Pakistan SC Bar challenges commission for judges appointment
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 23:35
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 of judges.

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.


First Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 23:35

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