LAHORE, March 19: The Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) announced on Wednesday that it would now be considering Supreme Court’s Justice Munir A. Sheikh the chief justice of Pakistan rather than Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, whose tenure in the office “ended on March 8”.

LHCBA president Hafiz Abdul Rehman Ansari and other office-bearers told a press conference at the close of a 10-day anti-LFO camp that Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad was “no more the chief justice of Pakistan” after reaching the age of retirement on March 8.

They regretted that Justice Riaz did not quit his office and accepted the three-year extension of his service under the LFO. He said that since Justice Munir was the senior-most SC judge after Justice Riaz, the LHCBA would recognise him as the new chief justice in the light of SC’s judgment on March 20, 1996.

The LHCBA set March 22 as the deadline for all the judges of SC and high courts reaching the age of 65 and 62 respectively to vacate their offices. Hafiz Ansari termed the three-year extension of the service of judges as a “conspiracy” and urged the superior court judges to counter it and refuse to accept it.

Mr Ansari criticised the statement of Senate chairman on the LFO which, he said, would not become part of the 1973 Constitution without being approved by a two-third majority of the Parliament.

He appreciated the efforts of lawyers for holding a successful anti-LFO camp and hoped that they would continue their struggle till the abrogation of LFO.

He further announced that a seminar would be held on the LFO on March 26 and former chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Nawabzada Nasarullah Khan, and Makhdoom Javed Hashmi invited to it.

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