Judicial commission meeting: LHC chief justice to be elevated to Supreme Court

JCP nominates Imtiaz as Bandial’s replacement.

Hasnaat Malik May 29, 2014
Umar Ata Bandial. PHOTO: FILE


The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on Wednesday unanimously approved the elevation of Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial to a Supreme Court judge and nominated LHC judge Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed as his replacement, sources told The Express Tribune.

Once appointed, Justice Bandial will remain a Supreme Court judge till September 16, 2023. This time will include a one-year stint as the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP).

Meanwhile, Justice Imtiaz, if appointed, will serve as the LHC chief justice till March 28, 2015, when he retires as a high court judge.

In its meeting on Wednesday, the JCP also discussed the appointment of three additional judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC). According to sources, the commission recommended the name of Athar Minallah, spokesman for former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, as an additional judge of the IHC.

On the other hand, IHC Chief Justice Anwar Khan Kasi withdrew the names of nominees proposed by him for two posts of IHC additional judges in light of the findings of JCP’s subcommittee, the sources said. Justic Kasi had nominated Mian Abdul Rauf and Anees Jillani for one post from Islamabad city and Sher Shah Kasi and Khalid Khubdani for one post from Balochistan. They added that the IHC chief justice will now propose fresh names for the slots.

During the meeting, Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) representative Yasin Azad also proposed that the JCP consider reappointing judges who were dismissed by the Supreme Court on July 31, 2009 since they took oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) promulgated by then president Pervez Musharraf, the sources said.

“Azad recommended that since the JCP had already approved the reappointment of Aamir Raza Naqvi as a Sindh High Court judge, it should also consider reappointing other PCO judges,” a source privy to Wednesday’s meeting said. He added that the proposal was endorsed by other members of the JCP.

Earlier in the day, lawyers from Islamabad expressed their reservations against the five candidates nominated for the three IHC additional judge slots.

Talking to Express Tribune, Islamabad District Bar Association (IDBA) President Naseer Ahmad Kayani said his organisation has held meetings with both the IHC chief justice and the CJP over the last two days to convey their concerns regarding the nomination of five lawyers. He said the IDBA had raised objections since lawyers associated with the bar had been ignored while naming nominees for the posts.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2014.


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