ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Monday passed a bill to allow the government establish a high court in the federal capital, as envisaged in the recently passed 18th constitutional amendment.
Law Minister Babar Awan introduced The Islamabad High Court Bill, 2010 in the House which was passed unanimously. A high court in the federal capital was first established by former president Pervez Musharraf in his November 3, 2007 emergency promulgation. But the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in its verdict on July 31, 2009. A parliamentary committee on constitutional reforms had again proposed reestablishment of the high court in Islamabad in Clause 1 of Article 175 of the amended constitution.
Law Minister Babar Awan said the bill was a follow-up of the 18th constitutional amendment that the parliament has already approved this. Addressing the National Assembly after the bill was passed, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said that the establishment of the high court would benefit 25,000 lawyers and hundreds of thousands of local people.
He said the IHC would have six judges, four from all provinces, one each from the capital territory and the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata). The chief justice will be appointed on a rotation basis out of these judges and the Supreme Judicial Council will be an authority for this purpose.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 11th, 2010.