Judicial Commission of Pakistan reviews agencies role in judges’ appointment

JCP resolves not to entertain any report lacking signature and supportive material


Hasnaat Malik April 21, 2020
Resolves not to entertain any report lacking signature, supportive material. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) has refused to entertain unsigned agencies’ reports in the process of appointment/confirmation of superior court judges.

The JCP also resolved that it would not consider the agencies’ reports that lack supportive material to substantiate their findings.

The JCP, a constitutional body, recommends the names of judges for appointments and confirms additional judges in superior courts.

Five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, including the chief justice of Pakistan, a retired SC judge, attorney general for Pakistan, law minister and a representative of the Pakistan Bar Council are permanent members of the commission.

Sources in the JCP revealed to The Express Tribune that the commission members comprehensively deliberated on the matter about the utilisation of agencies’ reports in deciding new appointment of any nominee or confirmation of additional judge in the superior courts.

It is learnt that one member of the commission had raised that issue during the previous meeting wherein confirmation of Lahore High Court Justice Shakilur Rehman was discussed.

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Sources revealed that majority of the JCP members, except AGP Khalid Javed Khan and Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem, agreed that the commission would not consider the agencies’ reports regarding any nominee until they are signed by an official.

Likewise, it is resolved that supportive material should also be placed along with these reports to substantiate their findings.

However, it is resolved that the government representatives – the AGP and the law minister – may summon agencies’ reports for their own consideration but would not entertain them until they are duly signed by concerned officials and supportive material to substantiate their claims is attached with them.

In view of that decision, the AGP and the law minister are not barred from summoning unsigned agencies’ reports and they may form an opinion on their basis.

Earlier, the AGP used to write to different agencies summoning their reports regarding nominees and the same were placed before the JCP. Now, if the reports are unsigned, they will not be placed before the commission.

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Senior lawyers believed that it was a significant development after Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s case wherein the SC judge and superior bars accused agencies of conducting surveillance of judges.

Further, the JCP recommended one year job extension in the tenures of two additional judges of the Balochistan High Court, sources revealed to The Express Tribune.

The commission pondered over the confirmation of BHC judges – Justice Hameed Baloch and Rozi Khan Barrech. After a detailed discussion, the commission proposed one year job extension in the tenures of both the judges.

It is learnt that the BHC chief justice had recommended the job confirmation of both the judges.

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