IHC judges case: SC reserves ruling on presidential reference

The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its ruling on the case pertaining to a reference sent to it by President Asif Ali Zardari seeking a court advice to resolve a controversy over the elevation and appointment of Islamabad High Court judges.
A five-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, had been hearing the presidential reference moved under Article 186 of the Constitution, invoking its advisory jurisdiction.
Earlier, during Friday’s hearing, Barrister Akram Sheikh, counsel for the petitioner in the IHC judges’ nomination case, presented his arguments before the bench.
Advocate Sheikh informed the court that Justice Anwar Kasi had been recommended as the senior most judge, chief justice, adding that, Justice Kasi was eligible for membership of the Judicial Commission (JC).
Moreover, the counsel for the petitioner said a unanimous decision of the JC would not have been different even if  Justice Kasi were to be treated as a stranger to the commission.
Barrister Sheikh further said the IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman had nominated Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan as a senior judge on Feb 2, 2011.
Earlier on Thursday, the court had adjourned the hearing in the case instructing the petitioner’s counsel to complete his arguments on Friday after the counsel for President Asif Ali Zardari, Barrister Wasim Sajjad, had completed his arguments before the court.
The controversy was over the composition of the 11-member Judicial Commission (JC) in which Justice Kasi, one of the judges whose nomination had been finalised by the JC as the IHC’s next chief justice, himself sat in place of senior judge Justice Khan who was in Saudi Arabia for Haj when the commission had met at the time.
The two judges -- Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman and Justice Kasi -- were nominated by the JC and approved by the Parliamentary Committee (PC) under Article 175-A, inserted in the Constitution under the 18th and 19th Amendments. The JC, in a separate meeting, had also recommended elevation of IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman to the Supreme Court.
But the President House had returned both the recommendations to the JC with an observation to reconsider the nominations because the commission which had finalised the names had not been constituted properly.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt