ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has joined the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) in expressing apprehensions over a delay in the appointment of judges to superior courts, especially the Lahore High Court, and described it as a “major hurdle in the dispensation of justice to the public at large”.

At its executive committee meeting held recently, the SCBA said that being the supreme bar association of the country, it considered that appointments of judges to the superior courts and higher judiciary were very much needed as they had been under consideration of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) for a long time, and in Punjab alone more than 20 posts were lying vacant.

Moreover, it said, the recommendations made by the chief justice of the Lahore High Court had been placed before the JCP several times, but these recommendations had not been considered on anonymous grounds.

On Jan 21, the newly-elected body of the PBC had also expressed concern over the delay in elevation of judges to the superior courts.

Judicial commission urged to decide the matter immediately

The SCBA at its meeting also adopted a resolution stating that the delay in finalisation of core issues of judicial as well as constitutional paradigm was not only resulting in increase in pendency of cases, but also increasing the sufferings of litigants and raising anxiety among the legal fraternity across the country.

The meeting, while reminding the JCP of its foremost obligation, said it was the need of the hour that all differences must be left aside and the matter of appointment of judges be decided without delay in accordance with Article 175-(A) of the Constitution.

The meeting suggested that an amendment to Article 175-(A) of the Constitution was now inevitable to avoid any impediment and complication in the appointment of judges to the superior courts and to make the entire process more fair and transparent.

It further recommended that allocation of vacant posts should be made on the basis of fairness and equal opportunity, especially in terms of allocation of seats and representation to the southern Punjab region.

The meeting resolved to continue its earnest efforts for exposing loopholes prevailing in the country’s judicial system and helping end the same as and when needed.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2021

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