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Pakistan Supreme Court judge objects to appointment of new judges

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Islamabad | June 28, 2022 1:25:27 PM IST
Pakistan's apex court judge Qazi Faez Isa on Monday raised objection over the appointment of new judges to the Sindh and Lahore high courts.

Mocking the appointment process said that "more care is exercised in the appointment of a cook than judges." SC justice Isa also objected to calling two Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) meetings in his absence, reported Geo News.

"It seems that more care in the appointment of a cook is exercised than in the appointment of judges," the justice said in a WhatsApp message to Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, which was also addressed to the members of the council.

Isa lamented the fact that he became aware of two meetings of the JCP through the media.

"Neither the Hon'ble Chief Justice of Pakistan (HCJP) nor Jawad Paul, the Secretary of the JCP (the Secretary), informed me of these meetings," the justice said.

The two meetings of the JCP were called on June 28 and 29, respectively, to consider the nominees to the Sindh High Court (SHC) and the confirmation of the additional judges of Lahore High Court (LHC), reported Geo News.

Justice Isa said that his private secretary took photos of the secretary's letters which he WhatsApped him, and photos of the accompanying three large boxes of documents, presumably containing the particulars of the nominees and specimens of their work.

Justice Isa said he takes "great exception" to the manner in which these JCP meetings have been called and that it has become tiresome to keep repeating the details of the "manipulative and illegal" conduct of the secretary, reported Geo News.

"Serious concerns expressed verbally and in writing, about the secretary remain unaddressed; the courtesy of a reply is not even extended. Is this disdain, arrogance or a flaunting of unaccountability? And, does such conduct strengthen and build institutions or weaken and destroy them?" he asked.

"When matters are determined unilaterally, and arbitrarily, and the secretary cum registrar is "completely unaccountable", one may well question what legitimacy attaches to the Supreme Court taking issue with those who similarly exercise powers in their respective domains?"

It is pertinent to note that allegations were levelled against Justice Isa and his family for not disclosing foreign assets.

In Pakistan, government and invisible forces have typically employed a formula of victimizing dissenting judges and politicians by making them subject to inquiries over assets allegedly beyond their means.

Many politicians and civil servants prefer not to challenge the status quo, fearing the wrath of the government or the powerful quarters.

The exhaustive proceedings were finally led to a decision in Justice Isa's review petition by a 10-member bench. The judgement clearly exonerated the judge of all charges. (ANI)

 
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