LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday warned if notification about the appointment of judges at special courts in Punjab was not issued by the next hearing, Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz must appear in court personally.

Earlier, Advocate General of Punjab (AGP) Khalid Ishaq told the court that a government’s committee had consulted the chief minister on the matter of judges’ appointments.

He stated that the CM instructed to keep the issue of judges’ appointment at number one on the agenda item of the next cabinet meeting.

Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan asked the law officer when the next cabinet meeting would be held.

Mr Ishaq said the government called a cabinet meeting on Friday to resolve the matter.

Chief Justice Khan remarked that a special meeting of the cabinet should have been called, or the matter could have been handled via circulation.

“You should have come with the work finished today,” the chief justice reminded the principal law officer.

The chief justice also expressed his displeasure over the nonappearance of the government committee members, questioning their respect for the courts.

The AGP said the committee members would arrive within half an hour if the court ordered them.

He further stated that the government had no objection to the names proposed by the LHC for judges at the special courts.

Giving a final opportunity to the government, the CJ observed that the CM and the cabinet must issue the appointment notifications by the next hearing.

The hearing was adjourned till May 24.

Last week, the members of the government’s committee including Senior Provincial Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Law Minister Malik Sohaib Bharath and Finance Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman had appeared before the court.

Ms Aurangzeb had stated that the government wanted to appoint judges in a transparent manner.

The CJ had taken notice of the vacancies in the special courts hearing a government’s appeal seeking transfer of trial proceedings in various May 9 cases against the PTI leaders from a Rawalpindi ATC.

The CJ had observed that posts of the judges in accountability and anti-terrorism courts had been lying vacant for months.

Election tribunals: Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza of the Lahore High Court on Monday referred to another judge a petition by a PTI-backed independent candidate seeking directions for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appoint additional election tribunals in Punjab.

As Justice Mirza took up the petition, a counsel for the petitioner stated that a similar matter was already pending in the court of Justice Shahid Karim. Therefore, he requested the judge to refer the petition in hand to the same court.

Justice Mirza allowed the request and sent the file to the chief justice with a request to fix the petition before the judge already seized with a similar matter.

Rao Omar Hashim Khan, who had lost the general election from NA-139, Pakpattan, filed the petition. He said the ECP notified five election tribunals each for Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three for Balochistan, and one for Islamabad pursuant to nominations sent by the chief justices of the respective high courts. However, in Punjab, the ECP made a request to the LHC chief justice to nominate nine judges for appointment as election tribunals, the petitioner said. He said initially, two of the judges nominated by the LHC were appointed as tribunals.

The petitioner claimed that the ECP not only failed to appoint the additional election tribunals as nominated by the LHC CJ but also unlawfully asked the chief justice to provide a panel of the sitting judges for appointment as the tribunals. He asked the court to order the ECP to appoint additional election tribunals in light of the recommendations of the LHC for expeditious disposal of the petitions regarding the general election of 2024.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...
KP’s ‘power struggle’
Updated 21 Jun, 2024

KP’s ‘power struggle’

Instead of emboldening protesters, CM Gandapur should encourage his provincial subjects to clear their due bills and ensure theft is minimised.
Journalist’s murder
21 Jun, 2024

Journalist’s murder

ANOTHER name has been added to the list of journalists murdered in Pakistan. On Tuesday, Khalil Jibran’s vehicle...
A leaner government?
21 Jun, 2024

A leaner government?

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has reiterated his government’s ‘commitment’ to shutting down ministries...