PESHAWAR, Nov 17: The most senior judge of the Peshawar High Court, Justice Shahjehan Khan Yousafzai, resigned on Thursday in protest against the appointment of judges junior to him as high court chief justices.
In his resignation sent to President Asif Ali Zardari, Justice Yousafzai said he was the most senior judge of the PHC and in terms of tenure, spread over a period of 15 years, he was senior to all judges and chief justices of three other provincial high courts, Islamabad High Court and Azad Jammu and Kashmir High Court. But, he added, he was neither elevated to the Supreme Court nor appointed as chief justice of the high court.
He accused the Judicial Commission and Parliamentary Committee on judges' appointment of infringing upon his right of elevation to the apex court or to the post of chief justice of the PHC. “By doing so, they have violated the right of equal and fair treatment enshrined in the Constitution.”
Addressing a press conference at his residence after the swearing-in of the new Chief Justice of the PHC, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, he said he had been appointed judge of the high court on Feb 1, 1997, whereas Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, the outgoing chief justice, and Justice Dost Muhammad were made judges in September 2000 and September 2002, respectively.
“When Justice Ejaz Afzal was appointed judge of the high court, I was at number seven on the seniority list whereas he was at number 15. However, when other judges attained superannuation he was next to me on the list,” Justice Yousafzai pointed out.