Judge appointments: NGO jumps into controversy, files petition

Published: November 3, 2011

The petitioner maintains that as a social worker and human rights activist it was his right to agitate the issue of ignoring the principle of seniority in the elevation of high court judges to the Supreme Court. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

KARACHI: 

A constitutional petition was filed here on Wednesday with respect to the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court, ignoring the principle of seniority. The petition was filed by an NGO called the United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, not to be confused with the HRCP.

The petition was accepted, numbered as CP-D 3616/ 2011, and was fixed for hearing on Friday, November 4, before a division bench of the High Court of Sindh (SHC).

The petitioner maintains that as a social worker and human rights activist it was his right to agitate the issue of ignoring the principle of seniority in the elevation of high court judges to the Supreme Court. He said that while two chief justices were elevated, the name of third chief justice i.e. the chief justice of the Sindh High Court, Mushir Alam, was not recommended and instead the senior most judge, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, and a retired judge, Muhammad Athar Saeed, were recommended for the appointment.

This was an injustice to the sitting chief justice of the SHC, who was a legitimate expectant, he said.

The recommendations were also not in line with the judgments of the Supreme Court itself, he argued, referring to the judgments in the Al Jihad case and the Sindh High Court Bar Association case. The petition is likely to be heard by a bench in which both SHC CJ Mushir Alam himself and Justice Gulzar are not members.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2011.

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