ISLAMABAD: The Parl­i­amentary Committee on the Appointment of Judges on Monday approved the elevation of Justice Shahid Wah­e­­ed and Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi to the Supreme Court.

The eight-member panel, headed by Senator Farooq H. Naek, examined the Jud­icial Commission of Pakis­tan’s recommendations for elevating Justice Waheed of the Lahore High Court and Justice Rizvi of the Sindh High Court (SHC).

The committee had on Nov 4 approved the JCP’s recommendations for the promotion of Justice Athar Mina­l­lah to the Supreme Court and Justice Aamer Farooq as chief justice of the Islam­abad High Court, respectively. However, it had deferred the consideration of names of Justice Waheed and Justice Rizvi for its meeting slated for Nov 10.

Earlier on Nov 2, the committee had decided to consider the names on Nov 10. However, it gave the nod for the elevation of Justice Min­allah on Nov 4 at an uns­ch­e­duled meeting and cleared Justice Waheed and Justice Rizvi on Monday at yet an­­other unscheduled meeting.

On Oct 24, the JCP after a prolonged meeting of three-and-a-half hours had unanimously approved the promotion of Justice Minallah. It gave a divided nod to Justice Waheed and Justice Rizvi — both fourth on the seniority list of their respective courts — with a majority of five to four votes, but drop­ped outright the suggestion about Justice Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui of the SHC.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) welcomed the elevation of Justice Minallah to the Supreme Court and Justice Farooq’s appointment as IHC chief justice.

In a statement, the SCBA reiterated its stance that elevation to the Supreme Court must be made on the basis of seniority until an objective criteria for elevation on merit is formulated. It expressed concern on the proceedings of the parliamentary committee where­­by it had on Nov 4 deferred the recommended elevation of Justice Waheed and Justice Rizvi for further consideration.

The association called upon the parliamentary committee to adhere to the principle of seniority under Article 175-A of the Constitution, the article that deals with the appointment of judges in the superior judiciary.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2022

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