LAHORE – The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and other lawyers’ associations have expressed concerns over procedure and functions of judicial commission (JC) for appointment of judges in high courts as well in apex judiciary.
The bar associations also supported a proposal to nominate Advocate Asma Jahangir as caretaker prime minister.
The bars, during a press conference, demanded that proceedings of the commission should be transparent and not as in-camera proceedings. They also demanded that names forwarded by bars should also be considered for elevation as judges.
Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Sayed Qalb-e-Hasan, PBC Executive Committee Chairman Burhan Moazzam Malik, Supreme Court Bar Association President Mian Israrul Haq, SCBA Secretary Javed Iqbal Raja, Lahore High Court Bar Association President Shahram Sarwar, Lahore Bar Association President Numan Qureshi, Pakistan Bar Council members Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon and Azam Nazeer Tarar were present at the press conference.
PBC Vice Chairman Qalb-e-Hasan said the bar associations were deeply concerned at the arbitrary manner in which the JC was conducting the process of appointment of judges.
“It is not transparent and is monopolised by judges themselves, reducing all other members, including representatives of the bar councils to a mere rubber stamp,” he said.
Hasan said despite urging the JC chairman to amend the rules made under constitution in order to carry out meaningful consultations with stakeholders, especially the bar, the practice of secretary and monopoly continue.
He said the bar leaders had hoped that the judge member of the JC would accept the democratic demands made by representatives of lawyers but instead they were given reference of the judgment of Nadeem Ahmed where the 18th constitutional amendment was challenged.
The parliament subsequently, passed a 19th amendment but did not give exclusive powers of initiating names of candidates to the CJ alone, Hasan said, adding as such this portion of the judgment was not accommodated in the 19th amendment and all members of the JC can legitimately initiate names for elevation to the superior judiciary.
“Deprivation goes so far that members of the JC are not even allowed to retain any copy of the minutes. It is also commonly known that all decisions are made by a core group of the JC members even prior to the meeting,” he said.
“We regret that we have to take the hard decision of not appointing a member to the JC by the PBC. We do not wish to take any confrontation but plead that the principles of fairness, inclusion and wider consultation be followed,” Hasan added.
He said judges unlike other elected offices had a fixed and long tenure therefore a wrong choice could seriously undermine the integrity and quality of the judicial system for a long period of time.
Over a question, all representatives of the legal fraternity said it was honour for the lawyers that the opposition had suggested Asma Jahangir’s name for caretaker prime minister. They appreciated the PML-N for proposing her name as caretaker PM.
comments sought: Additional District and Sessions Judge Hamid Hussain on Tuesday sought comments from SHO Islampurra on a petition seeking registration of criminal case against unknown persons on the charges of abduction of two officials of Efroz Chemicals Karachi.
As per case details, petition Muhammad Hafeez regional Sales Manager (RSM) of said company through his counsel Advocate Wasim stated that some unknown persons had abducted Nadir Khan Feroz and Shakil khan from outside of sessions court. He said that an application was submitted in Islampura Police Station but the concerned SHO did not bother to listen to him.
He implored that the court to register case against unknown person so that aforesaid persons could be recovered.
On this, the court has directed SHO Islampurra to submit his comments by January 30 (today).
SHO summoned: Additional District and Sessions Judge Malik Tariq Mehmood Zargham Directed SHO Shahdra to appear in person before court on a petition seeking departmental action against him allegedly involved in refusing to obey the court orders.
Petitioner Shahid Saddique submitted that a couple of days ago he visited Shahdra police station with the court order directing the SHO to take action against Arain group allegedly involved in extorting money but the SHO claimed that he was not bound to obey the court orders.
He implored the court that with the direction of court, the SHO had registered case against Mushtaq group but was not ready to arrest them. He told the court that SHO claimed he was not bound to act upon the court orders. He requested the court to direct the SHO to arrest the aforesaid group.
Brawl at sessions court: Four men were injured after a scuffle erupted between two groups at Sessions Court while lawyers also thrashed a police official for not taking appropriate security measures.
It was said that a scuffle erupted between Gujar Groups and Butt Groups in which Muhammad Arsalan, Salman, Usama and Rizwan got knife injures.
The scuffle started when members of both groups reached at a lawyer’s chamber after attending court proceeding at Additional District & Sessions Judge Munir Ahmed’s court.
The eyewitness said that lawyer Amir Butt tried to reconcile between two groups but soon harsh comments exchanged between them which caused scuffle between them. They claimed that they also used weapons for aerial firing.
Islampura police, on complaint of Irshad Chaudhary, registered the case under sections 324,148,149,427 of PPC and 7ATA against Bobi Gujar, Aurangzeb, Malik Sameer, Farooq Gujar, Muhammad Nadeem and others. The complainant contended in FIR that aforesaid accused attacked them.