Court: SC directs govt to issue notification of two IHC judges

ISLAMABAD: A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court directed the federal government on Friday to issue notification of two judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) – Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Noor ul Haq N. Qureshi.

The bench comprising Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Tariq Parvez, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed gave this direction while announced its short verdict earlier reserved on December 14 on a petition filed by Nadeem Ahmed Advocate pertaining to appointment of two IHC judges- Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Noor ul Haq N. Qureshi.

In its short order, the court held that the reasons to be recorded later on. “We accept the petition and direct the concerned authorities to issue notification of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui as judge and Justice Noor ul Haq N Qureshi as additional judge of the Islamabad High Court for a period of six months giving effect from the date of expiry of their earlier notifications”, the court in its order said. The tenure of both the judges had expired on November 20, 2012.

The court had reserved its verdict on the petition of Nadeem Ahmed Advocate and on a reference filed by President Asif Ali Zardari seeking to clarify his role in the appointment of superior courts’ judges. In the reference, the President had also desired to seek the apex court’s opinion on the questions of law, considered by him to be of public importance, in respect of appointment of the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts in view of the 18th and 19th Constitutional Amendments. In its short verdict, the court did not mention the presidential reference.

The petitioner had challenged holding of notification, by the President, of appointment of the two IHC judges- Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Noor ul Haq N. Qureshi who were appointed as judge and additional judge of the IHC respectively. Both the judges were nominated by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan as well Parliamentary Committee on appointment of superior courts’ judges, however President had held their notifications.

The court in its verdict noted that, “The President of Pakistan apparently not issued orders for appointment allegedly for the reason that one of the participants out of ten was not qualified to attend the meeting of the Commission. However we are of the view that even if it is assumed that one of the members, being non entity sat, voted and took part in the proceedings culminating in nomination, but it would not vitiate the proceedings when the Judicial Commission in view of Clause 8 of Article 175A of the Constitution has nominated by majority of its membership”.

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