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Delay in filling vacancies in Pak SC raises eyebrows as pending cases mount

ANI | Updated: May 17, 2021 13:32 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 17 (ANI): After the retirement of two Pakistan Supreme Court judges, there has been a noticeable delay in filling up their vacant positions in the court, and this has resulted in eyebrows being raised the country.
According to The Express Tribune, Pakistan Supreme Court judges Faisal Arab and Manzoor Malik retired on November 4, 2020, and April 30 this year respectively. However, despite an ever-growing caseload, two vacant positions in the Supreme Court have not yet been filled.
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Secretary Ahmed Farooq Rana claimed that the reason for this delay in filling the vacant SC posts is internal differences. "But the common man is suffering because of these rifts," he added.
Pakistan's Supreme Court comprises of 17 judges including the chief justice of Pakistan and many experts believe that this strength is insufficient to deal with the cases. Especially with the mounting load of pending cases - which currently stand at 49,000.

Pakistan Bar Council's (PBC) former vice chairman Syed Amjad Shah said judges should only be elevated to the apex court in the light of the Al-Jihad Trust case verdict.
According to Dawn, the most exhaustive Supreme Court ruling came in the Al-Jehad Trust case in 1996. The court made several conclusions regarding appointments of judges, such as prioritising the opinion of the chief justice of Pakistan and the chief justice of the high court as to the fitness and suitability of a candidate, filling permanent vacancies occurring in the offices of the chief justice and judges within 30 days, the appointment of additional judges and more.
"If the verdict had been implemented in letter and spirit and judges had been elevated on the basis of their seniority, then no such problem would have arisen," Shah told The Express Tribune.
Meanwhile, the Balochistan Bar Council (BBC) - during a lawyers convention held in Quetta on April 10 - demanded that a Balochistan High Court (BHC) judge be elevated to the apex court "as not a single ethnic Baloch judge [hailing from the province] has been elevated to the Supreme Court since 2014."
Peshawar High Court (PHC) former chief justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, the Khyber Bar Council and the Sindh Bar Council had even challenged the elevation of three junior Lahore High Court (LHC) judges to the SC. (ANI)