Thursday Sep 09 2021

Judicial Commission tied on Justice Ayesha Malik's appointment to SC

  • Decision could not be finalised as vote of majority is needed, but the end verdict was a tie.
  • According to sources, Supreme Court Judge Qazi Faez Isa could not attend the meeting of the Judicial Commission, as he is abroad.
  • Recommendation of Justice Ayesha Malik's appointment to the Supreme Court was protested by lawyers today.

ISLAMABAD: A session of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on Thursday regarding the appointment of Justice Ayesha Malik of the Lahore High Court to the Supreme Court ended in a tie.

A meeting of commission was held under the chairmanship of Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed in which the issue of Justice Malik's elevation to the SC was considered, with the emerging verdict ending in a tie.

According to sources, Supreme Court Judge Qazi Faez Isa could not attend the meeting as he is abroad, so his vote on the matter was not part of the decision.

Sources said that the chief justice recommends the name of a high court judge for appointment to the Supreme Court, which is then approved by the JCP. 

According to the sources, CJP Ahmed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan and Minister for Law Farogh Naseem supported the appointment of Justice Malik to the apex court, while Justice Maqbool Baqir, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, a Pakistan Bar Council representative and former SC judge, retired Justice Dost Mohammad, voted against the appointment.

The sources said that legal experts say that under the Constitution of Pakistan, the name cannot be finalised unless the majority approves it, so technically Justice Ayesha Malik's name has been "rejected". If her name had been approved by a majority, she would have been the first woman judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The Sources added that the AGP suggested that the judgments and record of women judges of other high courts should also be reviewed and the matter should be referred for the next meeting, but no agreement was reached on this issue either.

The AGP said that at least one female judge should be appointed to the Supreme Court and that the number of women judges in the apex court should be increased in the future.

In India, three women judges of Indian High Courts were sworn in as Supreme Court judges on August 31, he pointed out.

Since 1980, 11 women judges have been appointed to the Indian Supreme Court, the AGP further said

In 2027, the first woman judge of the Indian Supreme Court will become the Chief Justice of India, he added.

It should be noted that the appointment of Justice Malik to the Supreme Court was protested by lawyers today. Various bar councils are of the view that the seniority principle must be taken into account in the appointment of judges.