PESHAWAR: Four newly-appointed additional judges of the Peshawar High Court took oath of their offices here on Monday increasing the judges’ number to 19 against the sanctioned strength of 20.

PHC Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad administered the oath to Justice Sahibzada Asadullah, Justice Wiqar Ahmad, Justice Mohammad Naeem Anwar and Justice Ahmad Ali.

The ceremony was attended by the high court judges, advocate general Shumail Ahmad Butt, law officers, Peshawar High Court Bar Association president Abdul Lateef Afridi, cabinet members, and lawyers.

The country’s president had appointed the four additional judges under Article 197 of the Constitution for a period of one year. A notification in this respect was issued by the federal law ministry on Aug 16.

Justice Sahibzada Asadullah was born on Apr 16, 1972, in Swabi district and had passed his secondary school examination in 1989. He had passed the intermediate examination from Nisar Shaheed College, Risalpur, in 1991.

Justice Asadullah had done his masters in English Literature and later on passed the LLB examination in 1999. He was enrolled as an advocate of Supreme Court in Oct 2012. He is well versed in criminal jurisprudence and constitutional matters and before his elevation to the bench he was one of the prominent lawyers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa dealing with criminal cases in the high court and Supreme Court.

Over 40 of his cases have been reported in law journals.

Justice Wiqar Ahmad Khan was an additional advocate general from Mardan district. He had done his LLB in1998 and was appointed a civil judge in 1999. However, he had resigned in 2005 before beginning to practice law. He was enrolled as an advocate of the high court in 2006.

He was first appointed as additional advocate general during previous provincial government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in 2013 and had remained on that post till last year. After the present PTI government was installed in the province after 2018 general elections, he was again appointed as AAG.

He had represented the government in several important cases.

Both Justice Naeem Anwar and Justice Ahmad Ali are senior lawyers and they are enrolled as advocates in Supreme Court. The former hails from Mansehra district, whereas the latter practices law in Dera Ismail Khan.

Now, the high court has 19 judges falling one short of the sanctioned strength of 20. A senior judge, Justice Syed Afsar Shah, will retire on Aug 31, 2019, reducing the court’s strength to 18.

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2019