It seems the government and lawyers’ concerns have prevailed, once again.
The judicial commission, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, did not come to a final decision and deferred the issue of finalising the appointment of two ad-hoc and an additional acting judge to the Supreme Court.
The judicial commission is supposed to finalise the list of ad-hoc and acting judges needed to complete the bench that would hear the appeal in the contempt case against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.
The development came after a delegation of lawyers met with the chief justice on Monday and conveyed their concerns. The appointment was due to ensure availability of a larger bench in case the premier filed an appeal against his conviction for contempt of court for not writing a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
Last week, the chief justice had said that three judges who were part of the bench – that heard the contempt case against Prime Minister Gilani – would not be available if a review petition was filed. And therefore, two ad-hoc judges and an additional judge would have to be appointed in the Supreme Court to ensure that a nine-member bench can hear the possible appeal. A seven member-bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk found premier Gilani guilty of contempt of court on April 26. However, the detailed verdict in this high-profile case is yet to be announced.
However, the commission in its meeting on Monday gave approval of the appointment of eight judges to the Sindh High Court.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2012.
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