ISLAMABAD (ET): The Gilgit-Baltistan High Court Bar Association (HCBA) pressed for the appointment of superior court judges only with the consultation of the chief court and the Gilgit-Baltistan governor, warning that any step against the procedure would be challenged in court.
G-B HCBA Vice President Shakoor Khan expressed his concern on Friday over the recent attempt by G-B bureaucrats who sent a summary to fill the two vacant lucrative posts of the G-B chief court without following due procedure.
He cited that under Article 69 of Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self Rule, 2009, the chief secretary and the chief minister have no legal role in the appointment of superior court judges. But he regretted that the bureaucracy has prepared a panel of lawyers and judges and even had conducted interviews of them, bypassing the set criteria.
Earlier, G-B Chief Secretary Younus Dagha had denied that any summary had been prepared or a panel of lawyers was formed.
However, Law Secretary Khalid Mehmood had confirmed that the chief secretary office had generated the summary and informal meetings with some aspirant lawyers were held.
Shakoor warned that lawyers would boycott the courts and challenge the actions taken if the summary was not revised.
He said G-B needs competent and professional judges to address the legal issues of these appointments. He recalled that a sitting law minister had prepared a summary and managed to get himself appointed as a judge, which was not only a sheer violation of the rule, but also against very essence of justice.
Under what authority had the chief secretary formed the panel of lawyers and prepared a summary without taking the chief court and the governor secretariat on board, Shakoor questioned. “Despite having no role of the bureaucracy in the appointment of judges, it has been interfered time and again to further vested interests.”