HYDRABAD – The bars of Sindh will boycott the courts today to express their disapproval of the way in which the judges of the Sindh High Court are appointed.
A resolution to this effect was passed by the representatives of the Sindh Bar Council (SBC) and the Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) and members of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan after a meeting in Karachi.
“[They] express their dismay at the decision of the Chief Justice of Pakistan to appoint only two judges from Sindh.” The resolution was co-sponsored by JC members Akhtar Hussain and Syed Haider Imam Rizvi, SBC’s Zulfiqar Ali Khan Jalbani and Inayatullah Morio, and Shahab Sarki and Omer Soomro signed by SHCBA.
Lawyers said three Sindh judges had retired from the Supreme Court, leaving as many vacancies. However, only two judges from Sindh will be promoted to the Supreme Court, while the third vacancy is likely to be filled by Punjab, after which that province’s number of judges at the Court will rise to eight.
“… the number of Punjab judges is to be increased to eight at the expense of Sindh,” reads the resolution. The lawyers pointed out that at the last JC session, CJP Umar Ata Bandial himself underlined the need to respect the informal provincial quotas and even the ethnic balance within the court.
“The abandonment of this principle has caused great and justified resentment in the smaller provinces,” says the resolution. The lawyers also referred to the dispute over the appointment of SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh to the Supreme Court, saying the refusal to elevate Justice Shaikh to the country’s Supreme Court sent the wrong message to the people of Sindh .
“The Justice Commission has sent a message to the people of Sindh that while Justice Shaikh can be considered good enough for them, it is not good enough for the people of Pakistan,” the resolution reads.
The attorneys’ representatives also noted that despite the rejection of the nominations of Judge Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Judge Shafi Siddiqui by the Judiciary Commission on July 28, 2022, the CJP has re-nominated them. “There is no justifiable reason to nominate her again.”
Such nominations deviate from the seniority principle.
The lawyers said there was speculation that the federal government would be exonerated in the cases against them being heard in the Supreme Court over the former’s support for the two nominations.