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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar presides over a meeting of the Judicial Commission at the Supreme Court on Thursday.—PPI
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar presides over a meeting of the Judicial Commission at the Supreme Court on Thursday.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: The Judicial Commission (JC) on Thursday extended for another year the tenure of seven additional judges of the Lahore High Court, but dropped the names of as many judges from the same high court.

A meeting of the JC presided over by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar considered the names of 14 additional judges and recommended extension for another year of the tenure of seven judges — Justices Mujahid Mustaqeem Ahmed, Tariq Iftikhar Ahmed, Asjad Javaid Gural, Tariq Saleem Sheikh, Jawad Hassan, Chaudhry Abdul Aziz and Akhtar Shabbir.

The judges whose names have not been considered and eventually dropped are: Justices Abdus Sattar, Habibullah Amir, Ahmed Raza Gillani, Mudassir Khalid Abbasi, Abdus Rehman Aurengzeb, Mohd Ali and Muhammad Bashir Paracha.

The dropping of the names invited instant condemnation as Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) vice chairman Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon and the chairman of the council’s executive committee disapproved the JC’s decision and said they would consider how to deal with the current situation.

An equal number of judges from the court fail to get extension approval

In a statement, they accused the JC of becoming a consortium of judges having majority in decision making and thus acting according to their wishes to accommodate their near and dear ones. This compromised transparent and judicious process of appointment of judges, they alleged.

The decision also reflected favouritism in disregard of the consideration of merit and competence, they said, adding that the LHC chief justice had allegedly advanced his views and recommendations entirely different from his written proposals he had earlier communicated to the commission.

The JC was established with the high hope of appointing judges to the superior courts purely on merit and competence to enhance the prestige of the judiciary, they said. But of late, they added, it had been observed that the very object of creation of the JC had been defeated as it had utterly failed to ensure appointments of really competent, honest and upright judges and thus had shaken the confidence of people in the system of dispensation of justice.

The PBC leaders were particularly critical of alleged failure of the JC to consider and adopt recommendations of the council suggesting amendments to the Judicial Commission of Rules, 2010, for enhancing the role of the representatives of the bar in the process of appointment of judges.

The PBC was conscious of the fact that ineffective role of the bar in decision making of the JC had deliberately been minimised in the present rules, they said.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2017