ISLAMABAD: The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on Thursday approved the names of two retired judges for ad hoc reappointment in the top court for a year.
The decision was taken in a meeting of the commission summoned by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, to discuss the ad hoc appointment of judges in the Supreme Court.
The meeting decided to reappoint Justice (retd) Tariq Pervez and Justice (retd) Khilji Arif Hussain after a majority of the commission members voted in their favour, sources informed The Express Tribune.
During the meeting, Pakistan Bar Council representative Yasin Azad opposed the appointments. He said there was a consistent stance of the superior bars against judges’ ad hoc appointments.
However, majority of the JCP members approved the two judges’ nomination under Article 182 of the constitution that says the CJP can, with the president’s approval, appoint a former judge if it is necessary to increase the quorum of judges of the apex court.
Justice Pervez, who reached superannuation in February 2013, is currently a member of the commission that recommends the names of superior court judges. Before his current assignment, he had served as the caretaker chief minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Justice (retd) Hussain, who retired in April 2014, was part of the bench that heard the case of former CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry’s son Arsalan in the top court. In June 2012, following media reports that Arsalan had received between Rs300 million and Rs400 million from real estate tycoon Malik Riaz to influence judicial proceedings, the court had summoned both the men to initiate proceedings against them.
The issue of ad hoc judges had previously surfaced when a full court meeting of the apex court headed by the then CJP Chaudhry had adopted a proposal to extend the tenure of a former ad hoc judge, Justice (retd) Khalil Ramday, on February 14, 2011.
The judiciary had to drop the idea in view of stiff resistance from the legal fraternity, as well as the federal government, then led by Pakistan Peoples Party
However, now that the superior judiciary has the support of the incumbent administration, the ad hoc appointments have been approved.
Meanwhile, the JCP has also approved nomination of lawyers for the appointment of additional judges of the Islamabad High Court. The IHC chief justice 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 should be seven, but only five judges are currently performing their duties.
The high court has been operational since January 2011, but the IHC Bar Association was annoyed with the superior judiciary for not appointing a capital-based lawyer as the court’s judge.
With the proposed nominations, it will be the first time that an Islamabad-based lawyer, Kayani, will be appointed as a judge. He headed the bar association until last year.
The commission also proposed confirmation of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2015.