SHC top judge sends six names for consideration of JCP

ISLAMABAD: Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh has recommended six names to be considered in the upcoming session of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) for appointment as the high court’s additional judges.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar has summoned a meeting of the JCP on January 18.

Sources revealed to The Express Tribune that Justice Shaikh has proposed names of two district and sessions judges Ishrat Ali Shah and Kausar Sultana Hussain, and four lawyers Adnan Iqbal Chaudhry, Amjid Ali Sahito, Agha Faisal and Shamsuddin Abbasi for appointment as additional judges. Presently, 33 judges are working in the SHC while its total strength is 40.

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The sources said the CJP had formed a four-member committee led by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan to consider credentials of the nominees. The committee will submit its proposals about each nominee before the commission to consider their elevation in the bench.

The JCP, meanwhile, will also examine the matter related to the elevation of Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah to the Supreme Court.

The chief justice has proposed the LHC’s senior judge Justice Muhammad Yawar Ali to take over as new chief justice of the LHC. Justice Yawar is a member of the special court that is hearing the treason case against former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf. He may work as LHC chief justice till October.

The sources revealed that Justice Mansoor Ali Shah may recuse himself from accepting his elevation to the Supreme Court and resign for personal reasons. A number of senior lawyers are, however, urging him to join the top court.

Justice Shah was appointed as LHC judge on September 15, 2009 and was appointed as its chief justice in June 2015. He introduced a number of reforms for the betterment of justice system in Punjab and strived to regulate bar associations of the province.

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Due to certain steps taken by him to curb the culture of violence in the legal fraternity, one section of lawyers is unhappy with him. Disputes also arose between the bench and the Multan High Court Bar Association last year and the Supreme Court had to intervene in the matter twice to sort out the issues.

However, another section of lawyers believes that the services of Justice Shah as LHC chief justice are still required for better changes in the justice system.

If promoted, Justice Shah will work as SC judge till November 2027. This would mean that he could also become the chief justice of Pakistan for three years in the future. With his elevation, the Supreme Court will regain its full strength. Presently, one seat in the apex court is vacant.

According to the seniority list, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa will be the next chief justice of Pakistan. After his retirement, Justice Gulzar Ahmad, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Qazi Faez Isa will serve as the CJP respectively.

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