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Govt files review plea against SC’s order for issuance of two IHC judges’ notification
ISLAMABAD: The federal government filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on Wednesday against its December 21, 2012 order asking the President to notify the appointment of two Islamabad High Court IHC judges, with effect from the date of expiry of their earlier notifications.
The review petition was filed by Attorney General for Pakistan Irfan Qadir contending that the President was empowered to issue notification of such appointments or otherwise. “Unless the President himself makes an appointment or issues an appointment order, no concerned authority is empowered to issue the notification of appointment in terms of Article 175A of the Constitution and hence the order under review suffers from grave error of law”, the review plea maintained.
The plea stated that the constitution did not assign the judges of the superior courts with the role of appointment or removal of their brother judges and a judge could not sit over the legality, propriety or impropriety of appointment or removal of fellow judges.
It further stated that as a matter of practice and propriety a reference filed by the President under Article 186 of the Constitution ought to have been decided on priority basis so that the head of state had before him the opinion of court prior to taking a final decision in the matter.
It may be recalled here that earlier on Jan 08, 2013, a petition seeking contempt proceedings against the President, Prime Minister and Law Minister for resisting the appointment of these two IHC judges in violation of SC’s Dec 21 order, was filed in the Supreme Court.
The contempt petition was filed by Advocate Muhammad Akram Sheikh on behalf of Advocate Nadeem Ahmed, requesting the court to initiate contempt proceedings against President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Law Minister Farooq H. Naek and Law Secretary Yasmin Abbasey for wilful disobedience by not issuing notifications to appoint Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui as a regular judge and Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi as additional judge for six months.
The petitioner also requested the court to initiate proceedings against the respondents under Article 6 of the Constitution, read with provisions of the High Treason Punishment Act 1973. On Dec 21, last year a five member larger bench of the Supreme Court had asked the President to appoint the two judges in line with the Sept 22 recommendation of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan JCP which was also approved by the Parliamentary Committee for appointment of superior courts’ judges.
However, instead of handing down its opinion on a Presidential reference,