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PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court Bar Association on Monday said that the senior puisne judge of Islamabad High Court should be appointed as its chief justice after the retirement of the incumbent next month failing which the legal fraternity of Peshawar would organise a march on Islamabad.

A general body meeting of Peshawar High Court Bar Association, chaired by its president Syed Abdul Fayyaz, discussed the media reports about the move to appoint next chief justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) from any other high court of the country instead of the most senior judge Justice Athar Minallah.

Through a resolution, the meeting demanded that the senior most judge of IHC should be appointed its chief justice after retirement of Chief Justice Anwar Khan Kasi, who would attain superannuation on November 27.

PHCBA lauds verdict of high court on convictions by military courts

Through another resolution, the meeting lauded the recent judgment of PHC through which convictions by military courts in 75 cases were set aside.

The meeting expressed concerns over rumours that certain elements were not pleased with the PHC’s verdict and they might be hatching conspiracy against its Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth.

The meeting resolved that the association stood by the judges, who delivered the verdict, and in case any unconstitutional step was taken against them the bar would fully oppose it.

The meeting also passed a resolution condemning a recent resolution passed by IHC Bar Association wherein it was demanded that only a member of IHCBA should be appointed as a judge in IHC. Presently lawyers and judges from across the country have been elevated to IHC.

Senior advocate Abdul Lateef Afridi said that although they had ideological differences with the recently removed judge Justice Shaukat Siddiqui, yet they did not support his removal by the Supreme Judicial Council.

He said that the disclosures made by Justice Siddiqui about some state institutions were all correct, but he was removed in a haphazard manner as he was senior puisne judge and would have to be appointed chief justice after retirement of Justice Kasi.

Mr Afridi said that then the senior most judge of IHC was Justice Athar MInallah but as he was heading the bench, which bailed out former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law, therefore some elements turned against him and they were planning not to appoint him as chief justice but to bring a judge of any other high court preferably Lahore High Court as IHC chief justice.

Advocate Ayaz Khan said that presently several references were pending before Supreme Judicial Council and only targeting Justice Siddiqui was not fair.

Advocate Arif Khan said that military courts were created for two years but were subsequently extended for further two year. He said that it was unfortunate that the accused facing trials before military courts were denied their right to fair trial.

Advocate Moazam Butt said that they had to raise voice for all the injustices meted out to the lawyers and judges in KP.

He regretted that earlier a judge Azim Khan Afridi was not confirmed as a judge of IHC. He said that in past five competent additional judges of PHC including Samad Khan, Ziaur Rehman Khan, Imtiaz Ali and two others were not confirmed as judge.

PHCBA president Syed Abdul Fayyaz said that legal fraternity should forge unity and discourage elements creating rifts among them.

Meanwhile, the meeting also condole the demise of excise and taxation officer Khalid bin Wali, who was also a former civil judge, in a road accident.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2018

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