Two of the three judges serving in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Supreme Appellate Court (SAC) will retire on June 1 after completing their three year-terms. However, the G-B government is tight lipped about whether it will give fresh contracts to the judges or will new appointments be conducted.
According to a lawyer, if the issue of apex court retiring judges is not finalised by June 1, litigants would face difficulties in the handling of cases. “The issue should have been settled by now. It’s the responsibility of the government to make a timely decision by either giving relaxation or appointing new judges for the apex court,” he said.
The retiring judges, Justice Syed Jaffer Shah and Justice Mohammad Yaqub, who were sworn in on May 26, 2009 as judges of G-B’s apex court, which is currently headed by Justice Rana Arshad Khan.
G-B Governor Pir Karam Ali Shah told The Express Tribune that the issue of judges’ contract would be “decided in due course of time”.
However, a senior official at governor secretariat said that the issue of the judges hasn’t formally come under discussion as yet in the governor’s office.
“The [governor] office hasn’t forwarded any names in this connection to the federal government,” he said, requesting anonymity.
Under the G-B Empowerment and Self Governance Order 2009, the G-B governor recommends names of potential candidates for the post of judges to the federal government. The SAC comprised three judges, including the chief judge, whose status is equivalent to judges and chief justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan respectively.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2012.
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