ISLAMABAD     -    Amid the shrouding controversy regarding the proceedings of Judicial Commission of Pakistan, the Supreme Court of Pakistan Friday issued another clarification saying that Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf had stated in the meeting that the matter about four SC judges appointment should be deferred to frame the appropriate rules about judges appointment.

In this regard, the SC PRO issued a statement saying that the JCP Chairman had directed to make the audio recording of the JCP proceedings held on July 28 available on the official website of the Supreme Court.

The statement said that the version issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Supreme Court of Pakistan under the instructions of Chief Justice of Pakistan/Chairman JCP Justice Umar Ata Bandial has been disputed by two judges of the SC, namely, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood.

It added, “A resulting controversy has therefore arisen in the print and electronic media. In these exceptional circumstances, the Chairman JCP has been pleased to relax the restriction under Rule 5(4) of the JCP Rules, 2010 and has directed for the audio recording of the JCP proceedings of 28.07.2022 to be made available on the official website of the SCP.”

“The audio recording from time slot 1:29:45 to 1:38:08 contains the statement by the worthy Attorney General for Pakistan that the matters under discussion should be deferred to frame the appropriate rules,” said the statement.

It further said that he did not assess or reject the merits of any of the High Court Judges proposed for appointment to the SCP. It added that as a result, 5 members of the JCP supported the deferment of the meeting as reported in the Press Note of the SC dated 28.07.2022. The audio recording is available on following below link:

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan (SCBAP) hailed the principled stand of majority members of JCP for disapproving the nominations of judges for elevation to the top court.

SCBA President Ahsan Bhoon hailed the JCP decision in a press release saying that the elevation of judges should preferably be made on the basis of seniority and, thereafter, other credentials of the candidate could also be considered. He added, “The relevant stakeholder i.e. Parliament must undertake meaningful legislation in this regard”.

Bhoon further said that “undoubtedly, competency, honesty and proficiency are imperative and equally important for elevations to the apex court; however discouraging the principle of seniority is also equally disrespectful to other senior Judges”.

He was of the view that the “continuous disregard of seniority principle was constantly undermining the integrity of the entire judicial system and would also be a discriminatory practice for the Judges who had not only served the judiciary to the hilt but also deserve elevation”.

He hailed the “adamant stance” being preferred by senior puisne judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa, and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood as well as Justice (retired) Sarmad Jalal Osmani and the bar representative Akhtar Hussain who voted against the four nominations. He also had words of praise for Federal Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar and Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf.