Pakistan

Law ministry notifies elevation of three judges to Supreme Court

LHC and SHC CJs Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan and Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi elevated to top court

By  Web Desk   |  
June 24, 2024
(Left to right): LHC Justice Shahid Bilal, LHC Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad and Sindh High Court Chief Justice Aqeel Abbasi. — LHC website/APP/File

The Ministry of Law and Justice on Monday notified the appointments of three high court judges to the Supreme Court following the approval of President Asif Ali Zardari.

The judges who have been elevated to the top court include Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice Shahid Bilal Hassan, LHC Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan and Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi.

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The new appointments were approved by the president under Article 177.

After Lahore High Court’s Chief Justice Shahzad’s elevation, Justice Shujaat Ali Khan was appointed as acting LHC CJ by President Zardari under Article 196, according to a notification issued by the law ministry.

Justice Shujaat will perform duties as acting LHC CJ until the appointment to the top post, it further stated.

— Supplied

The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) had recommended the elevation of chief justices of the LHC and the SHC to the apex court, besides recommending the elevation of the LHC judge to the apex court earlier this month.

The decision was taken by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa, chairman of the commission, in the SC chaired a meeting of the JCP, a constitutional forum for the judges’ appointment in the superior courts.

It was learnt by The News that after detailed deliberations, the commission by a 5-4 majority approved the elevation of Justice Shahzad. The JCP also approved elevation of Justice Shahid.

Of nine members of the commission, four JCP members, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice (retd) Manzoor Ahmed Malik, opposed the elevation of the LHC chief justice to the Supreme Court, while CJP Isa, Justice Amin-ud-Din, Azam Tarar, AG Mansoor Usman Awan and PBC representative Akhtar Hussain voted in favour of Justice Shahzad’s elevation.

The JCP was constituted under the 18th Constitutional Amendment. As the commission recommended appointment of the LHC and SHC judges as judges of the Supreme Court, their names would now be referred to the Parliamentary Committee on Judges Appointment, which has the authority to approve or disapprove it.

It is pertinent to mention here that at present the strength of Supreme Court judges is 14 compare to the constitutional strength of 17.

Three posts of Supreme Court judges remained vacant after the retirement of chief justice Umar Ata Bandial and resignations of Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi.


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