The National Judicial Commission, tasked with appointment of judges in the Supreme Court, has not convened even a single meeting yet to fill the vacancies.
The positions were opened after the retirement of three judges this year.
The commission, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has, however, recommended a number of additional judges in the four high courts to a parliamentary committee.
After the retirement of Justice Sair Ali and Justice M A Shahid Siddique in the coming months, a total of five out of 17 seats will have fallen vacant.
“A position should be filled within 30 days of the retirement of a judge. But this is not a hard and fast rule. The chief justice decides when to summon the meeting of the Supreme Judicial Council in this regard,” Dr Khalid Ranjha, a member of the judicial commission told The Express Tribune.
The 18th constitutional amendment introduced a new procedure in the constitution for the appointment of judges last year which was overwhelmingly challenged in the Supreme Court and the court returned the amendment to the parliament for changes. As a result, the 19th constitutional amendment was introduced.
However, the matter is still to be decided by a 17-judge full court bench which will be constituted after the appointments of new judges.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2011.
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