Judges Nomination: Balochistan lawyers to boycott I-Day celebrations
14 August, 2013
QUETTA: All lawyer associations in Balochistan on Tuesday announced to boycott Independence Day celebrations, the launch of Balochistan High Court (BHC) website and proceedings of Supreme Court (SC) and lower courts against the nomination of judges without taking lawyers into confidence.
Addressing a press conference, Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) leader Munir Kakar, the Supreme Court Bar Council Association's (SCBA) Abdullah Kakar, Balochistan High Court Bar Council's Zahoor Shahwani and Baloch Lawyers' Action Committee leader Hazoor Bakhsh said that judicial commission did not take into confidence lawyers regarding nomination of judges and the lawyers whose names had been suggested for appointment as judges did not fulfil the required qualification.
"We had informed judicial commission before their nomination regarding our reservations," they said and added but the reservations were paid no heed and therefore "we have decided to resort to protest". They said that they would not participate in the ceremony of Independence Day on Balochistan High Court premises and would boycott proceedings of Balochistan High Court and all subordinate courts.
"No lawyer would appear for case proceedings," they said.
The decision of the judicial commission has to be "ratified by parliamentary committee and we want to inform parliamentary committee about our reservations so that competent and professional lawyers could be appointed", they said.
The new method of appointment of superior court judges was introduced in the 18th Amendment and was later modified in the 19th Amendment, which states that judges would be appointed through a judicial commission which would consist of chief justice as its chairman and four senior most judges of the Supreme Court as its members. The judicial commission is supposed to approve names for appointment of judges against vacant positions, thereof which would be forwarded to parliamentary committee, having 8 members equally divided between upper and lower houses of parliament and having equal representation of treasury and opposition benches.
This committee has a period of two weeks to approve the nominations. If approved the nominations are forwarded to president through prime minister for final approval of appointment. The committee can also reject the nominations, for reasons to be recorded, by three fourths majority and in which instance the decision is forwarded to commission through prime minister and commission then sends other nominations.
The total strength of the Balochistan High Court is constitutionally 11 judges plus chief justice. Currently, eight judges are working and three are to be appointed for which following three names were approved by judicial commission: Kamran Mullakhel, Ejaz Swati, and Shakeel Baloch.