President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday appointed Justice Musarrat Hilali as the first female chief justice of the Peshawar High Court (PHC), according to a notification from the Ministry of Law and Justice.
The notification, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said she was promoted to the position since she was the most senior PHC judge and will assume office from April 1 “till the appointment of a regular chief justice by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan”.
She will be the second female to become the chief justice of a high court after Justice Tahira Safdar, the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court from September 2018 to October 2019.
Born in Peshawar on August 8, 1961, Hilali received her law degree from Khyber Law College of the University of Peshawar and enrolled as an advocate of district courts in 1983, as an advocate of the high court in 1988 and as an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2006.
She was the first female elected office-bearer on the post of secretary at the bar from 1988-1989, twice the vice president at the bar from 1992 to 1994, the general secretary from 1997 to 1998 and the first female twice elected as an executive member of the Supreme Court Bar Association from 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.
Hilali was also the first female additional advocate general of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from November 2001 to March 2004 and was later appointed as the first female chairperson of the KP Environmental Protection Tribunal.
She also served as the first female Ombudsman for the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace.
Hilali was elevated to the bench as an additional judge on March 26, 2013, and confirmed as a permanent PHC judge on March 13, 2014.