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KARACHI, Nov 12: The federal law minister and secretary, the secretary of the judicial commission of Pakistan and the chairman of the parliamentary committee have been put on notice in a petition seeking elevation of the chief justice of the Sindh High Court to the Supreme Court.

An SHC division bench comprising Justices Faisal Arab and Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi on Thursday also issued a notice to the deputy attorney general to furnish comments of the respondents on the next date of hearing, ie Nov 16.

The petition was filed by Syed Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi and Rana Faizul Hassan, the president and the general secretary of the United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, respectively, who prayed to the court to direct the respondents to review the decision of elevating Justice Gulzar Ahmed, instead of SHC Chief Justice Mushir Alam.

The petitioners stated in the petition that the judicial commission had on Oct 27 recommended to the parliamentary commission the chief justices of the Lahore High Court and the Peshawar High Court — Justices Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhary and Ijaz Afzal respectively — Justice Gulzar Ahmed, senior puisne judge of the SHC and retired Justice Muhammed Athar Saeed for elevation to the apex court.

They submitted that the judicial commission did not consider Chief Justice Alam in violation of constitutional provisions and he was ignored for elevation to the Supreme Court for a second time.

The petitioners contended in the petition that Justice Chief Alam should have been elevated to the apex court as he was the most senior judge in the SHC.

They stated that the judicial commission had violated the basic principals of justice.

The civil right campaigners stated that the judicial commission had recommended to the parliamentary committee the elevation of Justice Gulzar Ahmed to the Supreme Court in violation of Articles 4, 8 and 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

The petitioners stated that all eyes were on the Supreme Court as it was giving just decisions. They said that if seniority was ignored in the appointment of judges in the apex court, such practice would also prevail in other relevant institutions which might seek justice from the court on the basis of this decision.

The petitioners also prayed to the court to stay the transfer of Justice Gulzar Ahmed to the Supreme Court till the disposal of the instant petition.

They said that there was already an acute shortage of judges in the SHC and Justice Ahmed might be allowed to continue his work at the SHC until the court decided their petition.