Pakistan lawyers to protest over appointment of first ever female judge
Islamabad, Jan 4 (EFE).- The main lawyers’ body in Pakistan has said it will boycott all court proceedings on Thursday if the country’s judicial commission does not postpone its meeting to decide on the of elevation of the first-ever female judge in the supreme court.
The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) said Tuesday it was opposed to the appointment of Justice Ayesha Malik, currently a judge at the Lahore High Court, due to a violation of the “seniority principle” in her appointment.
“We are not against the appointment of a woman judge for her gender but nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik violates the seniority principle,” PBC Vice Chairman Khushdil Khan told EFE.
Pakistan Judicial Commission, upon recommendation of Supreme Court Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, is scheduled to meet Thursday to consider the appointment of Malik as a judge of the apex court.
The PBC on Monday called on the Chief Justice to postpone the meeting, and threatened to boycott all court proceedings across the country.
Justice Ayesha is fourth in the seniority order of the Lahore High Court superseding three judges.
“We stand by the seniority principle and if it is violated it would create divisions between the bar and bench,” Khushdil added.
Khushdil said if the judicial commission wants a woman judge in the Supreme Court, the parliament should amend the constitution and enhance the current number of the top court judges.
The matter over Malik’s elevation has been unresolved since September last year with a lack of consensus among the judicial commission.
The Supreme Court is the country’s top court which usually inducts judges based on their seniority. The apex court currently has 17 judges. EFE