ISLAMABAD: Athar Minallah, the former spokesman for Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, the ex-chief justice of Pakistan, took oath as additional judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday.
IHC Chief Justice Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi administered the oath. The IHC judges’ strength has now risen to four.
The ceremony was attended by senior lawyers and IHC judges as well as judicial officers of the lower courts. Media, however, was not allowed to cover the event.
IHC Assistant Registrar Chaudhry Mohammad Shafique told media persons that due to insufficient space in the auditorium, they were not invited to cover the ceremony.
Media persons later met Justice Minallah and brought the matter to his knowledge. In a lighter mood, Justice Minallah said he too attended the event as ‘guest’.
Justice Minallah is the eldest son of Nasrum Minallah, who remained commissioner during 1960s and 70s. Athar Minallah also joined Pakistan Customs and rose to senior positions but later resigned and entered politics.
He remained a caretaker minister in the Khyber Paktunkhwa government during the regime of Gen Pervez Musharraf.
Following sacking of the then chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, he joined the lawyers’ movement for restoration of judiciary.
However, after Justice Chaudhry’s restoration, he became a critic of the judiciary because of excessive suo motu cases which led to pendency of routine cases.
Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2014