The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on Wednesday gave its nod to the permanent appointment of 11 additional judges of the Lahore High Court.
The meeting of the commission, presided over by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, was held to consider the regularisation of services of 13 additional judges of the LHC.
However, the JCP dropped the names of Justice Shaan Gul and Justice Sohail Nasir.
The commission has approved the regularisation of services of Justice Shakeel Ahmed, Justice Safdar Saleem, Justice Nadeem Arshad, Justice Tariq Nadeem, Justice Amjad Rafique, Justice Abid Hussain Chatha, Justice Anwar Hussain, Justice Ali Zia Bajwa, Justice Sultan Tanveer Ahmed, Justice Raheel Kamran Sheikh and Justice Muhammad Raza Qureshi.
The appointment of 13 additional judges in the LHC was recommended on April 22 last year.
In April this year, the tenure of the additional judges was further extended by six months.
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A day earlier, the two government representatives in the JCP held meetings with other members, especially its chairman, CJP Bandial, to request them to avoid any unpleasant scene during Wednesday’s huddle.
Both Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar and Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Ashtar Ausaf Ali met JCP members, who belonged to both camps within the commission.
One government representative in the JCP had told The Express Tribune the tenure of these LHC judges was ending next month.
The JCP members are divided on the appointment of judges.
An unpleasant scene was witnessed during the JCP meeting on July 28 this year, wherein CJP Bandial’s nominees for elevation to the SC could not be approved.
Later a series of letters was started. Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah wrote letters to CJP Bandial urging him to summon a meeting of the JCP to consider the appointment of five SC judges.
No judge has been appointed to the SC since February this year.
Sources revealed that CJP Bandial has again initiated consultations with JCP members on the elevation of five high court judges to the SC.
It is likely that the majority of the JCP members will agree on the elevation of three high court judges to the SC.
The CJP might consider Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah for elevation to the SC.
Justice Isa and Justice Masood are consistently advocating that the seniority principle should be followed for the appointment of top court judges until objective criteria are evolved.
The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) representative in the JCP is also supporting this view.
The other view view is represented by CJP Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan that is not in favour of adhering to the seniority principle for the SC judges’ appointment.
They believe that appointments should be based on competence, efficiency, integrity and temperament.