Female lawyer among three named for IHC judge slot

CJP summons meeting of JCP on Nov 23 to consider nominees


Hasnaat Malik November 10, 2021
Islamabad High Court. PHOTO: IHC WEBSITE

ISLAMABAD:

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah has nominated three advocates including a female lawyer for their appointment as additional judges of the IHC.

Sources told The Express Tribune that IHC CJ Athar Minallah had proposed the names of Barrister Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Arbab Muhammad Tahir and Saman Rafat Imtiaz.

It is learnt that Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed has summoned a meeting of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on November 23 to consider these nominations for their appointment as additional judges of the high court.

The IHC CJ sent a letter to the JCP wherein he explained as to why he had recommended these names.

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“The Islamabad High Court has been established under Article 175 of the Constitution. Section 3 of the Islamabad High Court Act, 2010 provides that the High Court shall consist of a chief justice and nine other judges to be appointed from the provinces and other territories of Pakistan. At present four positions of judges are vacant,” he wrote.

“Keeping In view the Intent of the legislature and the nature of litigation on generally dealt with by the High Court, the representation of the provinces has been ensured since its inception. After the non-confirmation of the three additional judges, the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan have no representation on the benches", the letter added.

The letter further stated that an extensive process of consultation was undertaken to find the most suitable candidates for filling the vacant positions.

“The fundamental consideration was to ensure that the proposed candidates possess the requisite credentials and repute expected from members of the bench. The candidates were short listed after extensive considerations with all the relevant stakeholders.”

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On these nominations, IHC CJ said the high court had identified two advocates from Sindh.

However, one of them did not consent to his name being proposed for elevation to the IHC.

The nominee Saman Rafat Imtiaz has a strong academic background and enjoys a reputation for professionalism, hard work and Integrity.

Currently no female judge is working in the IHC.

Regarding the nomination of Arbab Muhammad Tahir, IHC CJ said the nominee had been practicing in the province of Balochistan and had served as its advocate general for a considerable period.

The Third nominee, Barrister Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, had an established law practice In Islamabad. “He has been regularly appearing before the benches of this court and the judges are unanimous in their opinion regarding his competence, integrity and professional conduct,” the IHC CJ wrote.

“His professional expertise and experience relating to the fields of arbitration, commercial and corporate law, statutory regulatory authorities and taxation makes him the most suitable candidate to be considered for elevation as an additional judge of the Islamabad High Court.”

However, it has been learnt that a representative of the Islamabad Bar Council was of the opinion that although the competence and integrity of Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan was not disputed, but he could not be considered since he was not an enrolled as an advocate of the bar.

"This reservation is misplaced because, firstly, most of the serving judges were affiliated with the local bars of Islamabad, secondly, there is no bar on considering a deserving candidate enrolled by another bar council and lastly, the proposed candidate has an established practice in Islamabad. Moreover, he is on the rolls as an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” read the letter by Justice Minallah.

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