javed said the JCP may consider allocation of number of seats/quota for appointment of judges from five high courts to the Supreme Court in the next JCP meeting.