Islamabad: The Supreme Court Bar
Association on Wednesday filed a petition in Pakistan`s apex court
challenging the composition of a judicial commission to be set
up under a constitutional reforms package for the appointment
The petition was filed by SCBA president Qazi Anwar
under Article 184(3) of the constitution, making the federal
government the respondent in the case.
The formation of a judicial commission to appoint
judges is part of the 18th Constitutional Amendment Bill that
was signed into law by President Asif Ali Zardari this week.
The petition asked the apex court to declare the
procedure for appointing judges as ultra vires of the
constitution. It said the judicial commission is against the
basic structure of the constitution, which guarantees the
independence of the judiciary.
The petition said the move poses a threat to the
independence of the judiciary and the legislating power of
parliament should be determined.
The 18th amendment bill envisages the formation of a
judicial commission to be headed by the Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court and comprising two senior-most judges after the
Chief Justice, a retired judge, the Law Minister, the Attorney
General and a nominee of the Pakistan Bar Council.
The commission will recommend one name against each
vacancy in the Supreme Court to a parliamentary committee
comprising eight members, four from the treasury benches and
four from the opposition.
The SCBA recently passed a resolution declaring that
it would challenge the judicial commission.
Talking to reporters at the Supreme Court, SCBA
President Anwar said the parliament is not constitution-making
body but a legislation-making institution.
He said the Indian Supreme Court too had declared
constitutional amendments as void.