ISLAMABAD: More than three weeks ahead of the retirement of the incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, the president on Wednesday appointed Justice Mian Saqib Nisar as the 25th head of the Supreme Court with effect from Dec 31.
A notification issued by the law ministry said: “In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause 3 of Article 175A read with Article 177 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the president is pleased to appoint Mr Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, the most senior judge of the Supreme Court, as the Chief Justice of Pakistan with effect from 31.12.2016.”
Normally the president does not appoint the country’s CJP so early. But a senior official at the President House said the decision was not a significant one because the court had decided that its chief would be appointed on the basis of seniority.
The Supreme Court has also announced that a full-court reference in honour of Chief Justice Jamali will be held on Dec 15, some 15 days ahead of his retirement.
In April this year, Justice Nisar served as the acting CJP in the absence of Chief Justice Jamali who had gone to Turkey on a seven-day official visit.
Justice Nisar has been a judge of the apex court since Feb 18, 2010. Before that he was a judge of the Lahore High Court (LHC).
Before being appointed as a judge, he was member of the Supreme Court Bar Association and Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA). He was elected as secretary general of the LHCBA in 1991.
Born on Jan 18, 1954, in Lahore, Justice Nisar did his matriculation from the Cathedral High School, Lahore, graduation from the Government College, Lahore, and bachelor of law from the University of Punjab in 1979-80.
He joined the legal profession as an advocate on May 2, 1980. He was enrolled as an advocate of the high court in 1982 and advocate of the Supreme Court in 1994.
He was elevated as the judge of the high court on May 22, 1998, and of the Supreme Court on Feb 18, 2010.
Justice Nisar specialised in civil, commercial, tax and constitutional laws and appeared in a large number of important constitutional cases both in the LHC and the Supreme Court.
He was appointed as the federal law secretary on March 29, 1997, when he became the first member of the bar to be appointed to the important position.
Justice Nisar represented Pakistan in an international conference held at the Wilton Park, United Kingdom, on the subject of “Pakistan and India at Fifty”.
He led a Pakistani delegation to a conference in Manila on the subject of “Asia Region Transitional Crimes”. He also attended conferences in Switzerland and Norway.
He had also been a part-time lecturer at the Punjab Law College and Pakistan College of Law, where he taught civil procedure code and the Constitution.
Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2016