PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday set the July 5 deadline for the federal government to implement its orders to notify three judicial officers as its additional judges.
The orders were issued by a bench consisting of Justice Lal Jan Khattak and Justice Mohammad during the hearing into a contempt petition about the non-issuance of a notification for the appointment of three district and sessions judges as the high court’s additional judges.
The bench directed law and justice secretary Raja Naeem Akbar to appear before it on the next hearing on July 5 directing him to produce either the judges’ notification or a stay order by the Supreme Court on the matter.
An additional secretary of the law and justice division appeared along with an official of the Senate’s Secretariat and they sought at least three weeks’ time for implementing the order.
Petitioner seeks contempt action over delay in notification
The additional secretary said a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Judges’ appointment was scheduled on Tuesday (Jun 28) in the afternoon and discussing the judgement of the high court on the issue was also one of the agenda point.
The bench observed that it had issued a clear order and the government should produce the required notification instead of further discussing the matter.
It turned down his request for adjourning the case for at least three weeks and fixed July 5 for next hearing.
The contempt petition was filed by lawyer Naeem Ahmad Khattak.
The high court had accepted on May 10 three petitions challenging the decision of the parliamentary committee of Jan 19 of not confirming the recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) for the elevation of three district and sessions judges as the high court’s additional judges.
While setting aside the impugned decision of the parliamentary committee, the court had ordered the federal government through the federal law secretary to immediately implement the recommendations of the JCP of Jan 5, 2022, by notifying the appointment of district judges Fazal Subhan, Shahid Khan and Khurshid Iqbal as additional judges.
Advocate Ali Azim Afridi appeared for the petitioner and said the earlier three pleas filed by the three judicial officers and the present petitioner had prayed the high court to declare the impugned decision of the parliamentary committee unconstitutional, illegal and without lawful authority.
He said the high court bench had accepted those three petitions but the government didn’t implement its judgement with the respondents, including the federal law secretary, bent on disobeying the orders.
Mr Azim said the non-implementation of the court’s orders was a disservice to those believing in constitutionality and rule of law, and amounted to thwarting administration of justice.
He requested the court to proceed against the respondents for committing its contempt by ignoring its orders.
The lawyer said the respondents might be summoned, proceeded against, and punished in accordance with the law.
The respondents in the petition are secretary of the law ministry Raja Naeem Akbar, secretary of the Senate Mohammad Qasim, secretary to the country’s president Waqar Ahmad and principal secretary to the prime minister Syed Tauqeer Shah.
Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2022