ISLAMABAD, March 1: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Friday demanded that Chief Justice Shaikh Riaz Ahmad should retire on March 8, and refuse the extension of three years given to the superior judiciary by the present regime through an unconstitutional method.

Chief Justice Shaikh Riaz Ahmad will attain the age of 65 on March 8, when he will retire if he refuses the extension.

Speaking at a news conference on the Supreme Court premises, SCBA President Hamid Khan released copies of a letter which the Bar representatives have written to the chief justice.

The letter says: “Representatives and leaders of the Bar across the length and breadth of the country have denounced the attempt to enhance the retirement age of judges of the superior courts on the brute force of the LFO. Any judge who continues to hold the constitutional office of a judge of the superior courts beyond the age mandated by the 1973 Constitution shall, in the eyes of the legal fraternity, be at best a judge de facto and not de jure. Under the 1973 Constitution, you shall be retiring as chief justice on March 8. It is our hope that a constitutional crisis can be averted by your laying down the robes of chief justice on the said date.”

The letter is signed by Mian Abbas, vice-chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC); Muhammad Kazim Khan, executive committee chairman PBC; Hamid Khan, president SCBA; Qazi Mohammad Anwar, member PBC; Arif Chaudhry, vice-chairman Punjab Bar Council; Mohammad Yasin Azad of Sindh Bar Council; Munir A. Malik, president SHC Bar Association; Amanullah Kanrani, president BHC Bar Association; Mohammad Ikram Chaudhry, president LHC Bar Association Rawalpindi, and Hafiz Abdur Rehman Ansari, president LHC Bar Association.

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