The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) has finally approved the name of Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail for elevation to the Supreme Court.
After a passage of seven years, a BHC judge is being elevated to the apex court. Earlier, Justice Qazi Faez Isa was elevated to the
SC in September 2014. The commission also approved senior puisne judge Naeem Afghan as the new BHC chief justice.
Balochistan representative in Pakistan Bar Council Muneer Kakar welcomed the JCP decision to elevate the judge from BHC to SC.
Meanwhile, the commission has deferred the matter regarding elevation of a junior judge of Sindh High Court, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, who is number five on SHC judges’ seniority list.
Earlier, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), an apex regularity body of lawyers, had called for a strike on Tuesday in order to register a protest against the nomination of SHC junior judge for elevation to the apex court. However, the PBC could not appoint its member as representative of the JCP. The two-year tenure of PBC member Akhtar Hussain has already ended.
Sources revealed to The Express Tribune that a few members of the JCP strongly endorsed the superior bars concerns regarding the elevation of junior judge of SHC to the SC. One member was of the view that why four senior SHC judges were ignored and why a judge who is on number five on the seniority list was recommended for elevation.
It is learnt that AGP Khalid Jawed Khan has also proposed a formula in order to redress the lawyers’ concerns regarding the elevation of SHC judges. In view of that proposed formula, two judges could be elevated from the Sindh High Court to the SC.
However, one will perform as an acting SC judge. It is learnt that the Sindh Bar Council may not raise objections on the AGP’s proposal. However, it is yet to clear as to whether other JCP members would endorse his suggestion or not.
Meanwhile, the PBC while issuing a statement has welcomed the JCP decision to approve nomination of BHC CJ as SC judge and deferred the matter related to junior SHC judge’s elevation to the apex court.
"PBC Vice Chairman Khushdil Khan and the Executive Committee of the Council through its Chairman, Muhammad Faheem Wali, are extremely pleased to hear about the decision of the JCP held in its meeting on July 13, 2021, wherein the elevation of Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court to the Supreme Court has been confirmed and that of Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Judge, High Court of Sindh has been deferred in line with the wishes of the legal fraternity of the country.
"They while appreciating the decision paid rich tribute to the entire judicial commission for sticking to the principles of justice and reiterated that the resolution by the bar council was issued for enforcement of the rule of law and strict adherence to the Constitution and judicial principles, as the legal fraternity hold Judge Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar in high esteem for his competence and legal acumen."
(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)