ISLAMABAD, July 27: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) administration has shortlisted three lawyers to fill vacant post of a judge from the federal capital, sources in the judiciary told Dawn.
Since its establishment in January 2011, the IHC had no judge from the capital.
Advocate Anis Jilani, Ishtiaq Ahmed Raja and incumbent president of IHC Bar Association Haroon Rashid have been short-listed for the slot of the IHC judge.
Initially, according to the sources, names of some three dozen lawyers were considered for a single vacant position of IHC judge from the federal capital.
After the initial scrutiny, the IHC administration short-listed eight lawyers. Besides the above mentioned three lawyers the others were deputy attorney general Qazi Rafiuddin Babar, former deputy attorney general Raja Aleem Khan Abbasi, incumbent president of Islamabad district bar association Syed Mohammad Anwar Shah and two former presidents of IHC Bar Association Syed Nayyab Hassad Gardezi and Sajjad Afzal Cheema.
According to the sources, Qazi Rafiuddin Babar and advocate Sajjad Cheema both were not interested in becoming judge as they did not even submit their curriculum vitae to the IHC administration.
Subsequently, after the final scrutiny of six lawyers, the IHC administration sent three names to the Judicial Commission of Pakistan.
This is for the first time since its establishment in January 2011 that someone from Islamabad Capital Territory is going to become judge of the IHC.
Under the IHC Act total strength of IHC judges are seven in addition to the Chief Justice: “Each of the six other judges will be appointed from provinces, Islamabad Capital Territory and Federally Administrated Tribal Areas.”
The Islamabad High Court Act 2010 has defined that the “ICT falls in the IHC jurisdiction”.
Earlier, Islamabad was under the territorial jurisdiction of the Lahore High Court (LHC).
In January 2011, initially three judges including former IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman of Punjab, Justice Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi of Baluchistan and Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa were appointed as the IHC judge.
The Judicial Commission of Pakistan in its meeting on October 27, 2011, recommended the names of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui from Punjab, Justice Noorul Haq N. Quraishi from Sindh and Mohammad Azim Khan Afridi from Fata for the vacant positions of the IHC judges.
Currently, there are four IHC judges including Chief Justice Mohammed Anwar Khan Kasi, Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan, Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui are working in the IHC.
In addition to the vacant position of IHC judge from the federal capital a seat from Balochistan and one from FATA are also lying vacant.
Sources said that the names of the three judges had been sent to the Supreme Court and the Judicial Commission of Pakistan would consider them in its forthcoming meeting.
Under article 175-A of the constitution for the appointment of IHC judge, the judicial commission comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan, senior most judges of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice and senior most judge of the IHC, a former Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, law minister, attorney general and senior advocate nominated by the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) would recommend the name of future IHC judge to the parliamentary committee for the appointment of judges.
The committee under the constitution would take its decision on the Judicial Commission’s recommendations in a fortnight.
The sources claimed that the new IHC judge would assume his office in September.
After the appointment of a judge from the federal capital the total strength of the IHC judges would reach to five.