JCP postpones consideration of PHC judges names

Published May 5, 2021
The Judicial Com­mis­sion of Pakistan on Tuesday postponed consideration of five names proposed for elevation as additional judges of the Peshawar High Court. — APP/File
The Judicial Com­mis­sion of Pakistan on Tuesday postponed consideration of five names proposed for elevation as additional judges of the Peshawar High Court. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Judicial Com­mis­sion of Pakistan (JCP) on Tuesday postponed consideration of five names proposed for elevation as additional judges of the Peshawar High Court (PHC).

Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Qasir Rashid Khan withdrew the names earlier proposed by him for their elevation during a meeting of the JCP headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed.

The names were withdrawn when certain members of the commission disapproved the choice of the individuals for elevation as additional judges of the PHC, an informed source confided to Dawn. These individuals include district and sessions judges Azhar Khan, Fazal Subhan and Shahid Khan and advocates Sikandar Rashid and Khalid Rehman.

The PHC chief justice was asked to initiate the process afresh and come up with a new list as during the meeting it transpired that the names of certain individuals had been proposed by bypassing their seniors in the judiciary.

High court chief justice asked to initiate process afresh and come up with new list of nominees

The meeting was of the view that there must be some valid reasons why senior judicial officers were being bypassed or superseded by their juniors.

The meeting also asked the PHC chief justice to furnish annual confidential reports of those district and sessions judges who would be considered for elevation as additional judges of the high court. Likewise, the chief justice will also be free to reconsider the nominations of advocates and can propose new names. And if he suggests the names of same individuals then suggestions should also include the reasons for being chosen for the second time.

The PHC chief justice withdrew the names with an understanding that he would again go through the list and come up with new names after due consideration.

At present 14 out of a sanctioned strength of 20 judges are serving in the provincial high court.

Earlier, a similar controversy emerged when Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan had on Jan 13 withdrawn a list of 16 nominees to be elevated as judges in the superior judiciary. The LHC chief justice had during a meeting of the JCP expressed the desire that he would like to go through the fresh information he received about the nominees. Consequently, he withdrew the entire list and sought more time to come up with a fresh list.

The LHC chief justice told the JCP meeting that after he had sent the list of the nominees to the commission he got some more information about the individuals.

Consequently, CJP Gulzar Ahmed had postponed the meeting till the finalisation of fresh nominations.

Later, on May 3, the JCP approved the names of 13 nominees as additional judges of the LHC.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2021

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