Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar’s elevation to Supreme Court deferred

Sohail Khan
The Supreme Court building.
The Supreme Court building.

  • JCP meets CJP Gulzar Ahmed in the chair.
  • BHC Chief Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel has been elevated to the Supreme Court.
  • Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar's elevation deferred over seniority concerns. 

ISLAMABAD: The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on Tuesday deferred the elevation of Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar of the Sindh High Court (SHC) to the apex court due to reservations expressed by the legal fraternity across the country over his seniority.

A meeting of the JCP was held at the Supreme Court with Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed being the Chairman of the Commission. The body was constituted under the 18th Constitutional Amendment for the purpose of appointment of judges for the superior judiciary.

According to a report published in The News Wednesday, the forum extensively deliberated on the elevation of BHC Chief Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel as well as Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, a judge of the SHC to the Supreme Court of Pakistan. After thorough discussions, the JCP approved the elevation of BHC chief justice as a judge of the top court and also approved the name of Naeem Akhtar Afghan, senior judge, as BHC chief justice respectively.

The JCP however, could not develop consensus on the elevation of SHC’s Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and deferred the matter.

The report said that the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), Supreme Court Bar Association and other bar councils of the country had expressed reservations over the elevation of Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar for being on seniority number 5 as Chief Justice SHC Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh, senior Puisne Judge Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi are seniors to him.

Similarly, the legal fraternity on the PBC's call, observed on Tuesday a nationwide strike due to which the lawyers did not appear before the courts.

The PBC had maintained that Muhammad Ali Mazhar is presently positioned at Sr. No. 5, by ignoring four senior most judges of the same high court as well as the principle of seniority as envisioned in the landmark judgment of the SC given in “Al-Jihad Trust Case” on the point in issue as well as for the betterment of the judicial system.

PBC hails JCP's decisions

Meanwhile, after the JCP;s meting, PBC vice-chairman and the Executive Committee of the Council through its Chairman Muhammad Faheem Wali, lauded the decision of the commission, confirming the elevation of Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail.

They also lauded the commission’s decision deferring the matter of Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar what they termed in line with the wishes of the legal fraternity of the country.

They, while appreciating the decision, paid rich tribute to the entire JCP for sticking to the principles of justice and reiterated that the resolution by the bar council was issued for the enforcement of the rule of law and strict adherence to the Constitution and judicial principles, as the legal fraternity holds Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar in high esteem for his competence and legal acumen.