Gilani to issue fresh notification over judges’ appointments

February 18th, 2010 - 12:35 am ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Feb 17 (IANS) Seeking to resolve the standoff with judiciary over the elevation of two high court judges to the Supreme Court, Pakistan government Wednesday agreed to the suggestions made by country’s chief justice on the issue.
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said that a fresh notification will be issued regarding elevation of justices Mian Saqib Nisar and Asif Saeed Khosa of Lahore High Court to the Supreme Court. While justice Khawaja Mohammed Sharif would continue as LHC chief justice.

The announcement came after an over three-hour long meeting between the Supreme Court chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and the prime minister at latter’s residence here.

Gilani announced the decision superseding the earlier notification issued by President Asif Ali Zardari for appointment of justice Khawaja Mohammed Sharif as judge of the Supreme Court and justice Saqib Nisar as acting Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court, APP reported.

The meeting took stock of institutional framework as enshrined in the constitution and it was agreed that the rule of law “forms the basis for the functioning of all the state organs to ensure greater welfare of the people”, a press release issued by the Prime Minister House said.

“It was decided that judiciary would be further strengthened to provide cheap and immediate justice to the public at their doorsteps,” the prime minister said.

Gilani also announced that justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, who retired as judge of the Supreme Court last month, would be appointed as ad-hoc judge of the apex court for one year.

The meeting followed a decision of the apex court bench which Saturday suspended the president’s earlier notification and termed the decision as in violation of the constitution.

The three-member bench was constituted hours after President Zardari announced the appointment of justice Khawaja Mohammad Sharif, chief justice of Lahore High Court, as the Supreme Court chief justice. Zardari also appointed Mian Saqib Nisar, the senior most judge of the High Court, as the acting chief justice in Sharif’s place.

Gilani said the meeting was “part of the consultative process for the appointments in the superior judiciary which has to be participatory, and consensus oriented”.

“The government holds the judiciary in high esteem and shall implement all the decisions of the higher judiciary in letter and spirit,” Gilani said.

The outcome of meeting was in the best interest of the nation and would bring more stability to the system, the prime minister said, adding that both the executive and judiciary were working in the ambit of constitution and there would be no need to apply the law of necessity.

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