Seniority principle ignored in judges’ elevation: SBC

Updated May 29 2020

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SBC asks JCP to ensure the same does not happen in the future. — AFP/File
SBC asks JCP to ensure the same does not happen in the future. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Sindh Bar Council (SBC) has written a letter to the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP), highlighting the appointment of five judges to the apex court in the past in which it believes the principle of seniority was not observed.

The SBC requested the Judicial Com­mis­sion of Pakistan (JCP) to ensure the same is not repeated while judges are elevated to the Supreme Court in the future.

The SBC in the letter pointed out that in the recent past not only the senior most judges of high courts were not elevated, but the JCP also appointed a retired judge who was also not senior among the judges of his respective high court.

Likewise, another judge despite the adverse observations of the SC against him was elevated —that too while bypassing the principle of seniority.

According to the SBC, such elevation may lead to open prospects of lobbying for elevation in the SC since judges of high courts retire at the age of 62 whereas superannuation of a SC judge is 65 years.

The SBC cited some judgements of the apex court related to observance of seniority in making judicial appointments.

The bar council requested the court that since such elevations raised eyebrows of many and shake confidence of the public in the judiciary, the JCP should consider the concerns of the bar council and address them while making future appointments in the apex court.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2020