MUZAFFARABAD: Justice Raja Saeed Akram Khan took oath as Chief Justice (CJ) of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) here on Tuesday, a day after a notification to this effect was issued by the AJK law, justice, parliamentary affairs and human rights department.
The oath was administered to him by AJK President Sardar Masood Khan at a well attended ceremony at Aiwan-i-Sadr. Among others, Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, some cabinet and legislative assembly members, AJK high court’s acting chief justice Sadaqat Hussain Raja, deputy attorney general of Pakistan Raja Khalid Mahmood Khan attended the ceremony.
Under Article 42 (4) of the AJK’s interim constitution, the AJK chief justice is appointed by the AJK president on the advice of the chairman AJK council – the prime minister of Pakistan.
The advice from the prime minister was received by the AJK president on Tuesday and was described by the legal fraternity as the direly needed step towards bringing an end to the judicial crisis in AJK.
At the moment the AJK Supreme Court and the AJK high court have one judge each, as fresh appointments could not be made due to the non-appointment of a permanent chief justice.
Justice Khan, who was born in Lalamusa (Punjab) to a migrant family from India occupied Jammu region, had been serving as acting CJ of the AJK apex court since April 2020 after the retirement of his predecessor Chaudhry Ibrahim Zia.
Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2021