PBC urges CJP to summon JCP meeting


ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Qazi Faez Isa, has been urged to call a meeting of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) by a representative of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) to discuss changes to the commission’s guidelines aimed at enhancing the recruitment process for judges.

Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan of the Balochistan High Court was nominated to the JCP on February 23 in order to discuss his elevation to the Supreme Court. Akhtar Hussain urged CJP Isa to call a commission meeting to discuss the recommendations made by the rule-making committee that was established to review the JCP Rules 2010.

It has been discovered that CJP Isa gave him the assurance that a meeting would be scheduled shortly for this reason.

A JCP member anticipates that the JCP full house meeting will take place prior to Justice Sardar Tariq Masood’s retirement the following month.

Attorneys are perplexed as to why the JCP meeting isn’t being called to discuss the committee’s recommendations for streamlining the judge appointment process.

The last meeting of the rule-making committee that was established to review the JCP Rules 2010 was held on December 29, 2023. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice (retired) Manzoor Ahmed Malik served as co-chairs. The goal of the meeting was to finalize the draft rules of procedure for the commission that will be used in the appointment of judges to the nation’s constitutional courts. These rules will ensure that the decision-making process is inclusive and collegial, as stipulated in Article 175-A of the Constitution.

Before January 15th, the committee was expected to submit the recommended draft rules.

The draft rules addressed the following: modifying the procedure for calling commission meetings and rendering decisions; initiating nominations in the Supreme Court and the high courts; ensuring that the district judiciary and the bar for elevation are adequately represented; establishing the standards for selecting judges for appointment to the Supreme Court and the high courts; validating the appointment of additional judges in the high courts; and creating a commission secretariat and appointing the secretary and other staff to it.

Women judges and attorneys also made proposals and suggestions to the committee.

It has been discovered that the rules committee has recommended eliminating the chief justice’s appointment discretion and calling a commission meeting.

The names for future high court appointments will now be proposed by a committee made up of three members: the chief justice of the high court, the senior puisne judge in question, and a representative of the provincial bar council.

During the meeting, any member of the JCP is able to suggest a name for a new appointment.

Additionally, a performa has been proposed for the selection of SC judges.

Similarly, all candidates for the position of judge must submit their last five years’ worth of tax returns.

Additionally, the time frame has been specified to fill judge vacancies on superior courts.