The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed approved the nomination of two prominent lawyers, Babar Sattar and Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, for appointment as judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Last month, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah proposed the names of Mr. Babar Sattar and Mr. Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri for the two positions.
The confirmed nominee names were forwarded to the President Arif Alvi for final approval. President approves the appointment of renowned lawyers; Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri and Babar Sattar as additional judges of Islamabad High Court (IHC) said a notification issued by the law and justice ministry.
According to the notification, “Tariq Jahangiri and Babar Sattar had been appointed as additional IHC judges for a period of one year. With the appointment of the two the strength of IHC judges has risen to 9, including the chief justice.”
The meeting of the JCP which comprises besides the chief justice of Pakistan senior most judges of the Supreme Court, chief justice and senior most judge of the Islamabad High Court, law minister, attorney general, members of the Pakistan Bar Council and Islamabad Bar Council. It was held in the Supreme Court building under Article 175-A of the Constitution.
IHC expresses confidence in chosen representatives for judge’s appointment.Chief Justice Athar Minallah dismisses petition challenging constitutionality of parliamentary committee. Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah while dismissing the petition in liming noted that, “the court was confident that the parliamentary committee would fulfill its constitutional obligation in ensuring the appointment of professionally competent, upright and independent minded persons as judges of IHC.”
While exercising his restraint, the capital’s top judge said that the “Court is not inclined to put its constitutional jurisdiction vested under Article 199 of the Constitution into motion and, therefore, the petition is accordingly dismissed in liming.”
In the order, IHC chief justice statedthat “the court would not be justified in assuming that by inviting the two nominated candidates, the parliamentary committee had exceeded its jurisdiction or violated the principles and law enunciated by the Supreme Court in the several judgments.”
He further added in his remarks that, “As chosen representatives of the people, the members of the Parliamentary Committee are in a better position to appreciate the importance of having impartial, fair, competent, upright and independent minded judges on the Benches.”
The committee consists of eight members who are the chosen representations of the people of Pakistan, four each from the Senate and the National Assembly respectively. The Chief Justice of the IHC said that “Their role cannot be undermined or discredited in any manner whatsoever,” the order read.
Chief Justice also stating regarding the objection of Parliamentary Committee that, “There is no reason to doubt that the Parliamentary Committee would not strive to screen and investigate the candidates with the object of ensuring that those who are approved are as well qualified as possible.”
In the order, Justice Athar Minallah maintained that the parliamentary committee is an important forum constituted under the Constitution; it has a pivotal role in ensuring the appointment of such a person as judge of the high court who has the attributes of administering justice fairly, justly and impartially without fear and favor.
He said that, “The Judicial Commission and the Parliamentary Committee are the two pivotal forums for ensuring the selection of the very best as judges of the superior courts.”
The court order also sheds light on the role of the judges, stating that “Judges are impartial arbiters of disputes” and they “guard constitutionally guaranteed rights and uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and rule of law.”
It was of utmost importance to appoint qualified, professional and independent minded persons as a judge because of the significant impact of the judicial branch of the state on the lives of the citizens and the security, prosperity and well-being of a nation.
Babar Sattar holds a Master of Law (LLM) degree from the Harvard School of Law and he was a part of Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s legal team, which had challenged the presidential reference against him.
On the other hand Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri had served as the advocate general of Islamabad from 2017 to 2018. He also worked as deputy attorney general for Pakistan from 2011 to 2013 and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi and Islamabad Region deputy prosecutor general from 2009 to 2010.
The author is doing M. Phil in Public Policy and Governance. He is working as a freelancer. Previously worked with HubPages and Washington Post.