ISLAMABAD: A session of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) regarding the appointment of Justice Ayesha Malik of the Lahore High Court to the Supreme Court ended in a tie on Thursday.
A meeting of commission was held under the chairmanship of Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, in which the issue of Justice Malik’s elevation to the SC was considered, with the emerging verdict ending in a tie.
According to a media report, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan and Minister for Law Farogh Naseem supported the appointment of Justice Malik to the apex court, while Justice Maqbool Baqir, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, a Pakistan Bar Council representative and former SC judge, retired Justice Dost Mohammad, voted against the appointment.
The sources said that legal experts say that under the Constitution of Pakistan, the name cannot be finalised unless the majority approves it, so technically Justice Ayesha Malik’s name has been “rejected”. If her name had been approved by a majority, she would have been the first woman judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The sources added that the AGP suggested that the judgements and record of women judges of other high courts should also be reviewed and the matter should be referred for the next meeting, but no agreement was reached on this issue either.
It should be noted that the appointment of Justice Malik to the Supreme Court was protested by lawyers in the day. Various bar councils are of the view that the seniority principle must be taken into account in the appointment of judges.