ISLAMABAD, April 10: The Supreme Court dismissed on Wednesday the petitions challenging the appointment of three judges from the Lahore High Court to the Supreme Court.
The Special Bench, headed by Chief Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, after hearing the petitions for over two weeks on daily basis, had reserved its judgment on Tuesday.
In one-liner short order, the SC bench announced: “For the reasons to be recorded later, the petitions are dismissed.”
The petitions had been filed by the Supreme Court Bar Association, Pakistan Bar Council, Pakistan Lawyers Forum, Watan Party and Rai Nawaz Kharal.
The SC bench consisted of Chief Justice Shaikh Riaz Ahmed, Justice Qazi Mohammad Farooq, Justice Mian Mohammad Ajmal, Justice Syed Deedar Hussain Shah and Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.
The petitioners had challenged the elevation of Justice Khaleelur Rehman Ramday, Justice Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi and Justice Fakeer Mohammad Khokhar, former law secretary.
The petitioners had no objection to the appointment of Justice Sardar Raza Khan, who was senior most judge of the Peshawar High Court at the time of his elevation to the Supreme Court.
Petitioners case was pleaded by Hamid Khan, President SCBA; Rasheed Rizvi, member PBC; A.K. Dogar, representing his own Lawyers Forum; Justice Mian Allah Nawaz represented Watan Party and Barrister Dr Farooq Hassan represented Rai Nawaz Kharal.
A caveat was filed on behalf of Justice Mian Nazir Akhtar and K.M.A. Samdani appeared on his behalf. The court, however, did not allow the counsel to advance his arguments in the open court and asked him to submit his arguments in writing.
Abdul Hafeez Pirzada represented the Federation. Attorney General appeared on court notice.
The federation had taken the stance that all the appointments were made by the president fully accepting the recommendations of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
The petitioners had argued that appointment from the LHC were made in violation of the rule of seniority, and that “pick and choose” process was adopted.
The petitioners had argued that if the rule of seniority was applied to the three high courts — Sindh, Peshawar and Balochistan — but not to the LHC.
It was further argued that Justice Fakeer Khokhar, apart from being junior to 12 judges of the LHC, was not even qualified to become judge of the Supreme Court as his experience as high court judge was not five years as required under the Constitution.