Following the example of their colleagues in Gilgit, lawyers in Baltistan have also objected to the appointment of the new chief judge of the Supreme Appellate Court (SAC).
The appointment of the new chief judge is illegal and should be withdrawn immediately, read a statement issued by the Baltistan Bar after a general body meeting held in Skardu on Monday.
Earlier this month, lawyers in Gilgit had also voiced their reservations on the appointment of the chief justice which was confirmed after Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi had completed his tenure.
The meeting chaired by advocate Shaukat Ali rejected the appointment of judges on an ad hoc basis and said that the retirement age of the judges should be fixed at 65 years.
From now on, judges from the Chief Court should be sent to the SAC on the basis of seniority, according to the statement. “Judges for the Chief Court should be appointed from amongst local judges and lawyers through a judicial commission.” In addition, the lawyers demanded the establishment of a permanent circuit bench of the Chief Court for Baltistan division.
Lawyers said that the bar would not accept the appointment of a non-local judge for the banking court. They threatened to boycott the courts. They also demanded that the chairman public service commission, chief election commissioner and judges for accountability courts should be appointed on merit from amongst local persons, preferably retired judges and lawyers.
They also demanded the reinstatement of assistant registrar Baltistan division and decried illegal appointments made during the tenure of former chief justice of the SAC.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2012.
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