ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Anwar Khan Kasi has put forward the names of two lawyers regarding their appointment as additional judges in the high court.
Sources revealed to The Express Tribune that Supreme Court Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali has summoned a meeting of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on December 3 regarding the appointment of two more additional judges at IHC.
The IHC chief justice has recommended Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Mian Gul Hassan Orangzaib for the posts.
As per the IHC Act, 2010, the total strength of judges in the court is seven but presently only five judges are performing their duties.
The IHC has been operational since January 2011 but the Islamabad Bar Association was annoyed with the superior judiciary for not appointing a capital-based lawyer as a judge of the high court.
With the proposed appointments, it will be the first time that an Islamabad based lawyer, Kayani, will be considered as a judge. Kayani was head of the IHC Bar Association till last year.
The incumbent association president Raja Aleem Abbasi expressed satisfaction over Kayani’s nomination.
He also pointed out that despite being a court for the federal capital; the IHC did not have any representation from Islamabad.
He stated that there were over 13,000 cases pending for adjudication before five benches of the high court. In addition to the immediate appointment of two judges, the legislature should increase the number of judges [in the IHC] from seven to 11, he shared.
The other candidate, Orangzaib, worked with the late Abdul Hafeez Peerzada, a renowned lawyer.
Orangzaib is said to have a command in corporate laws, and has represented Pakistan in the $573 million claim against the country before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
However, a section of the legal fraternity has raised objections over Orangzaib’s nomination as he hails from Swat, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Justice Athar Minallah also belongs to the same province.
Presently, every province has representation among the IHC judges, therefore, there is no legal bar for making second appointments from one province, said a senior lawyer.
The commission will also consider the confirmation of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq on December 3 as well.
Meanwhile, sources informed that the JCP has declined the request of the newly-established Islamabad Bar Council regarding the nomination of its representative as member of the commission as a constitutional amendment will be require for this purpose.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2015.
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