Parliamentary Committee on Appointment of Judges in Superior Courts has approved amendments in the relevant provisions of the Constitution regarding appointments as per seniority, suo motu notice, references against judges and enhancing upper age limit for High Court Judges. The Committee meeting was chaired by the veteran Politicians, lawyer, and Senator Farooq H Naek.
The committee decided that the appointment of the judges in the Supreme Court will be made in accordance with their seniority as per their date of appointment as a judge of the High court and in case of the same date of the two or more candidates the matter would be decided based on their age. The Committee further approved an amendment in Clause 3 of the Article 184, of the Constitution according to which when the Suo Motu powers in the human rights case are exercised by the Supreme Court, the case would be heard by three judges of the Supreme Court and appeal against the order can be filed within 30 days to be decided by the five judges of the Supreme Court within 60 days.
The Committee also approved the recommendation that the age of retirement of High Court Judge will be enhanced from existing 62 years to 65 years as in the case of a judge of the Supreme Court. The Committee also approved an amendment in Article 209 of the Constitution and decided that a reference on account of misconduct against the Judge of the Superior Judiciary, will be decided by the Supreme Judicial Council within 90 days.
The Judiciary, Legislature and Executive are the three pillars of the State of Pakistan. All three arms are equally important and powerful, however later two arms Legislature and Executive are somehow having the same origin because executive comes from the ranks of legislature and both have consensus of interests in the current democratic system of the Country.
A political group having a majority in the legislature forms the executive of the country, so considering them two sides of a coin would not be a mistake. Judicial activism has witnessed its peak during recent years and other two state organs remained on the scrutiny list of the judiciary during the past. Particularly, the Judiciary offered much resistance to the executive against its extra-constitutional policies/ measures aimed at personal/political gains of the top brass.
Historically, Pakistan’s judiciary had been a target of both dictator and democratic rulers aimed at undermining the independence of judiciary in a bid to promote authoritative culture in the country by the past regimes. However, up to some extent the Judiciary remained independent in its internal affairs. Such efforts were mainly focused on making the judiciary subservient of the executive/legislature.
As a natural phenomenon it is hard for the influential to accept the supremacy of justice therefore conspiracies against the judiciary remained continue in the garb of reforms. The recent amendments in the laws regarding Judiciary would have great effect on the career extension of sitting judges and appointment of new judges of high courts and Supreme Court in coming days. Apparently, these legal changes would pave the path for several blue eyed in future setup of the country’s top judiciary.