ISLAMABAD: The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on Tuesday recommended elevation of Balochistan High Court’s Chief Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel to fill the vacant office of judge in the Supreme Court but deferred the case of Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar of the Sindh High Court (SHC).
Although a judge from Balochistan is being elevated to the Supreme Court after seven years, the last being Justice Qazi Faez Isa, the case of the SHC judge was deferred because of concerns expressed by different bar councils and bar associations since he was fifth on the seniority list.
Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council Khush Dil Khan as well as Chairman of Executive Committee Mohammad Faheem Wali were quick in appreciating the postponement regarding the SHC judge, saying it was done in line with the wishes of the legal fraternity of the country.
They appreciated the decision and paid rich tribute to the entire JCP for sticking to the principles of justice and reiterated that the resolution by the bar council was issued for enforcement of the rule of law and strict adherence to the Constitution and the judicial principles.
On Monday, the PBC had given a countrywide strike call for Tuesday to protest against JCP’s nomination of Justice Mazhar by ignoring four senior-most judges of the SHC as well as principle of seniority as envisioned in the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court given in “Al-Jehad Trust Case” on the point in issue as well as for the betterment of judicial system.
Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, the meeting considered the elevation after the two offices fell vacant with Justice Faisal Arab reaching superannuation on Nov 4 last year and Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik on April 30 this year.
Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar is the fifth senior judge in the SHC hierarchy and was recommended to be elevated as judge of Supreme Court after bypassing SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh, Justice Irfaan Saadat Khan, Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Hassan Azhar Mirza.
On July 9, Secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association Ahmed Shehzad Farooq Rana had regretted that the elevation of a junior judge of SHC to the Supreme Court will raise serious questions on the legal and judicial abilities of other four senior justices being bypassed.
Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2021