ISLAMABAD: Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan requested the Supreme Court on Wednesday to declare the appointment of Javed Ahmed as judge of the GB Chief Court unlawful and subsequently quash it.

In his petition, the chief minister sought a court directive that GB Governor Syed Mehdi Shah had no authority to advise Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to appoint Javed Ahmed as judge of the Chief Court.

“Moreover, the apex court should also declare that the PM or the federal government has no lawful authority to merely extend the appointment of Justice Malik Inayat-ur-Rehman, Justice Johar Ali Khan and Justice Raja Shakeel Ahmed for a term of one year, rather duty-bound to confirm such appointments,” it argued.

The petition said the federal government should issue a fresh notification for confirmation of Justice Malik Inayat-ur-Rehman, Justice Johar Ali Khan and Justice Raja Shakeel Ahmed as judges of the Chief Court, with effect from Sept 16.

“Moreover, the apex court should also prohibit the federal government and GB governor from making new appointments of chief judge or judges of the Supreme Appellate Court as well as Chief Court of Gilgit-Baltistan without prior advice of the CM or the GB cabinet.”

The petition said the GB governor had on Sept 13 sent a summary to the prime minister for the appointment of the Chief Court judge and recommended three names. The summary was neither initiated in accordance with the relevant procedure nor was it in consequence of advice by the chief minister or the cabinet.

Subsequently, it added, the notification being challenged was issued on Sept 16 and Javed Ahmed was appointed as judge of the Chief Court for an initial period of one year. He took the oath on Sept 21.

Earlier on Sept 15, 2021, three judges were appointed for an initial period of one year to the Chief Court by the prime minister on the advice of the GB governor which in turn was based on the chief minister’s advice.

On July 14 this year, a summary was moved by the GB Law and Prosecution Department for the confirmation of appointment of three judges. The summary was approved by the chief minister on July 20 and the governor accordingly advised prime minister on Aug 4. But the premier did not follow the advice of the governor and instead of confirming the appointment of three judges, extended their term for another one year.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022

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