ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice (CJ) Asif Saeed Khosa has summoned a meeting of Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on November 14 to consider the name of Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh as new Chief Justice Lahore High Court (LHC).
The incumbent LHC CJ Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan is retiring on December 31. If the nomination of Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh is approved, he will serve as LHC CJ till March 18 next year.
It is to be mentioned that Justice Sheikh is the son-in-law of renowned lawyer AK Dogar.
Currently, 45 judges are working in the oldest high court of the country whereas the total strength is 60. Meanwhile, only 4 judges are working in Islamabad High Court (IHC), while the total number is 7. On the other hand, the number of cases in IHC is increasing every day.
Senior lawyers are expressing concern over the delay in the appointments of judges in both high courts. Even chief justices concerned initiated names for the appointments in their respective high courts in the recent past but the commission did not endorse their nominations. On the other hand, the JCP approved nominations of Sindh High Court and Peshawar High Court chief justices.
The superior bars are also demanding the amendments in JCP rules 2010. It is learnt that CJ Khosa has again reappointed a special committee to review the JCP rules.
The JCP is a constitutional body tasked with making recommendations to the Parliamentary Committee for appointment of judges of the Supreme Court, the chief justices and judges of the Federal Shariat Court and the high courts.
CJ Khosa in his address on the eve of New Judicial Year on September 11 said that during the last judicial year, the commission held 17 meetings and recommended one retired judge of a high court for appointment as a Judge of apex court.
“The Commission also recommended appointment of a Chief Justice and an Alim Judge of the Federal Shariat Court and four chief justices of different high courts. The commission further recommended 15 Additional Judges of different High Courts for confirmation and appointment as Judges of those High Courts and 20 others were recommended for appointment as Additional Judges of different High Courts. Over all 65 persons were considered for such appointments but 4 out of them were dropped and the nominations of 21 were withdrawn by the respective chief justices of the high courts,” the CJP informed in his speech.
The chief justice also said that due to the system of judicial appointments being new there were some teething problems and initial hiccups vis-à-vis the working relationship between the Judicial Commission and the Parliamentary Committee but all such issues now stood ironed out and the system was presently functioning harmoniously with an understanding that due respect was to be extended to the respective opinions of the two bodies and the views of each body should to be honoured as far as possible and practicable.
“I may add that the representatives of the Bar have been demanding for some time a greater say of lawyers in the matter of appointment of Judges of the senior judiciary. A committee constituted by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan for discussing some proposed amendments to the relevant Rules for that purpose has not been able to meet so far because of numerous factors including frequent change of composition of the committee due to retirement of its different members from the Bench and the Bar. An effort shall be made to reconstitute that committee at the earliest so that it may meet and deliberate upon the matter,” the CJP said in his speech.