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Supreme Court of Pakistan - File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday appointed two amici curiae to assist it over the issue of president's role in appointment of judges of the superior judiciary, arising out of a pending matter related to Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges.

A five-judge bench comprising Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Tariq Pervaiz, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, took up a presidential reference moved under article 186 of the constitution, invoking its advisory jurisdiction.

The bench nominated Makhdoom Ali Khan, former attorney general for Pakistan and Khawaja Haris, former advocate general Punjab as amici curiae in the case.

About issuance of notice to attorney general of Pakistan, the bench in its order observed that the question whether he could appear in the instant matter, while being a member of the judicial commission, would be determined in next hearing.

It also asked the judicial commission’ secretary to submit minutes of the two meetings over the appointment of IHC judges and also directed the registrar IHC to submit notification regarding appointment of additional judges, Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan and Justice Anwar Kasi.

The bench however, did not accede to a request of Wasim Sajjad, counsel for the referring authority, for sending a recommendation to the chief justice of Pakistan for formation of a larger bench since the issue involved serious constitutional questions.

Akram Shaikh, counsel for a petitioner in the IHC judges appointment case, said that due to non-appointment of judges, the residents of Islamabad had been facing problems.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan told him that the propriety demanded that these questions raised in the reference were intrinsically interlinked with the pending issue so these could be decided together while regarding pendency of cases in IHC, they could observe that these should be decided expeditiously.

Justice Tariq Pervaiz told Akram Shaikh that the reference was seeking guidance for future.

Further hearing was adjourned to December 12.

The five-Judge bench was constituted to take up a 31-page presidential reference containing 13 questions related to the role of president, judicial commission and parliamentary committee in appointment of judges of the superior judiciary.