ISLAMABAD: The upco­ming Ju­­di­c­ial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) meeting on June 7 will consider the candidacy of nine judges from the Lahore High Court (LHC) and the Sindh High Court (SHC) to fill three vacant positions in the Supreme Court.

The LHC has proposed the names of six senior judges to fill two positions in the Supreme Court, while one of the three judges from the SHC will be elevated to the top court.

Those being considered from the LHC are Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan, Justice Shujaat Ali Khan, Justice Ali Baqar Najfi, Justice Shahid Bilal, Aliya Neelum, and Justice Abdul Abid Aziz Sheikh.

From the SHC, the judges are Justice Aqeel Abbasi, Jus­tice Shafi Siddiqui, and Jus­tice Naimatullah Phulpoto.

LHC and SHC nominate candidates for SC offices

According to the suggestions put forward by the Rule Making Committee of the JCP, the chairperson of the JCP, who is also the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, will propose three names for each Supreme Court vacancy and will convene a meeting of the JCP for deliberation no later than 15 days before the occurrence of the vacancy.

For the appointment of a chief justice of a high court, the chairperson will convene a meeting to consider the five most senior judges of the concerned high court at least one month before the occurrence of the vacancy.

For the appointment of high court judges, the chairperson will call for nominations from the selection committee concerned no later than 60 days and convene a meeting of the commission for deliberations no later than 30 days before the occurrence of the vacancy.

The last meeting of the JCP Rule Making Committee on May 3 was postponed because Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar informed the committee about the government’s intention to bring constitutional amendments to change the current structure of elevating superior court judges.

It was suggested during the meeting that, since the government was planning amendments to the Constitution, discussion on the agenda should be deferred and the meeting adjourned. The views of all members were solicited, and it was agreed to adjourn the meeting. However, it was also agreed that this should not delay the process of appointments, which may continue in accordance with the existing rules.

One of the members of the JCP, who represents the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), Akhtar Hussain, had emphasised that constitutional amendments should be done as early as possible.

He added that if the appointments have to be done in accordance with the old procedure, then there was no point in conducting the exercise of devising recommendations through the Rule Making Committee.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2024

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