Three high court judges take oath after elevation to SC

CJP Isa administers oath to Justice Malik, Justice Abbasi, and Justice Hassan

Abdul Qayyum Siddiqui
June 25, 2024
CJP Qazi Faez Isa (left) administers oath to Justices Malik Shahzad Ahmad, Aqeel Abbasi, and Shahid Bilal at the Supreme Court in Islamabad, on June 25, 2024. — via Arfa Feroz Zake

ISLAMABAD: Three high court judges, including the chief justices of Sindh and Lahore high courts, Tuesday took oath as Supreme Court judges after their elevation was notified by theMinistry of Law and Justice.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa administered oath to LHC Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan, SHC Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, andLHC Justice Shahid Bilal Hassan.

The oath-taking ceremony was held at the apex court today.

A day earlier, the law and justice ministry notified the appointments of the aforementioned high court judges to the SC following the approval of President Asif Ali Zardari under Article 177.

After LHC 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.

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 CJP 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.

It is pertinent to mention here that the strength of Supreme Court judges was 14 earlier compared to the constitutional strength of 17, due to which the three new jurors had to appointed.

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